Friday, November 3, 2017

The Inter-Relationship of Stress and Depression

Stress and depression are inter-related. Stress is one of the causes of depression, while a depressive episode often creates undue stress that only further aggravates the depression symptoms and prolongs the depressive episode.

There are many factors causing stress.

Emotional Factors

Anger, bitterness, disappointment, and envy are some of the human emotions that often lead to anxiety, distress, and even depression. 

Environmental and Eventful Factors

A dangerous environment, such as walking alone in the dark or in an unsafe neighborhood, can be stressful.

A work environment with racial discrimination or sexual harassment can be stressful too. According to the American Institute of Stress, up to one million employees’ absence per day are stress related. In addition, work environment may create stress due to feeling unproductive, inability to concentrate on work, unrealistic and unreasonable demands from employers or co-workers.

Stressful life events may also lead to elevated stress levels. Special life events—whether they are positive or negative—can be stressful, such as getting married or planning a wedding, graduation, starting a new job, buying a home, or even going on a vacation.

Financial Factors

Finance is one of the main stress factors in contemporary life and living due to rampant unemployment, not having enough money to make both ends meet, debt from credit cards or reckless over-spending, bankruptcy, and home foreclosure, among other financial problems.

Health Factors

The American Academy of Family Physicians once estimated that two-thirds of all family doctor visits are stress related.

Health problems can be triggered by alcohol, sugar, and tobacco addiction. Chronic health problems, such as autoimmune diseases, cancers and heart-related health issues, are particularly stressful after diagnoses and during treatments..

Relationship Factors

Relationships are often a source of emotional and psychological problems, such as break-up in a love relationship, separation and divorce, dealing with teenager problems, and coping with aging parents.

William Shakespeare once said: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” John Milton, the famous English poet, also had this to say: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” Both spoke volumes of the perceptions of stress.

Therefore, subconscious energies of the mind play a pivotal role in stress management.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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