“Tomorrow is my exam, I don’t know anything, I am feeling so depressed”, “Why are you sitting so depressed? Its just a breakup, move on!!”, “Don’t feel so depressed about losing one job, you will find a better one”
How often have we come across such statements from our friends and family? How often do we tell these kinds of statements to ourselves? The answers to these questions are QUITE A LOT!!! There is a reason why the word depressed is highlighted, we need to ask ourselves, are we really depressed in those situations? Or is it just stress? Thought-provoking, right?
In today’s time, through the exposure of media and the upcoming surge of mental health awareness, we are exposed to so many terms, which we use in our daily lives, but do we understand the meaning of those terms? We often and easily get confused between STRESS and DEPRESSION, that’s exactly what I aim to make my readers understand in this blog, the basic difference between stress and depression.
Whether it’s a traffic jam on the way to work, a devastating breakup, an important job interview, or the death of a loved one, we all experience varying degrees of stress from time to time. In small doses, stress can be beneficial for us. It can motivate us to reach our goals and help us complete tasks more efficiently. Stress is the key to human survival, but too much stress can affect our health. When we feel stressed for weeks or months on end, stress can make it difficult to concentrate, disrupt our sleep, and make us feel like we can’t overcome challenges in our life. At times, we 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.
So now since we did come to the topic of depression, let us also try to understand what exactly depression is. Depression is a mental health condition that interferes with a person’s ability to carry out daily functions. It’s characterized by feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in once enjoyable activities.
Too much technical? Thought so!!! So to understand the difference between depression and stress better let us first try to understand the common signs of both
Common Signs of Stress:-
- Inability to concentrate or complete tasks
- Trouble falling asleep or staying awake
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Memory problems
- A change in eating habits
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Having trouble functioning at work
- Getting sick often
- Headaches and body aches
Common Signs of Depression:-
- Feeling sad and hopeless
- Withdrawing from other people
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Anger and rage
- Eating more or less than usual
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Feeling restless, agitated, and irritable
- Feeling bad about yourself or feeling guilty
- Suicidal thoughts
So all in all what have we gathered from the above information? The difference between stress and depression is that stress is not a mental health condition whereas depression is and it requires a medical diagnosis. Stress is typically triggered by life events change while depression can happen even if everything in life seems fine, Surprising right? It’s a fact that most of us are unaware of!!! Lastly, stress can be managed and reduced by various self-help techniques however depression can last for years.
Too much understanding about both? But I still haven’t answered the most frequently asked question that all of us have at some point in our life, How to deal with stress or depression? Aren’t most of us googling tips or ways to manage stress or depression?
Let me provide you all with some simple self-help techniques that help you manage life stress and reduce it down to healthy levels, start with basic exercises, laugh your heart out, try and learn something new, explore your creative side by illustrating your inner feelings, totally avoid alcohol and drugs, practice breathing exercises everywhere and make sure you indulge in some sort of meditation. Even a good diet helps in bodily functions effectively as a lot of underlying stress can be attributed to poor eating habits also yoga consultancy can help as yoga is an effective tool that synchronizes your brain and body and has calming effects on our body in alleviating stress.
As in the case of depression, it is always preferred to seek out help from a mental health professional.