The Relationship Between Stress and Depression: Signs to Watch Out For

Please note: If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Your life matters.

There are a number of factors that can cause depression, and stress can certainly take part. Stress isn’t always bad; distress is used to describe stress that wears you down, makes you feel overwhelmed, and causes you to feel burned out over time, while eustress is a positive form of stress that propels you to take charge in that job interview, make big decisions by deadlines, and more. Much of what stress can lead to depends on how you handle it – if your distress causes you too much pain over time, it can lead to depression. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that 16.1 million Americans experience depression each year, making this a very unfortunate yet common cause for concern.

You’ll know you’re experiencing chronic stress when you have: low energy, headaches, insomnia, frequent colds (because your immune system is weakened), loss of libido, aches and pains, tense muscles, and more. These symptoms can easily transform into symptoms of depression, however, and you can recognize this by the following:

  •       Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable to you
  •       Changes in your sleeping patterns
  •       Feeling “empty” or hopeless
  •       Frequently crying
  •       Feeling as though there’s nothing to look forward to in your future
  •       Suicidal thoughts
  •       Eating problems (weight gain or weight loss)

A 2015 study published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry states that chronic stress is associated with hyperactivity in the amygdala (a component in the brain that helps regulate our emotions), hypoactivity of the hippocampus (a component in the brain that helps regulate memory), and more, making our brain more vulnerable to developing mood disorders such as depression. The first step you need to take is to begin taking steps towards your happiness, health, and wellbeing. Your journey to recovery may include medication, therapy, meditation, a healthy diet, surrounding yourself with people who love and support you, cutting back on taxing responsibilities, and more. Begin taking the steps that you need to take today – your mind, body, and spirit will be grateful you did.

Avalon Integrative Wellness offers an innovative approach to wellness and the exciting brand shift of our program emphasizes the importance of integrative wellness through experiential frameworks. Clients at Avalon Integrative Wellness learn, act, experience, grow, heal, and evolve, concurrently. If you’re ready to optimize your health and well-being, call us today at 888-266-9048.

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