Psychological and Existential Distress
DOI link for Psychological and Existential Distress
Psychological and Existential Distress book
Distress can be defined as an unpleasant emotional experience arising from psychological, physical, social, or spiritual issues. Existential distress is more specifically defined as that distress which arises from confrontation with the essence of existence—the issues of death, the meaning of life, aloneness, responsibility, freedom, choices, and a sense of personal worth. There are many potential causes of transient distress in palliative care, including insensitive comments, long waits in clinical departments, and disease symptoms. Such potential causes of distress should be an important focus of attention in everyday nursing practice, because the disruption and worry they cause is often unnecessary. The wish to continue living is a potent life force that is present in most people until the moment of death, and fear of death grows as death approaches. Antianxiety medication with long-acting benzodiazepines or antidepressants can also be helpful for very distressed people. Many nurses also feel they have little time to assess and address people's concerns comprehensively.