Feeling unwell: causes, treatment and self-help

General malaise is a condition disorder. This can have physical causes or psychological, illnesses or social problems can trigger this negative feeling. It is often a warning signal. Those affected feel without drive. They have no strength and are drained. There are often other complaints: vomiting such as dizziness or a feeling of sickness in the stomach. Other sufferers mainly notice psychological effects. You don't feel like taking action. Above all, they feel emotionally weak. Lethargy plagues her.

There are also unspecific physical complaints. Lively writes on “It's all little things, but all of them put on my nerves and limit me. I can not concentrate, so it is very difficult for me to learn, I am inattentive in discussions. I am easily irritable and quickly become unfriendly, I would prefer to crawl in bed all day anyway. "

Beginning diseases

"Unfortunately, my HA only has an appointment later in the week, but I'm currently pretty dirty. I just lie around, when I get up I feel sick for a few minutes after a short time and I feel like something is happening in my body. Sounds really strange, but that's exactly how I feel right now. ”Eloq on the forum.

The diffuse signs of malaise mean that those affected usually do not know whether there are physical or psychological causes. This condition disorder often announces the beginning of an illness. Viral infections, especially a cold or flu, start with this negative feeling. Low blood pressure, fluctuations in blood pressure or anemia are also characterized by malaise. Negative stress also shows up early in the form of an uncomfortable feeling.

With stress, the accompanying symptoms are sleep disorders, exhaustion and even depression.

Social triggers

Feeling unwell can also have social causes. People who fear for their jobs, students who suffer from bullying and people who are socially isolated or isolated from others feel uncomfortable.

A warning sign

For all those affected, the following applies: malaise is not a disease, but a warning signal. It can warn of serious physical illnesses, reveal a psychological crisis or point to a social problem. In all cases it is important to solve the cause, not just to combat the negative feeling.

Psychological triggers

Everyone knows that they feel unwell before exams, unpleasant conversations or generally unpleasant situations. We then feel a queasy feeling in the stomach, a “lump in the throat”, feel weak and without energy.

As a rule, we know the reason only too well: the upcoming math exam or the appointment with the landlord. When this situation is over, the bad feeling usually disappears.

What helps against an uncomfortable feeling?

Above all, bed rest, combined with plenty of water, helps against the discomfort itself. These are also the methods to ward off an impending cold. If the feeling does not go away for days, please see a doctor.

Either you have contracted an infection for which home remedies are insufficient, or you suffer from psychological problems that these home remedies also do not work against.


The diagnosis is not easy for the doctor. First he has to find out whether physical, psychological or psychosocial triggers play a role. For this, he has an intensive conversation with the patient.

In the case of psychological and psychosocial causes, the doctor can only find these if the person concerned works with him, i.e. is honest. This is often easier said than done: Psychologically induced malaise often stems from the fact that we suppress problems from consciousness and we are either embarrassed to reveal them or we are so successfully suppressed that we no longer recognize them ourselves.

It is easier for the doctor if physical causes come into question: he measures blood pressure, takes a blood sample, detects viruses or bacteria. He also asks for accompanying symptoms: flu-like infections can also quickly become apparent through fatigue, body aches, sore throat, cough and runny nose; Anemia is also associated with feelings of dizziness.

Consequences of negative feelings

General malaise makes everyday life difficult. Those affected have difficulty concentrating and are therefore poorly performing at work and at school. This applies to thinking sports as well as physical sports. Even more: physical exercise is hardly possible.

Depending on the cause, there can be serious damage without treatment: With psychological triggers, for example, a burnout syndrome or nervous breakdown is in the offing. Circulatory disorders may be imminent in the event of circulatory disorders: malaise can also announce serious illnesses such as a heart attack.


Negative feelings with a psychological cause are usually associated with excessive anxiety. Often there are fears of existence, but also various phobias initially appear as uncomfortable and then increase to sweats and panic attacks.

Early symptom of anxiety disorders

General discomfort is also an early symptom of anxiety disorders, but accompanies the patient throughout the entire illness. They generally feel uncomfortable because they feel they are at the mercy of something dangerous, both general and vague.

They feel uncomfortable, behave restlessly. They are restless internally, they often seem driven. In addition there is no interest, lack of concentration and joylessness. You exhaust yourself. Their environment seems unreal to them. You feel far away from everything and close to fainting.

These psychological causes are usually best treated with a mixture of psychotherapy and medication.

Social burdens

The solutions here are long-term. Medicines and mental health care can alleviate the uneasy feeling, but success can only be achieved when the social situation, which plays into the feeling of being unwell, has ended.

It's easy to say: but if someone experiences discrimination because of their appearance or sexual inclination, if a boss harasses their employees, or if, for whatever reason, a person feels uncomfortable in their job, then this cannot be done at the push of a button to change. It's always about the individual case, and a solution can only be individual.

Prevent malaise

There are a number of ways to prevent psychological discomfort. The first is: Reduce negative stress. In order to reduce stress, you can hold in-depth discussions with friends and partners as well as superficial small talk.

As banal as it sounds: go for a walk and ride a bike. Both are excellent methods for effective stress relief.

Don't overdo sports

But don't overdo it with sporting activity: If you exercise too much, you also run an increased risk of infections and run the risk of the stomach becoming acidic. Both are expressed in malaise, and those who exaggerate achieve exactly what they are fighting against. When it comes to sports, the following applies: take sufficient breaks.

Professor Dr. Lahmann from Freiburg advises: “Sufficient sleep, a healthy diet and a little sport to balance. A lot is already done with that. ”

Feeling sick during pregnancy

A weak feeling in the stomach, weakness, i.e. general malaise, is part of pregnancy at times and can even indicate pregnancy. Catella writes on “I am really looking forward to our first baby. There are only things that make it difficult for me to concentrate on my joy. I haven't felt comfortable in my body since I was pregnant. It all started with nausea then I got pimples everywhere, I feel bloated and have a headache and I am very vulnerable at the moment. (...) Maybe someone understands this? "

Buttonbird replies: "To be constantly tired, to have digestive problems, to run a hundred times in the loo, to have stretching pains and if you are unlucky enough to have nausea after the first trimester ... the good thing is, none of it stays forever." The discomfort in pregnancy disappears when the child is born (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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ICD codes for this disease: R53ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find yourself e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.

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