In a post from last week, we discussed the instances on mental health issues in Ireland. The words ‘stress’ and ‘depression’ are two that are common in everyday life and today our counselling Psychologist Andrew Dillon, discusses how stress can in fact be helpful to our lives in certain circumstances.
Stress is a Part of Everyday Life
Originally an engineering term indicating the load that is placed on surfaces, stressing psychological terms, is the load, mentally, physically or emotionally that is placed on us. Despite media attention these days on the harmful effects of stress, it is in fact a normal, healthy part of most people’s lives.
We need a certain level of stress in our day to function. It helps with motivation, having a list of things to do and getting geared up to get them done. That’s using stress. Being busy and moving from one task to the next, that’s keeping stress at a productive level. Feeling tired after a long day and relaxing. That’s knowing when there has been enough stress and its time to appreciate some down time. Like with Engineering, the key issue is finding the right balance.
Can Stress Help With Depression?
So can Stress help prevent Depression? Well some of the many causes of Depression relate to not having a sense of purpose to the day or unsure of the direction one’s life is taking. Further causes can be related to not having enough time to enjoy things or even know what those things are. Also one of the many factors which can maintain depression, is having too much time on our hands to think, to question ourselves and our lives, in such a way that it can lead to spiraling into quite a negative space.
So in a way, stress can be useful as in essence, it can keep us active and busy in our lives. There are times when being distracted by all the things we need to do on a day to day basis, can prevent us ruminating over issues which can lead to feeling intense sadness.
Now of course that’s not the whole story. The symptoms of too much stress are feeling like one cannot cope with all the demands of life. Doing everything for other people and not having enough time to focus on ourselves. Worrying that no matter how much we do there’s never enough time in the day. In time it can lead to panic attacks, anxiety, social anxiety or substance abuse.
And of course there is more to alleviating Depression than simply keeping busy. Many people may work or study, have a family, friends and lead a busy life and still feel an emptiness inside or feel quite alone in life despite having others around. Being told to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘appreciate what you have’ rarely helps.
But having a certain amount of mental, physical and emotional load in life is important. Sometimes this gets out of balance and in those times consulting with a psychologist may help to address it.
Our psychologists are highly experienced when it comes to treating stress and depression. So if you are encountering problems and would like to speak to one of our team, contact us today.