Emotional distress is experienced by most people when faced with a sudden adverse event as losing someone close or ongoing difficulties such as conflicts in a relationship at home or with difficulties faced at work or school. One can experience emotional distress at any time, and it is usually temporary.
Emotional distress can manifest as emotions of feeling overwhelmed, helpless, guilty, or unusual anger and irritability. The person may spend a lot of time worrying about the problem, may have difficulties with sleep and appetite and find it difficult to keep up with daily tasks. Sometimes the person will resort to mood-altering substances like alcohol or/ and isolate themselves from people or activities.
Emotional Distress is most often temporary, and the person feels better when he finds solutions to the problem or learns to cope with an ongoing stressor. It is only when emotional distress persists for a long time or occurs in cycles that it can be looked at as part of a mental disorder
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, healthy food and strong social networks helps in general.
With some overwhelming event or adversity, the pain and suffering can persist. Talking to a friend or a family member can help as can stress management strategies like relaxation techniques or mindfulness meditation.
What a counsellor or therapist can do is help identify the triggers and come up with solutions or alternate ways of coping.