Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Am I Depressed Or Just Stressed

What Is The Difference Between Stress And Depression

Am I just stressed, or am I suffering from Anxiety?

Whether its a traffic jam on the way to work, an important job interview, or the death of a loved one, everyone experiences varying degrees of stress from time to time. In small doses, stress can be beneficial. It can motivate you to reach your goals and help you accomplish tasks more efficiently. Stress is key for human survival, but too much stress can be detrimental to your health.

Whether its a traffic jam on the way to work, an important job interview, or the death of a loved one, everyone experiences varying degrees of stress from time to time. In small doses, stress can be beneficial. It can motivate you to reach your goals and help you accomplish tasks more efficiently. Stress is key for human survival, but too much stress can be detrimental to your health. When you feel stressed for weeks or months on end, stress can make it difficult to concentrate, disrupt your sleep, and make you feel like you cant overcome challenges in your life. At times, you may feel burned out, or perhaps even depressed. While stress and depression share some similarities, depression is a more serious and long-lasting condition that requires a different kind of treatment.

Common signs of stress

  • Inability to concentrate or complete tasks

  • Trouble falling asleep or staying awake

  • Feeling overwhelmed

What is the difference between stress and depression?

How to deal with stress and depression

Depression treatment at Alvarado Parkway Institute

Take Care Of Your Body

A healthy body can help you manage stress. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep, eat healthy food, stay hydrated and exercise regularly. Go easy on the caffeine. Shorting yourself on sleep, and especially pulling an all-nighter, robs you of energy and your ability to concentrate. A healthy diet improves your ability to learn. Don’t skip breakfast.

There’s No One Reason For Depression

Lots of things influence whether a person gets depressed. Some of it is biology things like our genes, brain chemistry, and hormones. Some is environment, including daylight and seasons, or social and family situations we face. And some is personality, like how we react to life events or the support systems we create for ourselves. All these things can help shape whether or not a person becomes depressed.


Research shows that depression runs in families. Some people inherit genes that contribute to depression. But not everyone who has a family member with depression will develop it too. And many people with no family history of depression still get depressed. So genes are one factor, but they aren’t the only reason for depression.

Brain Chemistry

Chemicals called neurotransmitters help send messages between nerve cells in the brain. Some neurotransmitters regulate mood. When a person is depressed, these neurotransmitters might be in low supply or not effective enough.

Genes and brain chemistry can be connected: Having the genes for depression may make a person more likely to have the neurotransmitter problem that is part of depression.

Stress, Health, and Hormones

Things like stress, using alcohol or drugs, and hormone changes also affect the brain’s delicate chemistry and mood.

Getting enough sleep and regular exercise often has a positive effect on neurotransmitter activity and mood.

Daylight and Seasons

Life Events

Family and Social Environment

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Antidepressant Side Effects And How To Deal With Them

Antidepressants can have side effects. Signs and symptoms such as weight gain, nausea, or trouble sleeping can happen almost immediately. Many people see these side effects improve after a few weeks. For others, antidepressants cause side effects that do not ease. First, individuals should talk to a doctor or mental health professional about any side effects once they appear. Blood tests can help adjust dosages to decrease side effects. If certain side effects are especially difficult to handle, individuals may be tempted to stop taking or reduce the amount of the antidepressant on their own. Either action can cause great harm:

  • Depression symptoms may quickly return.
  • May have withdrawal-like symptoms.

Doing so in consultation with a doctor is the best option in all cases

Causes And Risk Factors

Am I Sad or Depressed?

While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is far more complicated. Certain medications, such as barbiturates, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, and specific blood pressure medicine can trigger symptoms in some peopleas can hypothyroidism . But most commonly, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors that can vary wildly from one person to another.

Despite what you may have seen in TV ads, read in newspaper articles, or maybe even heard from a doctor, depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, having too much or too little of any brain chemical that can be simply cured with medication. Biological factors can certainly play a role in depression, including inflammation, hormonal changes, immune system suppression, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, nutritional deficiencies, and shrinking brain cells. But psychological and social factorssuch as past trauma, substance abuse, loneliness, low self-esteem, and lifestyle choicescan also play an enormous part.

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Irritability And Angry Outbursts

Typically, symptoms must last at least two weeks for depression to be diagnosed, so take this into consideration throughout the depression quiz then ask for an assessment from a mental health professional for further information and treatment, Furthermore, medical conditions such as vitamin deficiency can be mistaken for symptoms of depression so it is important to fully consider all possible causes as you take any depression quiz or inventory. Mental health can impact your energy levels, how tired you are, your stress, sleeping habits, mood, thoughts, and so much more. Keep reading to find out more about what treatment might be right for you.

