Stress is one element in life that is inevitable. It has happened to everyone. It does not matter whether you are rich, poor, famous or just an ordinary deck worker. You get stressed out when things are too overwhelming for you. Although stress in itself is not so bad if it comes in small doses because it helps you to become more efficient in achieving your goals and dreams, which is a very important key to human survival. Stress becomes detrimental to your health if it becomes too much and unattended to. Too much stress can lead to loss of focus, sleeplessness and depression, which are all bad for your health, especially depression which can lead to suicide if not treated.
What is the difference between stress and depression?
Stress is when one is under tension or emotional and mental strain caused by her overwhelming situation or environment, while depression has to do with an unhealthy mental health that affects your feelings, actions and thinking negatively.
Most times, you can get rid of your stress by relaxing, getting enough sleep or going for a vacation, but depression can have long lasting effects which, fortunately, is treatable through therapy and a well-balanced self- care routine.
What are the Causes of Stress?
There are a lot of things that can cause stress. It could be smaller things that you have been holding and building up on or a big situation that triggered it. But below are some of the reasons why you might be experiencing stress.
- Always worrying about something
- Having or facing big troubles in your life
- Inability to control a particular situation
- Overwhelming situations in your life
How to Identify Stress?
If you are deep into your daily activities or routine, you might miss the signs of stress and, by doing so, you could make it become worse by not paying attention to it. There are ways you can recognize stress by watching out for the signs which are shown.
Through your behavior
If you notice that you are feeling difficult to relax and enjoy life, or you always use drugs and alcohol to feel good or better about yourself, then you are getting those signs because of how stressed you are.
Through your emotions
When you start getting angry over things that you would normally overlook, or getting frustrated about things, you are probably going through stress and need to relax so as to calm your nerves down.
Through your physical health
Stress can also cause you to have physical health problems. You might start to lose weight, have a shift in the time your menstrual period comes, low sex drive and high blood pressure because of over working and thinking
Through your mental state
It is when you are having trouble focusing on what you are supposed to do, having memory problems, being absent minded and having anxiety, which can all be caused by stress.
What are the Common Signs of Stress?
When you get stressed, there are symptoms that come with it and it’s important you know the common signs of stress so as to put it in check before it gets to a point where it takes a toll on your mental and physical health.
Below are some of the common signs of stress
- Having indigestion
- Mood swings
- Frequently falling sick
- Low sex drive
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Not feeling energetic
- Having both joints pains and headaches
- Having problems focusing on anything
- Fast heart beat
What are the Types of Stress?
Even though it’s a known fact that stress is not good for one’s health, not all stress is harmful. You might be experiencing no harmful stress or you might be experiencing which may involve the following below:
This is the type of stress you feel for a short amount of time. It is not harmful but does not help you feel good either. It is the day to day stress we experience in our lives.
This is the type of stress that is usually triggered by trauma from a bad experience either gotten during your childhood, teenage or adult life.
The episodic acute stress
Unlike acute stress, this one lasts for a long time. It caused distress in your life before it became part of your life. You have incorporated it into your lifestyle.
What are the Causes of Depression?
There are direct causes of depression. There are still no proven facts about what causes depression, but there are factors and possible causes of depression which are listed below.
- The factor has to do with the environment you live in.
- The factor of genetics
- The factor of social life and mental health
- The factor of experience or trauma
How to Identify Depression?
If you are able to recognize when you are falling into depression, it will be easier to diagnose and treat. Below are ways you can identify depression.
Through your emotions
When you have mood swings where you switch in between your emotions in a sudden manner, like going from being happy to being very sad in a matter of seconds, it should be a sign to look at for.
Through your social life
When you start losing interest in doing certain things that usually make you happy or you start having the need to avoid or distance yourself from friends and family, it should be because you are falling into depression.
Through your mental state
When you start having thoughts of dying and wanting to leave this world, or thinking you are worthless and inferior to other people, it is a strong sign that you are depressed.
What are the Common Signs of Depression?
Being able to notice the signs of depression is very important for your overall well being. It will help you get the help needed on time and prevent you doing any lasting damage to yourself or committing suicide. Below are the common signs of depression.
- Always feeling tired
- Feeling not worth living, love, attention, help and support.
- Always feeling guilty about everything, including being alive.
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Need to avoid being around people
- Lost of interest in everything
- Always thinking of death
- Continuous feeling of sadness and emptiness
- Eating too much or too little
What are the Types of Depression?
Depression has different kinds of it, and they come in different ways. They affect your emotions, mental and physical state. Below are the types of depression.
This has to do with one always behind sadness, you don’t enjoy anything and nothing makes you happy, not your job, family, friends or partner.
Persistent depressive disorder
Another name for this type of depression is dysthymia, which deals with people having depressive disorder where they experience different symptoms of depression which last up to two years.
This deals with having constant changes in mood, activity level and energy that make it difficult to go about your daily routine and activities.
This is when you become detached from reality, making and having false beliefs while also being delusional.
This mostly happens to women who have been put to bed. It deals with a shift in hormones after childbirth which results in a change in mood, feeling of tiredness, low self-esteem and restlessness.
Ways to cope with Stress and Depression
When your stress level has hit an all time high and has led to depression, which makes it difficult to carry out your day to day activities, job or be able to be around family and friends, do the following below to attain a healthy lifestyle that can help you cope with stress or depression.
Exercise has its way of releasing tension from the body. It not only helps you to keep fit physically, but also helps to elevate and put you in a good mood. This is possible because of the hormones of endorphins which are released during exercise.
Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to stay healthy mentally. A happy mind is a healthy mind which reduces stress and prevents depression. Map out a plan for your self care, eat healthy food, go on vacations, enjoy the good life your money can afford and, above all, do things that make you happy.
Stay away from drugs and alcohol
Using drugs or alcohol to deal with your stress or depression only helps you for a short time. Once the effects fade off, you go back to feeling the same way you felt before taking them. It is advisable to stay away from drugs and alcohol, and deal with your emotions without them.
Surround yourself with people who support you
It’s important to have the support of loved ones, especially in times of stress and sadness. Be around people that will make you laugh, love and support you while giving you the words of encouragement you need to move on with your life.
This helps you to relax and release the tensions in your body. It calms you down and helps you seek clarity with yourself and life.
Take the prescribed anxiety-relieving drugs given to you by your doctor, which help to reduce anxiety. Also, take your depression drug which will help keep your mood stable and help manage the symptoms.
Thinking happy thoughts is another way of dealing with stress and depression. When you zone out into that negative energy, try to imagine or visualize your favorite things, like food, music books or moments. It will help calm you down and bring you to a happy space.
This helps you to take back control of life, you get to learn how to manage the symptoms of depression and how to come out of it.
Having a healthy lifestyle is very important and should be prioritized by everyone, so you should know the difference between stress and depression. That is why it is important for you to manage your stress levels so as to avoid falling into depression.