Unfortunately, depression is a serious medical condition that affects every aspect of someone’s life. Being clinically depressed runs far deeper than only feeling sad or blue. Although not inclusive, there are specific symptoms that usually help to diagnosis a depressive disorder, which include ongoing feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in hobbies, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain, feelings of hopelessness, difficulty processing information, and suicidal thoughts. As you can see, this can be quite detrimental to a person’s health. Studies have shown to diagnose someone with depression or a similar illness, the symptoms have to last at least two weeks.
Unfortunately, too much stress or chronic stress can lead to major depression in some individuals, as both types of stress lead to overactivity of the body’s stress-response mechanism. Specifically, chronic stress causes elevated hormones within the body, such as cortisol or the ‘stress hormone,’ and reduces levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are ‘happy’ hormones that help regulate an individual’s mood. Basically, when the stress response fails to turn off or reset after a difficult situation has passed, it can lead to bouts of depression in some patients.
Keep reading for more on the most common illnesses stress is related to.