When Should You See a Doctor About Stress?

Last Editorial Review: 8/10/2017

Ask the experts

Is professional help available to help people deal with stress? How do I know when to seek professional help?

Doctor's response

Professional help is indeed available to help individuals deal with stress. Trained counselors and health professionals offer both individual and group counseling that can help you develop and strengthen your stress management skills. Social networks can also help control stress, and many people find relief in the form of a formal or informal peer support group.

If your stress is interfering with your capacity to be happy and lead an emotionally rewarding life, then it may be time to seek professional help. This is especially true if it is persistent. You may also want to talk to your doctor or a counselor if your stress is causing you to experience physical symptoms or worsening of a chronic medical condition. Finally, seek professional help if you find yourself "treating" your stress by misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or by engaging in other unhealthy behaviors.

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Medically reviewed by Robert Bargar, MD; Board Certification in Public Health & General Preventive Medicine


"Treatment of acute stress disorder in adults"