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Stress and depression

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Health

Stress and depression have a symbiotic relationship in most people. They plunge into a state of depression whenever negative stress manifests itself. This can happen to them at any time of their lives. In the case of chronic stress the depression comes to be identified with an individuals personality. It becomes so deeply ingrained in an individuals psyche that it is not recognized as an emotional disorder but as a personality trait.

The signs of depression vary from individual to individual. In some cases, it may even lead to burnouts. This is because our expectations are so high that most of us are unable to cope with our inability to achieve our goals. Pity and emotional distress are common. Sometimes people express their depression by adopting an aggressive attitude. Anger and frustration are commonly let out in the form of violent outbursts. The tendency to hold a grudge is very strong.

There is a general feeling of helplessness and despair. This often leads to a change in eating habits and sleeping pattern of an individual. People complain of waking up in the middle of the night and are unable to go back to sleep after that. This can be attributed to the constant stimulation of stress hormones which keep the mind always on the alert mode. Low energy levels and lack of interest are other distinguishing attributes of such individuals.

Depression can set in at any age. It might be a mild depression that can last for a few days and disappear after the problem has been sorted out. In contrast, marital conflicts and dissatisfaction in the job can lead to chronic stress that can become everlasting, if left untreated.

Today even children have become vulnerable to depression. This is due to the increasing pressures placed on children to excel in all fields and to be better than his peers. This puts unnecessary strain on them and when the results are unfavorable they sink into a state of depression. Lack of proper understanding and communication between parents and children also increases stress levels and related depression.

Women are likely to suffer from intense depression when subjected to continuous stress. This is because they have to manage their household and workplace at the same time. Absence of support from family members and increased workload usually adds to their stress. This is sometimes released in the form of frustration and anger. It can also intensify marital conflicts.

External stressors also have an impact on us. Shifting to a new city and getting used to a new and demanding life can be difficult for many. Similarly a new job can create similar problems.

Psychiatrists have come to the conclusion that the intensity of depression can go up or come down depending upon our mindset. Minor problems become huge as we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about them. Both positive and negative thoughts tend to pass through our mind. But it is the negative thoughts and feelings that stick to us making us feel insecure and helpless. Negative thinking only increases the intensity of depression by clogging our thinking capabilities. It also drains us emotionally and mentally.