Did you know that stress is actually an important part of human evolution, and it helped our ancestor survive? The release of adrenaline brought about by an impending attack from a large carnivorous animal, for example, helped our ancestor prepare for fight or flight, and this kind of stress still benefit us today. But the Modern World has brought about continuous stressors our bodies weren’t made to respond to.
Types of Stress
- Acute Stress –
It is short – term stress brought about by specific events you must react to. It can be helpful, motivational force and it can be thrilling in small doses (eustress), but too much is exhausting (distress). For example, riding a Roller Coaster, taking a test, dodging a car accident, asking for a raise etc.
- Chronic Stress –
It is long – term distress caused by repeated stressor. Chronic stress can become such a routine part of life that sufferers stop noticing it and accept it as normal. For example, an overly demanding job, an unhappy home life, prolonged financial problems, difficulty in school etc.
Chronic Stress is more dangerous than Acute Stress.
The Effects of Chronic Stress
Without any relief or relaxation, can lead to –
- Upset Stomach
- Chest Pains
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Sleep Loss
Risk Factor of Stress
- Heart Disease by 40%
- Heart Attack by 25%
- Stroke by 50%
- Changes in Digestion
- Increased Heart Beating Rates
- Increased Blood Sugar Level
- Increased (Exhale) Breath Rate
The Relaxation Response –
It is a state of deep rest designed to change your physical and emotional responses to stress. Benefits of Relaxation are –
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Slow your Breathing Rate
- Increases Blood Flow to muscles
- Boosts Memory
- Boosts Confidence
- Reduces Muscles Tension
- Improves Mood and Concentration
- Reduces Fatigue
Methods to De-Stress –
- Meditation – elicits the relaxation response and strengthens your mind against stress.
- Deep Breathing – slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure.
- Decompress and reduce muscle tension
- Get active
- Hearty Laughter
- Be grateful
Food that Reduces Stress
- Nuts & Seeds
- Leafy Greens
- Lemon Balm Tea
- Dark Chocolate
- Sweet Potatoes
Mental Depression- Treatment:
A significant progress has been made during the last decade of twentieth century regarding the treatment of depression.
Drugs have been used to treat depressive disorders for over three decades, with considerable effectiveness. Various studies suggest that 60-70 % of depressed adults are helped by antidepressant medications. Typically, antidepressants bring about various therapeutic effects like brightening mood, improved sleep and increased energy level. All this positive modification in the patient virtually leads to minimize the depression within.
E.C.T. can be used in the cases of severe depression. Though, the precautions now being taken have eliminated most of the side effects of E.C.T., however, memory disorientation and memory loss are still common. Therefore, it’s use is recommended only when other options of intervention are closed.
Although, drugs are important aspect of treatment for depression, medication alone doesn’t address the social, emotional or personality factors that may also underlie patient’s problem. Therefore, psychotherapy that emphasizes psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive or interpersonal approach are used to treat adults with depression.
A Final Say- Why depressed? Say Cheese!
Life is like a cricket match. You are there on the pitch with a bat in hand. Stadium full on! But the game is a bit different. There don’t lie a wicket, nor a fielder who could take you a catch. Just a ball comes out of the darkness and you have to make a strike. This ball is just like an opportunity. If you make a strike, you won that opportunity, if not, it’s missed! No worries! Another ball comes and again another one innumerable times. What if this opportunity is missed! Of course life gives another ball with different pace and so on. Its only you who could make yourself out of this game. Don’t decide to quit. Play it…..enjoy it. Wont this life become monotonous and boring without problems. Challenge them….face them….enjoy them. When the UMPIRE declares the inning…….look back and say……wao!…..what a life I have lived. Remember the so many obstacles you faced but still never left the game, rather enjoyed them.
enjoy loud !
Causes Of Depression:
According to Sigmund Freud, the father of psycho-analysis, unresolved conflicts involving relationships with care givers in infancy and childhood leads to depression. Individuals who receive parental overprotection or parental neglect might not be able to develop adequate competencies for coping with various life stresses. This is likely to make them dependent on others as their presence are likely to provide the individual the sense of security. This will make the child hypersensitive in social relationships and also hypersensitive to their losses as the loss might activate in him, the feeling of insecurity and anger. This hostility is internalized leading to depression. The feeling of depression becomes more severe if the person is in some way responsible for the loss. According to Freud, for the people with rigid super-ego i.e. high ego ideal and rigid conscience, if the behavior are not able to match with super-ego expectations, then it is likely to cause moral anxiety and may lead to depression.
Bowlby, a Neo-Freudian, gave the concept of attachment to explain the emotional bonding between between the child and his parents. Attachment has two functions- First, it forms the basis for future interpersonal relation; and second is that it provides security to child to explore his environment. All children form attachment which can either be secure or insecure. When the attachment is secure, , the child feels confident to approach others for social support and help. But in the case of insecure attachment, the child doesn’t approach the others for social support as the past experiences of the child informs him that others are not usually available for help. People with insecure attachment are isolated and therefore, because of absence of social support , they feel lonely and depressed.
To participate in the life events successfully, one needs positive reinforcement. When positive reinforcements are inadequate and punishment is often provided, it is likely that the person will get demotivated and depressed.
Learned helplessness is another cause for depression. The feeling of helplessness or the inability to control the events in the world around, causes response passivity ultimately leading to depression.
Disturbances in the level or functioning of the three neurotransmitters namely serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are responsible for depression.
Genetic factors also play an important role to make a person more depression prone.
Irregularities in the way neurons fire their messages may also be responsible for these disorders.
Contemporary age is the age of challenges, challenges which are in context to one’s education, one’s profession and one’s interpersonal relations.
About 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, of these 135,000 (17%) are residents of India, a nation with 17.5% of world population. Between 1987 to 2007, the suicide rate increased from 7.9 to 10.3 per 100,000, with higher suicide rates in southern and eastern states of India.
What can be of a greater context of sorrow that a person reaches a critical point radioactive enough to extinguish his very own existence! These are the extreme cases of mental depression. Multiple times more are the person who lie in the state of severe depression and carry out their livelihood in the similar melancholic fashion. A mental makeover is required to raise out the person going down to the graves on his own will.
Depression is the feeling of extraordinary sadness and dejection. The symptoms include psycho-motor retardation, loss of initiative, pessimistic outlook, feeling of sin/guilt, insomnia or hypersomnia, loss of appetite, loss of self-esteem or development of negative self concept, social withdrawal etc. The person looses interest in almost all the activities and faces difficulty in concentration. Recurrent thoughts of death flash his mind. The most severely depressed people may experience psychotic symptoms including delusion and hallucinations.
Most of the above symptoms must be present all day and nearly everyday for two or more consecutive weeks for diagnosis to be applicable. Most cases of depression clear up even without treatment in a matter of months and the average duration of untreated episode is between 8-10 months. The disorder can begin at any age but the most typical period is mid 20s.
There are several sub-types of depression.
The melancholic types are characterized by early morning awakening, loss of appetite and weight, inappropriate or excessive guilt, psychomotor retardation and severe anhedonia.
Chronic types are those which last for two or more years.
Catatonic cases are characterized by purposeless behavior and the person may stay fixed in bizarre postures. They may mimic every movement someone else has made (echopraxia) or engage in echolalia- a parrot like repetition of other people’s speech.
Causes and treatment of depression to be followed in the next blog…………..!