Stress factors that cause depression
How people tolerate stress in their lives varies greatly from one individual to another. Some people can tolerate losing their job, selling their house and having a baby all in the same year without succumbing to depression. Other more vulnerable individuals may find that the break-up of a relationship and a change of job is more than they can withstand before falling ill. This has nothing to do with moral fiber. It is simply a matter of how psychologically robust each individual may be. What is important is to recognize your own limits in order to avoid piling stress upon stress.
Heightening the risk
All these factors, separately or in combination, further add to your risk of becoming depressed:
- Coming from an economically poor background
- Being unable to confide in your partner
- Having a poor social life, especially in later life
- The experience of rejection by parents in childhood
- Illness or surgery
- Poor diet
- Several young children at home
- Drinking alcohol to excess
If you start to feel that everything has got on top of you, make arrangements for “Time Out”. Cancel all appointments and commitments for one day. Put on the answer phone. Arrange for someone to take care of your children – there must be at least one friend or relative who lives nearby and would help out. Just do nothing for one whole day and get your breath back. This short pause in a stressful life can help to lessen the chances of developing a depressive illness.
- Do take a whole day for yourself and give yourself essential breathing space.
- Don’t turn down offers of practical help with stressful tasks, such as moving house or caring for young children.
- Try to take some time for yourself, however busy your lifestyle. It is especially important to have a pause and relax when you know that a stressful event is ahead.
- Know your own limits, so that you can take steps to prevent stresses building up to such an extent that depression results.
- Taking a short break in a demanding life from time to time lessens stress and so reduces the chances of developing depression.