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The Difference Between Stress, Depression, and Anxiety


The burden from work, problems with your partner, economic problems, even family problems often expose you to unpleasant situations. Automatically, you also react, one of them through stress.

Stress that occurs protracted allows you to deal with situations that look scary that makes you feel easily tired, anxious, and miserable. An unresolved state of severe stress can lead to depression and anxiety disorders. Therefore, it is important for you to know the difference between stress, depression, and anxiety.

Difference Between Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

Get familiarized with Stress

In stressful situations, your body will naturally respond to self-defense against the condition. This form of response is known as stress. Although stress conditions are not preferred, actually stress helps us to live and stay safe.

So when you are faced with situations that trigger stress, your body will automatically pick up on these signals as a threat. Then the brain will produce a number of hormones and chemical compounds such as adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine to protect you. This hormone norepinephrine triggers a "fight or flight" reaction in the body.

Stress does not always have a negative effect because, under certain conditions, it will give positive encouragement to you so that you can respond effectively to sources of pressure. However, stress often gives negative energy because the brain is flooded by the three hormones produced.

This causes you to feel confusion and anxiety. Moreover, blood flow will go to other body parts to respond to the stress physically. As a result, brain function decreases because more blood flows to other parts of the body. Therefore, when you experience stress you will have difficulty thinking clearly.

One natural remedy for dealing with stress is sleep. The reason is during sleep your body will slow down its activity so that the body has time to make improvements naturally.

Difference Between Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

What is Depression?

Prolonged and unresolved stress can trigger mental illness, depression. Depression is generally characterized by worsening moods, feelings, stamina, appetite, sleep patterns, and reduced levels of concentration.

It's important to know, depression is different from feelings of sadness that can improve over time. Although some cases of depression are preceded by feelings of sadness and sorrow, the symptoms of depression are more intense and overwhelming. In some cases, depression lasts for two weeks or more.

The effects of depression can cause drastic changes in mood that lead to feelings of grievance, despair, and the heaviest level that makes you not want to continue living. With the pressures of life like today, the possibility of someone experiencing depression is much higher. At least one in five people in the world have experienced depression in a particular life span.

Difference Between Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

Anxiety Disorders

Then, what is the difference between stress, depression, and anxiety? Anxiety generally is your reaction to stress. Some of the characteristics of anxiety are the onset of heartburn sensations, the heart beating faster than usual, dizziness, cold sweat, and rushed breathing.

Usually, these things will disappear by themselves after you successfully complete the work or situation that is a source of stress. When that feeling of anxiety gradually goes away by itself it means that the psychological level that you are experiencing is still quite "safe" so the body can respond and handle the situation.

Anxiety in the level of danger is if you are constantly hit by unreasonable fears and assume various things like a big threat. Though these things might not trigger a threat as big as you have in mind. In such conditions, you should consult a doctor to determine further steps to overcome anxiety.

Based on the explanation of the three psychological problems there are indeed similar characteristics. But it is clear if you experience stress and anxiety, you still know what problems are faced and how to overcome them. Although the source of stress and anxiety may be random. Then, making a priority scale for solving existing problems can be one way out of these two problems.

Meanwhile, when you are depressed, you are generally powerless to analyze what causes it so that the reactions that appear instead become a problem. Usually, depression occurs in a longer duration of time than stress. Disorders such as difficulty sleeping, lazy to meet people, so difficult to eat and digestive disorders can arise due to these conditions.

So, if you start picking up stress signals, try to deal directly with them so they don't drag on and trigger depression!

Difference Between Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

So, what distinguishes stress, depression, and anxiety disorders?

Although there are some overlapping characteristics of stress, depression, and anxiety disorders, these three emotional upheavals come from very different places. The stress we experience in everyday life is related to frustration and overwhelming, while anxiety disorders and depression can be rooted in worries, fears, and despair that have no exact cause - although they may be triggered by many factors, including genetics, biology and brain chemistry, life trauma, to chronic ongoing stress. The main difference between the three is a sense of helplessness.

When under stress and anxiety, you know exactly what you are facing, namely the challenges of life that you encounter every day (even if it happens randomly) - work deadlines, financial bills, household affairs, etc. But sometimes, what makes you stress can also come from within, triggered by an overactive imagination or not thinking clearly. Stress and anxiety will disappear when you make priorities and handle them one at a time. In the end, you can find a way out of every problem and get back up throughout the day.

Meanwhile, living with an anxiety disorder or depression makes you helpless to know what worries you, so that your reaction is the problem. Both of these psychological disorders occur continuously without having to respond to certain experiences or situations and tend to last long (often up to monthly or even years). Both can greatly limit your function as a human being. You may feel constantly tired and lose motivation/enthusiasm for activities such as working, eating, socializing, studying, or driving like other people.

All three are psychological disorders that need to be treated. Not only does it affect mental health, but it can also affect your physical health in the long run. However, depression and anxiety disorders aren't something you can cure yourself, so it's important to get medical help as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available to manage each symptom.

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