Stress Related Depression: Connecting The Dots

1555 words - 6 pages

Stress & Depression

Running head: STRESS RELATED DEPRESSION:

CONNECTING THE DOTS

STRESS RELATED TO DEPRESSION: CONNECTING THE DOTS

Abstract

Stress has been linked to an increasing number of mental and physical illnesses in recent years. Specifically, depression related to stress has been shown to affect patients of all ages in both genders.

Stress is defined as a mental or physical tension resulting from physical, emotional or chemical factors. Emerging research shows that depression related to stress affects male and female patients covering a wide range of ages from puberty to later-life. In addition to mental health practitioners the link between stress and depression is of interest to employers and insurers because of the potential economic impact of the disorder. An examination of the relationship between stress and depression will be presented along with the currently available treatment options.

Stress Related Depression: Connecting the Dots

Stress is defined as a mentally or emotionally distracting condition occurring because of difficult pressures ("Stress-Book Rags Essay Workshop", 23 October 2005). These pressures can either be physical or emotional, and can be manifest in numerous ways, however the symptoms they produce are often subtle and ill defined. Sufferers do not often describe themselves as stressed or depressed. Instead they might say, "I am feeling blue", "I can't seem to sleep at night because I can't turn my brain off", or "I just can't wake up, I always feel exhausted" ("Stress-Book Rags Essay Workshop", 23 October 2005).

Despite the vague nature of the symptoms the signs of stress are quite real. Among the typical physical signs of stress are increased heart rate and blood pressure, irritability, lack of concentration, and depression (Jeff Davidson, 1997). Emotional signs of stress can include feelings of worthlessness, dampened spirits, and a feeling of lack of control. These signs are observed in both genders at almost any age, and in the extreme have rarely been shown to be fatal ("Stress-Book Rags Essay Workshop", 23 October 2005).

Some types of stress can lead to a positive path such as the performance boost resulting from test anxiety, and these will not be addressed here. Other forms of stress can cause us to exceed the limits of our coping abilities as can be seen in cases of road rage. It is these negative stressors that can lead to depression and put limits on the daily lives of its sufferers that will be the focus here.

There exists a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation among the American public regarding depression. While depression is recognized as a clinically diagnosable and treatable mental illness the term is also commonly used by lay people to describe nothing more that a "depressed" mood. This casual reference to a serious medical condition discounts its validity and creates a stigma for those with true...

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