People who deal with stress on a daily basis experience an abundance of negative side effects, including depression. If you’re one of these people and you’ve been spending time in a depression chat room or researching online for ways to ease your stress to no avail, take a look at the article below to help you understand the link between stress and depression and what you can do to help yourself, instead of just online groups for depression chats; which you can read more about here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/can-a-depression-chat-room-be-helpful/.
The Link Between Stress and Depression
Stress is capable of causing depression both chemically as well as by making it more difficult to defend yourself against a depressive episode. According to Stephanie Dobbin, LMFT, CGP, “Stress is a big, broad term. It can come in many shapes and stripes.”
When people experience stress, they release a chemical known as cortisol. This is a normal response to brief moments of stress and typically has no negative effects on the body. However, when people who are experiencing long periods of stress or chronic stress continually produce this chemical because of this stress, it leads to a lower production of serotonin and dopamine, which is one of the causes of depression.
Fact: 44.88% of teens feel stressed “all the time,” compared to just 12.18% who are “rarely” stressed, and 6.3% who are “never” stressed. – Jonathan Frecceri, M.A., LMFT
Stress can also cause depression by affecting your daily schedule and the way that you interact with the world and the people around you. For example, let’s imagine that you’ve recently been accepted into a fast-paced, demanding job. Your boss soon gives you several lengthy assignments that are due in a few days and you’re not used to this. However, you do it and you manage to get all of the work done right before the deadline. This wouldn’t usually be a problem but this becomes a weekly occurrence and you find yourself stressed out all of the time.
Because of this, you begin to push important things and people out of your life in order to successfully complete the demanding amount of work that has been given to you. You soon begin to feel isolated, angry, and sad that you aren’t able to fit anything that you enjoy into your schedule. Over time, these feelings will get to you and you are susceptible to developing depression.
What Can I Do About It?
Elizabeth York, M.Ed, LPC, LMFT says “Stress has both positive and negative impact on our lives. The hormones released with stress are used to preserve life and limb from harm.”
If you’re dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress that could cause you to develop depression or if you have already developed depression as a result of your stress, here are some things that you can do to help yourself.
1. Create Some Peace
Make room in your day to take care of your emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Even if you just take an hour in the morning to partake in activities such as meditation and exercise, it’ll make a world of difference in how you deal with things throughout your day and how you manage your depression. Set aside time at the same time each day to do some of these exercises so that you will be better able to fight off stress and depression symptoms.
2. Eliminate Stress Where You Can
While you probably won’t be able to quit your job in the theoretical situation above, you probably can figure out ways to keep your stress down. Whether it be spacing out your work to better cope or eliminating stress in other parts of your life such as your relationships or home life, figure out solutions to better help your mental well-being. There are always ways to make yourself less stressed if you look hard enough.
3. Ask for Help
Stress is made even worse when you force yourself to deal with it alone. Instead of doing this, seek help from your friends, family, or even from a therapist. These people will help you get your feelings off of your chest and may even offer some useful advice in the process.