Depression as a Response to Stress?
Everyone responds differently to stress and some people may have negative reactions that affect their mental health. Depending on genetic factors and many other variables, an individual may be more susceptible to stress and feel overwhelmed by it while others might feel energized and want to overcome the challenge. People that are more sensitive to stress may be more likely to experience depression as a response to stressful situations.
Studies have shown that people who experience depression in response to stress have an area of the brain that is more active than others. The group of neurons in the front of the brain that are associated with worrying and thinking about yourself tend to be highly active in depressed people. This suggests that there are biological factors that could determine whether someone develops depression or tends to become more depressed when they experience stress.
For people who are more sensitive to stress it is important for them to have time away from stress before they become overwhelmed. They may be able to handle certain low stress levels but repeated triggering situations could cause them to become depressed. Chronic stress can lead to elevated hormone levels and reduced serotonin which is associated with depression.
When stressful situations occur it is important to allow time for the stress response to shut off and reset especially for people who are more prone to depression. Giving yourself a break through a mini-vacation from time to time and practicing regular stress reduction techniques like meditation can be helpful in avoiding bouts of depression. It is also helpful to have a healthy lifestyle and avoid substances like alcohol which can worsen symptoms of depression.
Although some people may be more sensitive they can take steps to avoid experiencing depression as a response whenever they feel stressed.