Stress and depression-the many links in the chain:

stress and depressionStress and depression. We know there’s a link but how much of a link is there? And how direct is that link?

Well, I’ll bet that if you read this article in its entirety you’ll be just plain amazed at how many organ systems and bodily functions are negatively impacted by stress.

And that impact can and does lead to depression at times. There are many articles in this blog about stress.

Everything from stress causing weight gain  to remedies for all types of stress to a very useful article you should hop to after this one about all sorts of natural stress relief.

So come back up top when you are done “digesting” this article and get the help you need to solve your particular issue or issues.  In keeping with my format on stress related articles I’m going to give you stress relief when you least expect it meaning a good laugh. So let’s get started and talk about how stress impacts sleep.

Stress and Sleep

When we look closely at stress, it becomes clear that the causes of sleep issues are either caused by stress, or they themselves cause  stress, which then disrupts your sleep. Stay with me on this one. Stress is anything that triggers a stress response in the body. By this definition, stress includes large and recurrent emotional/psychological stresses, as well as physical demands and imbalances in the body such as inflammation, hormone shifts, and brain chemical fluctuations.

Therefore, everything including staying up late to study for an exam or even eating inflammatorily are stresses that have the potential to disrupt your sleep. We are all constantly exposed to stress. It is just a matter of finding a balance and making choices that support our bodies when they are under stress. The main stress hormone itself is cortisol. It has the potential to keep you up at night or make you feel you can’t get out of bed in the morning. This starts during a period of time called “adrenal stress'” and ends up in “burnout” or adrenal fatigue. If you are in a burnout you should circle back to the blog articles called what is adrenal fatigue and then the “fix” which includes the adrenal fatigue diet and adrenal fatigue supplements.

5 Major reasons why your sleep is messed up due to stress

 Overthinking

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With today’s work demand, it is common for someone to bring their work home with them, either physically or metaphorically.

Full time employees, stay at home parents, and students can all experience this.

Overthinking can interrupt your sleep as you may find yourself still trying to solve problems while trying to fall asleep.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a common need for people under stress as they use it to get a boost in the morning or throughout the day. It can actually exacerbate stress levels and significantly affect the amount and quality of sleep you get.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone that plays a large part in the fight or flight response. The boost of energy that happens during stress or a threat allows you to respond quickly. However, long bouts of elevated cortisols cause the burnout I refer to above. That burnout always leads to sleep disturbances.

Overscheduling

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 When you live a hectic and busy life, sleep is the last thing you think about planning for. Do you find yourself constantly pushing back your bed time? Are you getting up earlier each day? Your goal is to increase productivity. However, you may feel exhaustion throughout the day not realizing how lack of sleep can really affect you.

Anxiety

Similar to overthinking, anxiety can make falling asleep difficult and cause constant wake ups. Anxiety can keep your mind busy as you start to worry about the things that can happen or you imagine threatening scenarios.

Your cortisol levels are kept high and therefore a full, good night’s sleep is harder to achieve. All of these situations of high stress lead to chronically elevated cortisol levels and sleep deprivation. Numerous studies show a correlation between sleep deprivation and depression. Thus, link #1 between stress and depression. More about this in a moment.

Longer than usual stress break but worth it: 

laughter is one of the best all natural mood enhancers

Sleep Deprivation and Stress:

A stressful day on the job or even as a parent can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep. The connection between sleep and stress is a two-way street. Stress can interrupt sleep, but lack of sleep can cause a large amount of stress as well.

People working night shifts could be Exhibit A in the trial of sleep vs. stress. Humans aren’t meant to be nocturnal, and people who work at night struggle to get enough sleep. Those who work at night average around 5 to 10 hours less sleep per week than other workers. The amount of sleep they get is often a fight, leaving to the recognition of the “shift work sleep disorder.”

Whether you’re a nurse who works the night shift or a student pulling an all-nighter to finish an exam, lack of restful, deep sleep can take a physical and emotional toll. Those who work night shifts are especially prone to stress and stress-related conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to, depression, high blood pressure, infertility, stomach problems, and weakened immune systems. One can notice a real, documentable link between stress and depression  in this population of people (obviously).taking some natural stress relief

Stress and sleep: The Physiology

Lack of sleep can throw anyone’s system off balance, no matter their age or occupation. To fully understand the effects of stress and lack of sleep, let’s look inside different examples of stress and sleep.

