What is the Diagnosis for STRESS?

By Donna C. Moss, MA, LCSW-R

There is no diagnosis for stress! Young adults are stressed more than ever before. But our bible (DSM-v) of clinical diagnoses for mental health, according to insurance companies, holds no such diagnosis. Loneliness, anxiety, distress, dismay, alienation, frustration, fatigue, burnout, numbness, isolation, poor support and sleep problems all lead to stress.

Good luck with that.

  • One young adult said that after the election she was going to get an IUD so that she wouldn’t ever risk needing an abortion under the new regime.
  • Another said she could no longer face her family, long ago distanced by her sexuality.
  • And a new patient said she never thought of herself by her Hispanic identity until she was forced to.

Once again it is the age of fear that stymies young adults who barely can manage to launch.  They appear in my office together, with friends, one by one, group by group, with little or no support.  The ones in my college classes have not yet learned basic English grammar, yet they snap back at me with trembling voices, little skill and hungover fugue. Though they try to find a path, silence is really what’s killing them.

With no voice in the economy, at school or at home, where can they turn?

Times of change, chaos and uncertainty lead to young people who have no anchor.  They mistake panic for boredom, fear for anxiety, phobia for freedom.  They are the lucky ones, college educated, with families that still pay for their health insurance and therapy.

So, come while you can and do some family therapy!  Talk it out, or avoid politics.  But it’s all there anyway.

Here are five things you can do right now to lesson your stress.

  1. Eat, drink and sleep properly.
  2. Make a new friend.
  3. Join a support or sport or hobby group.
  4. Write down your feelings while they’re fresh.
  5. Go outdoors and absorb the sun.

Stress may not be a diagnosis but it sure can lead to one.  Get help early and often.  Remember, it’s not your identity, your job, your family or you that is to blame.  It’s the world itself, in all its confusion and glory…

– Donna C. Moss, MA, LCSW-R

Author Biography:

Donna C. Moss, MA, LCSW-R is a skilled adolescent, young adult and family therapist who writes about the technology, media and on other issues in mental health and wellness. Moss has written and traveled and provided articles for the Internet on many topics working as a top producer for Disney’s Family.comWeightwatchers.com and iVillage.com.

She’s the author of the book Sext, Text and What’s Next?

She is an avid hiker, yoga practitioner and swimmer and is married with two children, and a stubborn husky named Milo.

With 20 years experience in areas such as: infertility, cancer, health, stress, divorce mediation, anxiety, depression and addictions, Donna has a broad understanding of many life transitions. She provides a supportive, goal-oriented, cognitive/behavioral, mindful, holistic and proven methods for uncovering past traumas and moving toward healthy living.

Donna Moss