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    The Relationship Between Stress and Depression

    When you are experiencing something stressful, does it go into a full-blown depression? You could be dealing with the stress of coping with the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a financial burden, or other causes. Stress is how we respond when life overwhelms us with challenges that bring us down. Depression is when sadness persists for two weeks or longer. When a stressful experience triggers depression, it can make it harder to deal with the stress.

    If your stress goes untreated, that is when depression can come into play. Your appetite, sleeping habits, and ability to concentrate can be negatively impacted. This connection can work the other way around as well where depression can come first and lead to stress. No matter which one comes first, both stress and depression cannot be ignored.

    By understanding the relationship between stress and depression, you will understand the importance of treatment.

    How Stress and Depression Connect

    Depression can cause stress and vice versa with both making each other worse. Depression can bring stress to your life where you isolate yourself and stop activities you used to like. The depression of losing your loved one can follow stressful funeral preparations and loneliness. Feeling too sad or too numb to put yourself out there again can be stressful.

    Stress can also lead to depression such as if you are going through a divorce. All of these sad feelings about your marriage coming to an end and what your life will be like going forward can leave you depressed. Even in terms of the pandemic, the stress of social isolation and your normal life being disrupted can lead to depression.

    How Stress Can Affect Depression

    Stress can make you feel like you cannot cope with life’s challenges which you need to manage depression. If your stress is not treated, your depression will worsen. Once your usual routine changes for the worse, unhealthy coping skills tend to come into play like drugs or alcohol. What you may not know is that abusive substances can actually make your mental health symptoms increase.

    While there is such a thing as good stress like preparing for a wedding, bad stress can increase your negative thoughts. These negative thoughts fuel depression as a result of the frustration you are going through.

    Lifestyle Changes

    Overcoming the stress-depression cycle is not a matter of just “sucking it up.” A few lifestyle changes can make a difference in how you cope when negative feelings come about.

    One thing you can do when you feel overwhelmed is exercise for an hour a few days a week. Those feel-good endorphins will kick into high gear. Limit the amount of caffeine you have as too much of it can make your stress even more intense. Get seven to eight hours of sleep to relax your body for each new day.

    Whatever you do, cut alcohol, drugs, and junk food out of your routine. The temporary high they give you will only destroy your energy and lead to long-term health problems.

    Look for Support

    You are never alone in your stress and depression. There will always be someone out there who is just as overwhelmed or even more so. Talking to friends and family is a good way of telling yourself why the stress and depression is there. A good friend or family member will listen to you, hold your hand, and even give you a hug to let you know everything will be okay. Keeping your negative feelings inside will only help them grow.

    Stress and depression are two mental health conditions that can ruin your day. Looking for coping options can help brighten your day and your outlook on life. If you are still struggling with stress and depression, a mental health professional will show you the way towards a carefree you.