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Distress Tolerance

When we have had some trauma happen, like family harm, and its gone on for a while, we can develop something called a distress tolerance. This means we can suffer a great deal of emotional pain, mental stress and a lot of risk around us before we recognise that we need to protect ourselves. It can be hard to see how bad a situation has become or how bad life had become.


Distress tolerance rises gradually over time. In order to remain in the situation we are in, we make psychological allowances for it by changing our expectations to make the situation seem as ok to us as possible. We can carry on for a really long time almost unaware of how distressed we have permanently become.

A high distress tolerance can lead to us living with high tension in our environments and in our bodies and that becomes a normal experience. We may think to ourselves that everyone lives like this or that we can handle the situation but its many people don't live like this and its not good for us

If this sounds like you or someone you know, come and talk to us.

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