Stress

Frank Adair, MD

Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist located in Palo Alto, CA

Stress is your body’s normal response to change, but too much stress leads to physical and emotional wear-and-tear. Integrative psychiatrist Frank Adair, MD, uses psychotherapy and medication management to help adults cope with stress at his private practice in Palo Alto, California. If stress interferes with your life, call the office today.

Stress Q & A

What is stress?

Everyone experiences stress on occasion. Whenever something happens that requires an adjustment or response, stress is the way your body reacts to that change. 

Common examples of stress triggers include responsibilities at work, sudden negative changes like losing a job, or traumatic events like witnessing an accident. 

Not all stress is bad. Stress can motivate you to prepare for a performance or increase your reaction time. In fact, stress may even save your life in threatening situations. However, stress that persists long after the danger subsides can have a detrimental effect on your health.

How does stress affect my health?

Stress can affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Prolonged stress without relief can lead to a condition called distress. This may lead to a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Chest pain
  • Grinding your teeth and jaw clenching
  • Muscle tension in the face, neck, or shoulders
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Anger and irritability
  • Social withdrawal

Uncontrolled stress can lead to serious health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. Recognizing stress symptoms can help you manage them in your own life. 

How can I manage stress?

If you experience stress symptoms, there are steps you can take to reduce or even prevent them, including:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation
  • Spending quality time with family and friends
  • Making time for hobbies, including reading and listening to music


It’s also important to get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that may seem to offer quick relief from stress. These substances actually worsen stress symptoms.

When should I see a psychiatrist about stress?

If you feel overwhelmed by stress, Dr. Adair can help. Using an integrative approach, he helps you establish healthy habits to manage stress, so you can live a happier, more productive life. 

Dr. Adair treats stress with a combination of medication management and psychotherapy. He practices a variety of Jungian psychotherapy techniques, including:

  • Dream analysis
  • Active imagination
  • Sandplay therapy

To find relief from prolonged or persistent stress, call Frank Adair, MD today.