What treatments are there?
Stress isn’t a medical diagnosis, so there’s no specific treatment for it. However, if you’re finding it very hard to cope with things going on in your life and are experiencing lots of signs of stress, there are treatments available that could help. These include:
- talking treatments
- complementary and alternative therapies
To access most treatments, the first step is usually to talk to your GP. (See our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for tips on how to talk to your doctor about your mental health.)
Talking with a trained professional can help you learn to deal with stress and become more aware of your own thoughts and feelings. Common types of talking treatments which can help with stress are:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which helps you understand your thought patterns, recognise your trigger points and identify positive actions you can take.
- Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), which combines mindfulness, meditation and yoga with a particular focus on reducing stress. You can find out more from Be Mindful’s website.
“Using mindfulness [helps me] to just allow some space to breathe and focus on the present moment.”
Feelings of stress are a reaction to things happening in your life, not a mental health problem, so there’s no specific medication for stress. However, there are various medications available which can help to reduce or manage some of the signs of stress.
For example, your doctor might offer to prescribe:
- sleeping pills or minor tranquillisers if you’re having trouble sleeping
- antidepressants if you’re experiencing depression or anxiety
- medication to treat any physical symptoms of stress, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or high blood pressure.
Before deciding to take any drug, it’s important to make sure you have all the facts you need to make an informed choice. See our pages on things to consider before taking medication and your right to refuse medication for more information. Our pages on coming off medication give guidance on how to come off medication safely.
“[It helps me to] spend time outdoors or doing crafts.”
You may find certain complementary therapies help you manage feelings of stress. These might include:
- yoga and meditation