There are main differences between stress and depression, but there is also an important connection between these two.


Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to positive or negative situations in your life, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Stress itself isn’t abnormal or bad.


Depression is a very serious mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

They are 2 different types of depression:

  • Exogenous – reactive; is precipitated by events in the person’s life (have to be distinguished from normal grief)
  • Endogenous – state of depression for which there is no apparent precipitating cause; is also called as biological depression and is generally considered to be genetic in origin. This type of depression does not correlate with stress and requires different treatment than a stress management. (CBT, medication, etc.)

Stress and depression share some of the same symptoms. Both are also rooted in biochemical responses, but they operate using different chemical pathways. Stress serves a legitimate purpose; depression doesn’t. Mild to moderate stress can be managed with purposeful relaxation and lifestyle changes. Depression can be helped with cognitive therapy, but it frequently needs medication to restore chemical balance. Prolonged stress can ultimately result in very serious physical illnesses including a weakened immune system and heart disease. Depression also has severe consequences as it interrupts personal relationships, interferes with job performance, and causes physical deterioration through lack of care. The differences end when prolonged stress causes depression.

If you are vulnerable to stressful events in life, you are also vulnerable to becoming depressed. Although the real connection between the two is yet to be understood, recent research points to the hippocampus region of the brain, brain-derived neurotrophic factor as well as a particular variant of the gene that makes this factor. Stress is sometimes referred to as the silent killer because of the effects on the body over a period of time. Although getting stressed is a normal response by your body to several regular stimuli, the main concerns are usually on the long term effects of the condition if left unmanaged.

Recent studies point to a correlation between depression and stress. You are likely to become depressed when you experience compounded stressors. When you are ill equipped and lack coping mechanisms when it comes to stressful events and situations, you are more likely to become depressed. By effectively managing stressful situations in your life, you also reduce the chances of becoming depressed. While there is a proven link between depression and stress, proactive lifestyle changes can reduce the effects of these two conditions. It is also important to learn how to relax when undergoing stressful situations.






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