Stress Awareness Month
We all experience stress from time to time and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Stress is important. It keeps us motivated and alert to respond to danger. However, just like anything else, too much stress can do more harm than good. Chronic stress may, unfortunately, lead to major depression in people who are susceptible to it.
What’s the connection between stress and depression?
Chronic stress, regardless of what causes it, may lead to major depression as it can lead to overactivity of the body’s stress-response mechanism.
Sustained stress can cause hormonal imbalance. It can elevate your levels of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) and reduced some of the neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine. These neurotransmitters are vital in our day-to-day life. They help regulate body processes such as sleep, sex, energy, appetite, and mood.
What are the most common stressors that can lead to depression?
If you are most likely to suffer from depression, you have to watch out for these stressors:
- Major life events such as loss of a loved one (e.g. death, breakup, divorce)
- Trauma such as as war combat or sexual abuse
- Social stressors such as relationship or sexuality issues
- Occupational stress such as being jobless or work overload
- Financial stress
- Stress from having a chronic disease or condition
Modifying the Body’s Stress Response
If you are on the brink of suffering from major depression due to stress, it’s important to make lifestyle changes to modify your body’s response. You can try:
Reaching out to friends and family
Speaking to friends and family for support can help in alleviating stress.
Several studies have shown that regular physical activity can increase the body’s production of endorphins, which are also known as the ‘feel good’ hormones.
Improving your sleep quality
Lack of sleep compounds the effects of stress on the body. People who are consistently sleep deprived are more susceptible to getting depressed than those who have good sleep (both quantity and quality).
Talking to a medical professional
If stress is affecting the way you live, it’s important to talk to someone who is trained to help people who are suffering from chronic stress.
Stress may be vital in our lives but when it gets too much, it’s important to seek appropriate intervention.
If your stress leads you to depression and the conventional therapy isn’t working, NeurOasis TMS can help.