Could you be so stressed that it’s causing depression? It is this time of year where we can feel much more stress. Don’t feel alone. Many people today are having problems coping with the stressful events and situations bombarding our lives. When stress occurs, it triggers a “fight or flight” response in our brains and, if this occurs on a constant basis, your body and mind might begin to show symptoms of stress depression.
When this type of chronic stress occurs, it may overwhelm you, causing depression symptoms such as mood swings, lethargy and difficulty working or attending classes. You may find it difficult to continue with a normal routine. Stress depression can be controlled by developing a few coping skills and taking better care of yourself.
Coping skills that you may want to take advantage of include meditation, regular exercise routines, including the stretching and breathing techniques that yoga offers. Drinking too much alcohol and drug use also add to the reasons for stress depression, so try and develop a healthier lifestyle by avoiding these stress inducers and eat healthy foods that boost your body’s immune system rather than bring it down.
Did you know that scientific studies have proven that a chemical called serotonin manages the part of the brain that triggers depression. If your brain isn’t producing enough serotonin, you may feel sad, lose sleep or sleep too much and develop other, more serious, symptoms of stress depression. There may be other reasons for depression, but lack of serotonin can be a major cause.
Your diet and exercise can sometimes boost levels of serotonin. Certain foods such as dairy, nuts and fowl contain high levels of tryptophan, a nutrient from which serotonin is produced. Vitamin B-6 is also helpful in converting tryptophan nutrients to serotonin. If diet and exercise don’t seem to work, antidepressants are usually effective in boosting serotonin levels.
Just because you have stress depression doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re headed toward a more severe case of clinical depression. A temporary depressive state may occur when you’re faced with negative situations in your life such as loss of a job, death of a loved one or even positive changes such as marriage or birth of a child.
Stress, in itself, isn’t bad but how you deal with it makes all the difference. Stress and depression are closely related, so if you’re having trouble coping with the stress in your life, clinical depression may occur causing you to have trouble functioning in your daily life.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from stress depression, try to identify the main stressors in your life. Keep those stressors from getting you down by taking advantage of personal support from others, practicing replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, exercising on a regular basis and employing some coping skills and techniques that might help.