Remember how the Pony Express relied on a series of riders to deliver mail across the Old West?  Well, the body uses a similar system in that it sends a chain of chemicals to send messages of stress. We’ve been over what the chemicals are in multiple articles. I’ll mention them again here. Epinephrine and nor-epinephrine give you the “rush”. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the stress and depression connection. Eventually, Cortisol causes all sorts of problems. The important thing to recall is these are the hormones that make a person feel “stressed out.” They’re also the hormones that, over time, can cause stress-induced illness.

How does sleep help?

A good night’s sleep seems to block this chain reaction. Relatively solid evidence conveys the same brain chemical fostering sleep tells the pituitary gland to slow down production of ACTH. ACTH is the hormone which starts stress chain reactions. As a result, the adrenal gland never gets the message to pump out stress hormones, and the body gets a chance to actually rest.

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U.S. Military personnel who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan (during the height of the U.S. conflicts in those areas) had sleep of lower quantity and worse quality during this time compared to before deployment, with stress being a large reason.

When returning from deployment, it was shown that lack of sleep was still present. The worse the sleep, the more the stress and depression connection and even post-traumatic stress disorder was noted.

However, sleep difficulties are not only present in people exposed to highly stressful situations. Studies show anxiety can come from the strangest places. It can come from the common act of “emotional labor”, such as having to “fake a smile” all day at work. There is evidence showing it can cause insomnia!

How tossing and turning causes stress:

If you don’t get enough deep sleep, you’re missing your chance to take a total break from stress. Losing sleep (in and of itself)  might even send your levels of stress hormones looming upwards. Research on this subject has somewhat mixed reviews. Despite this, a study published by the Sleep Journal in 1997 concluded sleep deprivation boosted stress hormones the next evening.

Research is increasing on the link between stress, especially work, stress, and sleep. There is a potential vicious cycle that becomes disastrous when someone is under stress and facing exhaustion from little sleep. In addition, research also shows the possibility of managing stress by the improvement of sleep and vice versa.

When you lose sleep the symptoms become noticeable even after one day of sleep loss: irritability, drowsiness, and lack of productivity. Stress hormones block storage of short-term memories, which may explain why sleep-deprived people notoriously have trouble holding onto thoughts. This can be seen in students who cram all night for an exam.

And when this situation persists:

If sleep loss persists for weeks or months, stress will very likely increase as well. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a study on insomniacs. There conclusion reveals people with the worst sleep produce especially large amounts of ACTH throughout the day and night. In addition, they also produce especially large amounts of stress hormones throughout the day and night. Furthermore, they state stress levels are highest from afternoon to early night; the time when most people try to relax.

Individuals who have insomnia have higher stress levels in comparison to those that have no trouble with sleep at night. Those that have a restful deep sleep at night can experience lower levels of stress throughout the day. For insomniacs, however, stress hormone levels stay high all day long. With stress messengers, literally, coursing through their veins, it’s no surprise that insomniacs often feel weary. The Sleep Journal conducted studies on 772 men and women, all ages, focusing on the link between insomnia and stress. The research conveys people who suffer from insomnia are 17 times more likely than sound sleepers to have anxiety problems. Following this, researchers postulated about the stress and depression link so often observed.

Perhaps less obviously, sleep can actually influence how much stress you experience. It is how you perceive the stressfulness of your life events that influences your stress levels. Recent studies show a definitive connection between lack of sleep and how it leads to stress and depression. At this point, some people turn to prescription sleep aids which is unwise for multiple reasons. Others turn to the best natural sleep aid which is a good idea, but won’t help the stress and high cortisol. This needs to be addressed at the very beginning or stress can “turn ugly.”

 Time for a humor stress break:

“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.” – George Carlin

 How Stress Impacts Your GI- tract:

And now the stress and depression link discussion will make a surprising turn. We’ll switch from sleep to your GI tract, the last place you (probably) would think mood changes would start. The stress response causes a number of disturbing situations in your GI- tract, including:

As much as four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism and slowing of the digestive process.

Less oxygen flow to your GI- tract which can result in cramping and diarrhea.

Decreased nutrient absorption.

Decreased enzymatic output in your gut – meaning digestion is impaired.

