When you can understand how stress can result in depression and anxiety, you may be able to prevent it before it gets out of hand. People who have had anxiety and depression in the past are more prone to a relapse when they are under stress.
Direct and Indirect Effects of Stress
Stress directly affects your mood. When you’re under stress, you can begin to suffer cognitive changes, insomnia, and irritability that can directly lead to depression and anxiety. Stress can also result in indirect effects that lead to depression and anxiety.
When you are under stress, you often fail to execute some of the coping strategies you need to have in place in order to stay mentally healthy.
Stress can lower your mood, leading to depression and can raise your anxiety level by keeping you chronically worried. An example of this would be excessive stress at work. This can cause you to overwork so that you don’t take the time to do those activities, like yoga and jogging, as much as you should. This isolates you and leads to depression.
Early Depressive Symptoms can create further Stress
When you are under stress and find yourself experiencing changes in your mood, this can result in a spiraling of your mood so you become excessively depressed.
An example of this would be becoming so irritable at work that you get a complaint about your behavior. This makes you even more stressed out and can have a negative impact on your mood.
In addition, when your concentration is impaired, you make more mistakes and this can lead to added stress and depression.
Things like withdrawing, being irritable, and overworking can lead to strife within your relationships. When you are over-stressed, you are less available on an emotional level to your loved ones.
If you have had a past history of depression, you need to pay attention to that and pay closer attention to your relationships. If the strife in the relationship gets too big, it can result in one member of a partnership wanting to leave the other, and this can lead to increased anxiety and depression.
Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
If you engage in unhealthy coping skills because of stress, this can negatively affect your mood. It may cause you to smoke more cigarettes or drink more alcohol-both things that are not only physically bad for you but affect your emotions as well. Practicing coping through avoiding your stressors only increases the stress in your life, which results in anxiety and depression.
Disrupted Routines in your Life
You need to self-regulate and keep the routines in your life, well, routine. Keeping a tight schedule and doing things as they are meant to be will raise your mood and stave off feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety.
Go to sleep at the same time every night, keep consistent eating, and exercise routines so that you are less stressed and your life will be less chaotic. Chaos in your life only leads to added anxiety and depression.
Ways to Prevent Stress-related Depression
Here are some tips you can make use of to prevent depression from taking over:
• Keep track of early indicators that tell you that you are headed toward anxiety and depression. If you notice you’re getting more irritable, it is time to slow down and keep the stress level to a minimum.
• Make yourself aware of what coping strategies you do have. Use those strategies as much as possible so that you don’t get yourself into a cycle of stress and depression.
• Keep track of those barriers that prevent you from functioning under stress. For example, if you don’t have the cash to go out to dinner with friends, try a cheaper option, such as having coffee with friends instead.
• Make a list of the things you can do to prevent depression when you see the early warning signs. Use that list as a way to reduce the stress in your life so you remain connected to friends instead of isolating and becoming depressed.
• Use your relationships as resources for good health. You will need them when you are under stress and you may avoid depression just by spending time with loved ones at crucial times in your life.