Stress or Depression?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008
Stress or Depression?
Mon, 05-20-2013 - 12:36pm

How can you tell if you are suffering from stress or if it has turned into depression?


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2011
Tue, 07-23-2013 - 2:53pm
Stress Stress is the tension that results from our daily interaction with the world. Our bodies are equipped with a natural physiological mechanism called the "Fight or Flight" response. Its purpose is to give the body the energy it needs to face the stressful situation. To do this the body automatically increases the heart rate along with the blood supply to the heart and brain, makes more glucose available for quick energy, and breathing becomes more rapid. All of these responses are caused by hormones that return to normal levels once the stress goes away. If stress remains high, the hormone levels stay up and the physiological responses continue to the point where they begin to cause physical damage. Symptoms of Stress The stress response is a physical reaction that impacts your entire body. Symptoms can be physical, emotional, and behavioral. You may experience headaches, an upset stomach, chest pain, high blood pressure, problems sleeping, and heart palpitations. The range of emotional responses includes worry, anxiety, sadness, anger, forgetfulness, and loss of concentration. Common behavioral symptoms are eating too much or too little, crying, social isolation, angry meltdowns, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. Depression Depression is a biochemical imbalance that causes a significant change in mood. The nerve cells in the brain communicate with one another by using chemicals called neurotransmitters. Some of these chemicals play a major role in maintaining moods, so if they are not available in adequate amounts, the result is depression. Symptoms of Depression The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states that the symptoms of depression must be present nearly every day for two weeks and they must be severe enough to impact your ability to function. The key symptoms are low energy and a loss of interest in your normal activities. Your appetite may change, you may gain or lose weight, and sleep may become either excessive or impossible. Depression can cause agitation, affect your ability to concentrate, and result in thoughts of death or suicide.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Fri, 05-24-2013 - 8:45am

HI Brenda,

I've heard if it continues for more than a few weeks than it may be depression. Have you tried to narrow it down to what may be bothering you?