The Different Types Of Depression

Depression is classified in a number of ways. The types of depression that this test looks for are: major depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymia , dysthymia , postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Each one presents different symptoms and represents a distinct diagnosis. You can learn more about each of these types of depression after you take the test and get your results. Please note that other variants of depression exist which are not tested for on this web site.

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Lets Talk About Stress

For one, stress is typically defined as a response to an external trigger, and can either be acute or chronic . In an ideal world, the duration of the stress response corresponds with its trigger: Once a stressor has been dealt with, the body can return to its natural baseline state.

Acute stress. Remember the pit in your stomach from before? Thats an example of the stress response, which you might know better as fight-or-flight. When youre triggered by something stressful, your brain floods your body with hormones that push you to react: Blood moves away from digestive organs and into your limbs, allowing you to move more efficiently and quickly. Your heart beats faster and breathing speeds up, bringing more oxygen into the bloodstream.

Stress evolved as a survival mechanism, designed to make it easier for us to fight or flee from life-threatening triggers. Today, even though unreasonable emails do not warrant the same urgency as a hungry tiger on the savannah, our bodies dont know the difference. While stress might not feel great in the moment, it can still be helpful by motivating us to stay alert and take action when we need to.

In fact, the Yerkes-Dodson law in psychology proposes that moderate levels of stress are optimal for peak performance. We tend to talk about this state as being in the zone or in flow. Too little stress leads to low level performance, whereas too much is a recipe for needless fight-or-flight.

Where Can I Get More Help And Information

AM I DEPRESSED? Or Just Sad? Depression Explained in Detail By A Licensed Counselor

For more information speak to your GP or seek advice from Mind and Anxiety UK.

The following advice is as accurate and as comprehensive as possible but it is only general advice and should not be used as a substitute for the individual advice you might receive from consulting your own doctor.

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Read Also: How To Deal With Severe Stress

Ways You Can Look After Yourself

If youre depressed, there are steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery. These steps can help if youve been depressed in the past and want to stay well.

  • Talk about how youre feeling. Talking to someone you trust, or finding peer support, can help you feel better and less alone.
  • Eat well. A healthy diet can lift your mood and maintain your mental health.
  • Stay physically active. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can ease the symptoms of depression. Research suggests it may be as effective as antidepressants in helping you feel better.
  • Spend time in nature. Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression
  • Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. They may feel like theyre helping at first, but they make things worse in the long run.
  • Try talking therapy to stay well. NICE guidelines recommend CBT or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy if youve been depressed in the past.

Why You Should Track The Timing Of Symptoms

Dimitriu says another way to tell the difference between depression and sleep deprivation is the timing.

Depression is characterized by a time period of two or more weeks of a persistently low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in doing things. Its extreme, and it doesnt let up after a few days.

Many psychiatric diagnoses cluster around a 4- to 14-day time span for any mood episode to count, Dimitriu explains. Noting that symptoms may vary day to day, the other rule is that these mood symptoms are present more days than not during such a time.

If any concern stretches for about a week and has an impact on your quality of life, its probably a good idea to inform your doctor.

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Whats The Difference Between Sadness And Depression

Depression is about being sad, surebut its more than that. Depression is a mental illness that involves a lot of symptoms, like feeling exhausted all the time, losing interest in activities you normally enjoy, or thoughts of death and suicide. Episodes of depression last at least 2 weeks at a time. They can be triggered by a sad event or they can seemingly come of out of nowhere.

How Can Your Doctor Test Your Stress Level

I am going through stress and depression... (more info in ...

There is no standardized test to formally diagnose stress because stress is subjectivewhat feels very stressful for one person may not cause high levels of stress for another. Only the person experiencing stress can determine how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.

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Satyamev Jayate Makes An Impact

Hyacinth Pereira, Senior Vice President of the Vandrevala Foundation, reports on the volume and range of calls received after the Foundation’s mental health helpline number was shared on the popular Indian television talk show Satyamev Jayate hosted by popular Bollywood actor and filmmaker Aamir Khan.

Stressed Or Depressed Know The Difference

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, you are not alone it’s practically a fact of life on college campuses. A poll conducted by mtvU and the Associated Press in the spring of 2009 reported that 85% of students say they experience stress on a daily basis.

Stress is good if it motivates you but it’s bad if it wears you down. Many factors can contribute to the stress you experience, and this stress can cause changes in your body that affect your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.

