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Did You Know That Chronic Stress Can Lead to Depression

Although depression is sometimes actually considered a medical illness that involves both the body and the mind. When you tend to be lean toward depression, this then means that chronic stress can only aid in that depression. Even those who don't seem to get depressed often can find themselves battling it if there is a lot of stress in their lives. The reason for this is that stress can affect the body and the emotional health of an individual. Doctors have discovered that if there are changes in the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands due to stress that there can be mental and emotional problems that will arise. Although some genetics and personality traits are more susceptible to being depressed if a person suffers from chronic stress can put them at a high risk for clinical depression.

There are some personalities that are naturally far more sensitive to the affects of stress on their mind and body and their reactions and how they respond to stress can increase the risk of psychological problems that can cause depression.

What stress does is disrupts normal patterns of behavior and responses to the stimulus of stress and this will then disrupt the equilibrium of the person and their ability to cope well under duress or stressful situations. When the brain sees things that may appear to be harmful to the person or if it seems like a situation that is harmful it will prepare the body for a response. It is then the nervous system that is called into respond and different hormones will be released to the different senses of the body. This can raise a person's pulse rate, their respiration rate and the muscles can become tense. This is simply the body and it's way of trying to deal with what is perceived as possible danger or better known as the fight or flight response.

Some stress is good, in mild doses it gives us the ability to accomplish things, it allows us to achieve things that otherwise we might not achieve if we were not given a little stress to stimulate us. But chronic stress is not what we want in our lives and this can completely wear down your body if it is constantly being bombarded with all of the biological reactions and signals your body sends you when it is put on alert all of the time. It also should be noted that if stress is left unresolved this could lead to more serious psychological problems and disorders.

When a person is depressed and if it's caused from stress, the symptoms of both can actually overlap one another. The signs of depression are some of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Changes in Appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Digestive Problems
Stress is manifested in the exact same manner so it makes it hard to distinguish between the two since their symptoms are basically the same. This is why it's important that stress does not go unresolved. If you can resolve the stress then the symptoms should go away. However, if they don't go away then it could mean that over time the stress has led to depression which in turn is far harder to combat than the stress itself.

Since the two can't be easily distinguished by a lay person it's a good idea to take the issue to your doctor. You doctor will be able to figure out with the right questions asked whether your depression is caused by stress and treatment could be as simple as learning how to relax, exercise, meditation, prayer or yoga. If the depression is caused from a different source then there may be a need for medication as well as psychotherapy.

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