Around 41.4 million U.S. adults received mental health treatment or counseling in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If you’ve tried to reduce stress on your own but are still feeling overwhelmed, you aren’t alone. It’s imperative to seek support from qualified professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and primary care doctors. Untreated stress can become chronic, says Dr. Loper, leading to low-grade inflammation associated with high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and addiction, among other adverse health consequences.
Psychiatrists may prescribe medication to help you cope with acute stress and anxiety, as well as other diagnoses. Meanwhile, psychologists, therapists and counselors can provide relief with various forms of talk therapy. Holistic health practitioners—such as acupuncturists, Chinese medicine practitioners, naturopathic doctors and massage therapists—can provide relief, too.
“Many will suggest that a person seek help once functional impairment begins at work, home [or] school, says Fanike-Kiara Olugbala Young, D.B.H., a licensed clinical social worker and holistic trauma therapist in Roswell, Georgia. “However, we know ourselves better than anyone else, so I suggest seeking support when the feelings of not being able to cope first begin.”
Stress is a growing health concern. Even if you can’t eliminate it, learning to manage it now could have serious long-term health benefits. “You can’t get rid of [unhealthy] stress altogether, that would be great if you could, but you can learn to manage it effectively,” says Ficken.