How Depression, Stress and Anxiety are Connected with Each Other?

Depression, Stress and Anxiety
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Stress

Stress is a daily part of an individual’s life and a normal reaction to a circumstance where an individual experience pressure. Stress can come up with several conditions or thoughts that make you feel angry, upset, bothered, nervous or even anxious. But stress differs from one individual to another, what is stressful to an individual might not be stressful to others. The causes of stress are comprehensible objects in an individual’s environment.

Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the numerous unfavorable results of stress. It can make an individual become terrified and worried of what lies ahead. Anxiety frequently goes with physical problems such as dizziness, pain and panic attacks. Stress is a reaction to a particular stressor whereas anxiety has no certain cause. This is specifically why an anxiety is regarded as a justifiable mental disorder, while stress is not.

An individual is only diagnosed with anxiety if the symptoms endure for a period of six months. Stress normally sets off as the stressors vanish whilst anxiety tends to remain longer and is more complicated to treat*.

These two pressures, stress and anxiety, cause adrenaline to be released which then can direct to depression.

Depression

Depression, also identified as clinical depression, major depression or major depressive illness, is a medical disorder that impinges on an individual’s day to day life. It has a negative impact on how an individual thinks, feels and behaves.

Depressed individuals have a constant and enduring feeling of loneliness, seeing life as not worth living and have lack of interest in most things for a long period of time. They find it very difficult to go on with their everyday activities.

For a better* understanding, stress is generally a predecessor of anxiety, and anxiety is generally a predecessor of depression.

What Can Cause Depression, Stress and Anxiety?

Stress

The circumstances and pressures that are the roots of stress are identified as stressors. Everything that sets high demands on you or obliges you to amend can be stressful.

Common external causes of stress:

  • Major life changes
  • Relationship complexities
  • Children and family
  • Financial problems
  • Work or school
  • Being too busy

Common internal causes of stress:

  • Pessimism
  • Constant worry
  • Negative self-talk
  • Impractical expectations
  • Stiff thinking
  • Lack of flexibility
  • All-or-nothing attitude

Anxiety

Anxiety is usually generated by stress. It may be rooted from medical aspects, substance abuse, environmental aspects, brain chemistry, genetics or an integration of these.

Medical Factors

  • Symptoms of a medical disease
  • Side effects of medicine
  • Stress from a severe medical disease
  • Lack of oxygen due to emphysema or pulmonary embolism

Substance Use and Abuse

  • Alcohol dependence
  • Intoxication from a prohibited drug
  • Withdrawal from a prohibited drug

Environmental Aspects

  • Traumatic events for instance discrimination, abuse or death of a loved one
  • Stress in a romantic relationship, marriage and friendship
  • Stress at school
  • Stress at work
  • Financial stress
  • Stress from a natural calamity
  • Lack of oxygen in sky-scraping places

Genetics

According to several studies, if a family has a history of anxiety, the probability that an individual will develop it is very high.

Brain Chemistry

Researches have revealed that individuals with odd levels of particular neurotransmitters in the brain are further prone to go through anxiety disorder. If these neurotransmitters aren’t functioning correctly, the brain’s communication system bugs down, thus making the brain responds in an improper approach in some conditions. And this can direct the way to anxiety.

Depression

While the accurate root of depression is unknown but the current events can be linked to its development.
Common causes of depression:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Lack of social support*
  • Family history of depression
  • Marital or relationship dilemmas
  • Persistent money problems
  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Serious health problems or chronic pain
  • Death of a loved one

How Depression, Stress and Anxiety are Connected with Each Other?

Scientists have determined the link between depression, stress and anxiety. Their research determined precisely how anxiety, stress, depression connect through the specific processes in the brain. The molecular experiments showed a link between two chemicals in the brain. It was found that the presence of anxiety chemicals could increase* the number of depressive ones present on the surface of the brain cells thereby leading to abnormal signals.

The DASS is Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale which can be used to measure the negative emotions in all three stages. This scale was used to find out the relation between depression, stress and anxiety.

In this linking method, the study focused on the interaction between corticotropin releasing factor receptor (CRFR1) and the specific types of serotonin receptors (5-HTRs). CRFR1 activation lead to anxiety in response to the stress and the 5-HTRs lead to depression. The research showed how stress, anxiety and depression pathways are connected through the distinct processes in the brain. Major depressive disorder occurs with anxiety disorders in patients and the causes are related with the stressful experiences.

This study provided the evidence for connection between the stress, anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand and the causes of both are related with stressful events. Stressful experiences could make the symptoms of depression and anxiety more severe. You should be attentive to the factors that caused these symptoms so that you could effectively combat with them.

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Author

Expert Author : Jessica Ann Barazon (Consumer Health Digest)

Jessica Ann Barazon is a renowned health writer and enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement, ADHD, parenting, mental health, fitness and weight loss. She is especially interested in feminist ethics and psychology. Aside from writing she also loves food, dogs, fashion and travel.