Stress and Depression Answers :: Treatment for Depression and Anxiety
If You Don't Manage Your Stress - Even "Happy" Stress . . .
Treatment for Depression And Anxiety
May Become Necessary
Stress, left untreated, can lead to anxiety and depression. The treatment for depression and anxiety becomes more involved and complicated than what you do for stress. Therefore, if you can learn to manage and effectively cope with your stress so it is "released" and dissipated you'll fare better in the long run.
What is stress?
Stress has been defined as a physical or psychological stimulus. It can produce mental tension, or physiological reactions that may lead to illness (American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary).
Another definition is a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. It may be a factor in causing disease including heart disease and cancer.
Stress disturbs your body's normal state of functioning. Stated simply, your body defines stress as anything that causes a change in your life causes stress. Even "imagined change" - worrying - causes stress.
You'll find numerous articles on our website to help you identify stress and the risks it poses on your health. You'll also find lots of ideas on how to manage stress.
And it's very important for you to correctly manage stress! If all you do is "adapt" to stress you're actually experiencing "distress." In other words, you're not resolving the stress. What you're doing is more like sweeping it under the carpet.
Over time unresolved persistent stress may lead to stress anxiety or depression behavior. But before we delve into a discussion of the treatment for depression and anxiety, there are a few other key things to know about stress.
Happy events cause stress
Stress is not limited to something that makes you worry. Stress is many different kinds of things: happy things, sad things, allergic things, physical things. Many of us carry enormous stress loads and don't even realize it!
These are just a few examples of events and changes that cause your body stress:
You move to a new home
You get a promotion at work
Your car has a flat tire
You give birth to a new baby
You go to a fun party that lasts till 2:00 a.m.
Your dog gets sick
You get a divorce
Your new bedroom set is being delivered
Your best friend and his wife come to stay at your house for a week
You retire from work
You get a bad case of hay fever
You take a family vacation
Yep! All of those cause stress despite the fact you may consider many of these examples to be happy, positive events in your life. Stress is NOT limited to worrying and negative episodes.
And that's also why it's often easier to get overstressed than you might expect. It's why you might experience a stronger or more intense reaction to a relatively minor negative event than you expect. If you have a lot of stress from positive events, a negative stressor may just tip the balance.
That's a brief introduction to what stress is. And we focused on "happy" stressors because these are often what misleads you into thinking you're really not under very much stress. Many of us think all stress is bad and so we don't take these positive stressors into account. The combination of positive and negative stressors compound. And left unmanaged, can lead to more serious mental conditions. Stress can evolve into the need for treatment for depression and anxiety. But a great deal can be done to prevent stress from evolving. Read more about that here on our website.