Emotional distress is intense emotional suffering that can feel overwhelming but can also surface in many forms. In some cases, you may bury your feelings so deeply that when they come out, you may not even realize what is happening or why.

Oftentimes, either before, during, or after a crisis, our psyche can take a devastating hit. Traumatic events such as loss, financial crisis, physical health issues, and other major life events can change the course of our life and can be difficult to process.

Symptoms of emotional distress often ease after time, but there are cases in which they can continue for months or even years. One of the most fundamental steps at working through emotional distress is understanding that it is present.

Here are 7 signs that show you are emotionally distressed.

1. Spending much of your time worrying.

During times of emotional distress, you may feel constantly on edge. If you have recently gone through a major trauma or event that caused problems for you emotionally, it only makes sense that you would be on high alert. In turn, you may constantly be looking for what’s next, in case it’s something that will add to your worry and stress. But, when you spend time worried and stressing about what could happen, you unintentionally bring on the stress and worry you worked so hard to avoid.

2. Sleeping too much or too little.

It’s common for people under extreme stress or distress to make a notable change in their sleeping patterns. You may either sleep too much or even sleep too little. This depends on how you as a person deal with stress.

3. Major appetite changes.

Those who are under emotional distress may find that they can’t stomach the thought of food, while others who are distressed may binge-eat their pain away.

4. Isolation from loved ones.

During high times of emotional distress, it’s normal to want to separate and isolate yourself. Unfortunately, this only adds to the distress and also removes your support system from the equation, making the distress even more intense.

5. Loss of interest in activities or past times.

Those who are emotionally distressed will likely become so consumed with their pain and worry that their favorite activities seem to take up too much time or energy. Instead, they may retreat to quiet isolation or just complete the mandatory tasks in their life.

6. Major fatigue.

Emotional distress can empty your emotional and mental tank, leaving you feeling chronically fatigued. This is why many don’t have the energy to complete tasks or to make it through a full day.

7. Difficulty keeping up with daily tasks.

Have you ever had so much on your mind, that no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t seem to catch up? Under emotional distress, it can be easy to forget about important tasks or just simply not have the emotional or mental energy it takes to carry out normal day-to-day tasks.

8. Constant unexplained aches, pains, and sickness.

Many people who are in distress report physical pain, stomach aches, chronic pain, and headaches. They may find themselves at the doctor, over and over again, unable to find any reasonable explanation for their ailments. Depression can come out in a physical form and so can distress, trauma, and emotional breakdowns.

9. Excessive addictive tendencies.

Most, if not all addicts use their addiction of choice ($ex, dr-ugs, alc0hol, shopping, gaming, technology) to distract themselves from pain. If you find you are starting to drink more or spend money you don’t have more and more, you may be hiding from emotional distress.

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