Stress is the body’s response to physical or emotional demands. Emotional stress can play a role or be a symptom of depression. A stressful situation can trigger feelings of depression, and these feelings can make it harder to deal with stress.
Highly stressful events, such as losing a job or ending a long-term relationship, can lead to depression. Not everyone who experiences these situations becomes depressed. Biological factors may explain why one person in a stressful situation suffers from depression while another does not.
The loss of a family member, divorce and moving are all major life changes that can cause stress. Some
Here are other examples of events that can cause stress:
- arguing with your spouse or significant other
- to lose one’s job
- major natural disasters, such as earthquakes or tornadoes, which can damage your home or destroy it completely
- having a car accident, which can cause physical, emotional and financial stress
- to be robbed, assaulted or attacked
Certain lifestyle choices can also contribute to your stress levels. This is especially true if they affect your overall health or if you become dependent on unhealthy coping mechanisms. Lifestyle choices that can increase your stress include:
- heavy or excessive alcohol consumption
- not getting enough exercise
- smoke or use illegal drugs
- working for long periods without taking a break, or being a “workaholic”
- not having a well-balanced diet
- spending too much time watching TV or playing video games
- looking at a smartphone in bed, which can prevent you from falling asleep
Sometimes the constant stress of everyday life triggers your fight or flight response. This can lead to complications, including depression. In other cases, the development of depression is unrelated to stress.
Depression can make it harder to experience and deal with events in your life. Stresses big and small always arise, but with depression you might not feel as equipped to deal with it. This can worsen the symptoms of depression and the stress of certain situations.
Stress can be caused by a single event or by temporary situations. This is called acute stress. Acute stress can be caused by things that stress you out, like taking a big test, or by an acute injury, like a broken bone.
Stress can also last a long time without ever feeling like it’s easing. In these cases, events or illnesses may cause continued stress or there may be no clear reason for your stress. This is called chronic stress. Chronic stress is usually the result of personal, lifestyle, or health issues that are also chronic. Common causes of chronic stress include:
- have financial difficulties
- working at high pressure work
- having personal or relationship problems at home
- not feeling like you have enough support from family or friends
While stress can usually have negative effects on your physical and mental health, it can be especially harmful if you are depressed.
Stress can make you feel less able to maintain positive habits or coping strategies, which are important in dealing with depression. This can make the symptoms of depression more intense. Interrupting a healthy routine can lead to negative coping strategies, such as drinking alcohol or withdrawing from social relationships. These actions can cause additional stress, which can then make symptoms of depression worse.
Stress can also affect your mood, as anxiety and irritability are two common responses to stress. When a stressor makes you anxious, the anxiety can lead to more negative feelings or frustration, even if the stressor is only temporary.
Stress management techniques are helpful in dealing with depression. Stress relief can also help prevent the development of depressive symptoms. Some useful stress management techniques include:
- get enough sleep
- eat healthy
- exercise regularly
- taking occasional vacation or regular breaks from work
- find a relaxing hobby, such as gardening or woodworking
- consuming less caffeine or alcohol
- doing breathing exercises to lower your heart rate
If life choices are causing you stress, you may want to consider changing the way you approach your personal or professional life. Here are some ways to help reduce this type of stress:
- putting less pressure on you to perform at work or school, for example by lowering your standards to a level you still find acceptable
- not taking on as many responsibilities at work or activities at home
- share responsibilities or delegate tasks to others around you
- surround yourself with positive and positive friends and family
- withdrawing from stressful environments or situations
Activities such as yoga, meditation, or attending church services can also help you deal with stress. A combination of these techniques can be even more effective. It’s important to find what works for you. And no matter what you choose, having close friends and family members ready to support you is essential.
Talking to a counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional can also be a helpful way to deal with stress and depression. Talk therapy alone or in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or medication is a proven solution for both depression and chronic stress. Medications for depression include:
“A depressed person is compromised when facing problematic situations,” says Stacey Stickley, a licensed professional counselor in Ashburn, Virginia. “When someone is suffering from depression, things can seem more negative than they really are. Events that might have been caught in the process may seem more problematic or unmanageable. The idea of taking action on things can take more of a person’s resources, resources that are already compromised due to depression.
“Talk to your doctor about pharmacological options or see a counselor to assess and manage your symptoms,” she says. ” Do not wait. It’s important to be proactive so that maybe you can stop the decline sooner. It is easier to get out of a shallow hole than a hole that you have been digging and digging slowly for several months.
Stress can result from many personal, professional and environmental causes. The best way to deal with stress is to deal with the stressors that are under your control. For example, you might walk away from toxic relationships or quit a stressful job. You can also train yourself to accept or deal with stressors that are out of your control, with actions like meditating or drinking less caffeine and alcohol.
Depression can make it much more difficult to control or manage stressors, but seeking counseling or therapy or taking medication can help you cope better with stressors and deal with them in a positive and constructive way.