Relationship between Stress and Depression

Good Mental Health

According to HelpGuide.org, practicing good mental health means being in control of your emotions, moods and psychological wellness. It also means developing strong relationships with people and living a balanced life.

Definition of Stress

The Hormone Foundation defines stress as physical, emotion, or psychological pressure or strain.

Long-Term Stress

Long-term stress is also called chronic stress according to The Hormone Foundation. Chronic stress produces high levels of cortisol and adrenalin hormones into the bloodstream. The body is unable to compensate for the increased influx of these hormones and health problems such as depression might occur.

Common Types of Chronic Stresses

The Journal of the American Medical Association identifies common types of chronic stresses as changes in lifestyle, such as becoming a care-taker for aging parents or pursuing academic goals, while child-rearing. An increase in work responsibilities, a change in tour of duty hours, being laid-off or terminated are other examples of chronic stresses.

Stress Warning Signals

The American Psychological Association notes prolonged stress will result in symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, fatigue and anxiety.

Prevention/Solution

The Patient Education Institute suggests stress prevention tools to include planning major life events, not overextending commitments, exercising and having a nutritious diet. Their stress management tools include positive thinking, utilizing relaxation techniques, and seeking professional assistance if necessary. Everyone strives for good mental health. However, life has peaks, valleys and changes as the aging process continues. This may cause stress. Depression can develop if stress persists for a long period of time.