Depression is more serious and long-lasting than stress, and requires a different kind of help. In a 2010 survey by the American College Health Association, 28% of college students reported feeling so depressed at some point they had trouble functioning, and 8% sought treatment for depression.

The good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. However, it’s not something you can snap out of by yourself, so it’s important to get help. How do you tell the difference between stress and depression? Both can affect you in similar ways, but there are key differences. Symptoms of depression can be much more intense. They last at least two weeks. Depression causes powerful mood changes, such as painful sadness and despair. You may feel exhausted and unable to act.

Here are common signs of stress and depression. Which fits you best?

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When Should You Seek Help

Talk to your doctor if you experience sadness for longer than two weeks. And call emergency services to receive immediate medical help if youre having suicidal thoughts.

Note if your feelings interfere with your ability to function, take part in life, or experience enjoyment. Speaking to a professional, like a therapist, clergy member, or other trusted person, can be a powerful first step toward recovery.

How To Prevent Relapse From Depression

Why am I so stressed or depressed? One year into COVID.

Depression is treatable, but symptoms can return.23 Research shows that relapse rates for depression for people who have had:

One episode of depression is 50%50%Two episodes of depression is 70%70%Three or more episodes of depression is 90%90%

These numbers reinforce why it is so important to have the right relapse plan in place. A depression relapse prevention plan prevents or limits recurrences.

An effective relapse prevention plan has a continued treatment for symptoms even after they have gone away. And a list of triggers to identify and avoid.

Most people relapse because they stopped following their treatment plan. It is crucial that patients attend all treatment sessions and take medicines on schedule. They should work on recognize when a depression trigger pops up and avoiding these triggers. If they find themselves dwelling on thoughts and failures, they should immediately stop. Using strategies from cognitive behavioral therapy or other therapies can successfully combat negative thoughts.

Take care of oneself is equally as important. Making sure to get enough sleep, proper nutrition, and adequate exercise can help mental and physical health.

If the early signs of a relapse do not go away, reaching out for help before the episode becomes severe is critical. Individuals should seek help from a healthcare professional right away to get evaluated for a relapse.

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How To Tell When Burnout Turns Into Depression

If you’re thinking the definition of burnout sounds eerily similar to depression, you’re not alone. This is exactly what a recent study in the International Journal of Stress Management sought to determine. What researchers found was pretty staggering: Of 5,000 teachers, 90 percent that the researchers identified as “burned out” also met diagnostic criteria for depression. And last year, a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology found a massive overlap of symptoms, including sleep change, fatigue, and anhedoniathe inability to find pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.

While the symptoms of depression and burnout may look similar, there are still key differences. If you perk up outside of the office when you’re doing other things, it’s likely burnout rather than depression, says David Hellerstein, M.D., professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and author of Heal Your Brain: How the New Neuropsychiatry Can Help You Go from Better to Well. There’s also a distinct line when it comes to treatment: The prescription for burnout might be simply be to get a new job, but a new office environment or interesting career opportunity may not help someone who is depressed feel better, says Dr. Hellerstein.

This Quiz Will Help You Figure Out What’s Going On

  • Have you experienced any kind of change, loss, or trauma recently?
  • Yes
  • Have you experienced a loss of interest in normal activities such as hobbies or sports?
  • Yes
  • Are you experiencing tiredness, sleep problems, or a lack of energy?
  • Yes
  • Have your daily patterns shifted in a drastic way?
  • Yes
  • Do you feel as though you have a purpose in life?
  • Yes
  • Are you reliant on substances, people, or circumstances to bring you happiness or relief?
  • Yes
  • Do you feel like there is stability in your life?
  • Yes
  • Do you feel that you have a person to talk through emotions and feelings with?
  • Yes
  • Have you or people close to you struggled with depression or thoughts of suicide?
  • Yes
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    Feeling Depressed Or Suffering From Depression

    We often get mixed up between low mood and unhappiness and depression. The two things are very different. Depression isnt about feeling unhappy, its feeling youll never be happy again, explains Colin Grange, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Lifeworks.

    If youre feeling low, is it starting to interfere with your day to day life? Are you not doing things that you used to do? Are you losing motivation in and enjoyment of life? Are you starting to not enjoy your hobbies? Is everything becoming an effort?

    People suffering from clinical depression often experience a range of symptoms both physical and emotional which can interfere with day to day life. Discovering whether you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms could be an important step towards getting the help you need.

    Quiz: Am I depressed?

    • 6min

    What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions

    Am I Depressed or Just Sleep Deprived?

    Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.

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