But that’s not all:

bloating solutions include stress control

To explain in simple terms the connection between the GI- tract and the brain, we just need to look at fetal development. The GI- tract and brain develop around the same time and are connecting by an important nerve called the vagus nerve.

This “brain-gut axis” is what connects your brain to your GI- tract. It explains why you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous, as one example!  There are enormous connections much more complex than this, but right now, we’re “talking stress.”

Stress can alter your brain-gut connection, which can contribute to or directly cause numerous gastrointestinal-type disorders, including:

Inflammatory bowel disease /Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)/ Chronic Diarrhea/Gastroesophageal reflux=heartburn /Chronic constipation/ and even Leaky gut leading to food allergies and auto-immune disease.

The major effects of stress on gut physiology include:

Alterations in gastrointestinal motility-too fast=diarrhea, too slow=constipation.

Negative effects on regenerative capacity of gastrointestinal mucosa and mucosal blood flow=potential for ulceration.

Changes in gastrointestinal secretion=heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome.

Negative effects on intestinal microflora=”Microbiome issues”-quite important for GI function and where we see the stress and depression connection frequently. All of the minute details are in the article covering the use of probiotics and general GI tract hygiene. The overview coming up next.

Imbalances in Your Gut Can Make You Depressed, Anxious and More

If you’re under stress, it’s essential to realize that it is not only affecting your GI health. However, if you are under stress, your gut health can be the cause, or more specifically, lack thereof. Increasingly, scientific evidence shows that nourishing your gut flora with the friendly bacteria is extremely important for proper immune and brain function. Good bacteria are both prebiotics and probiotics. It’s also essential for weight control and for psychological well-being and mood control. Now you see the connection between the GI tract and immune health, brain health, weight control, stress and depression. Quite a lot more for your GI tract to do than you thought, right?

Research published in 2011 demonstrates probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry under normal conditions. Meaning, lack of proper gut flora can impact your feelings of anxiety or depression. If you follow my blog you will know that the “happy” neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are produced mainly in your GI tract and not in your brain. This is why people with low serotonin levels tend to have lower GI tract motility and constipation issues. These are easily treatable with 5-OH tryptophan plus the “GI flora swap-out” which I explain in the probiotics article.

Boy is it time for a humor stress break! Even if you are not Canadian….

natural mood enhancers for depression include funny jokes

Other ways Stress Affects Mental Health via Brain functions:

Our body’s stress response is not designed to be continuously engaged. One can expect that when they are under chronic stress it can affect their physical and mental health. Stress can come from work, home, money, or any source. There are several stressors within life that make it hard at the end of the day to relax and disengage. This is why stress is one of the biggest health problems facing people today.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can increase the risk of health problems including cancer, heart disease, obesity, and a weak immune system. It can also affect a person’s mental health due to the link between stress and the occurrence of mood disorders. These disorders include depression and anxiety. There are a variety of individuals, when facing stress feel a physical strain, while others experience a psychological strain.

Link between Stress & Mental Health

The link between stress and mental health problems has been a subject of various studies, but the reason for this connection has been unclear. However, the University of California, Berkeley, was able to uncover why stress can be so detrimental to a person’s psyche. Their research reveals the physical differences in a normal individual’s brain in comparison to those who experience stress disorders, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). One noticeable distinction is the increased amount of white matter within the brain in comparison to gray matter for those with stress-related mental disorders. Because of these findings, the UC Berkeley wanted to further research the underlying reason for this alteration in the brain composition.

Gray Matter changes with stress

There are two main types of cells within the gray matter of the brain: neurons (which process and store information) and glia (support for neurons). White matter in the brain is mostly made of axons, which create a network of fiber to connect to neurons. These are known as white matter as there is a white, fatty “sheath” of myelin coating shielding the nerves and accelerating the transmission of signals between the cells. A study by UC Berkeley found the “stressed brain” contains more white as opposed to gray matter. Without going into a bunch of boring details, this involves the ongoing differentiation of brain stem cells. More so, the results demonstrate the stressed brain has a disruption in the timing of all signals, including “happy” signals. Thus, another link in the stress and depression cycle.

Hippocampal changes with stress

brain healthResearchers performed a series of experiments on adult rats, focusing on the hippocampal region of the brain (which regulates memory and emotions). Within the experiments they were able to find that neural stem cells act differently than one would expect. The general belief behind the study is these stem cells turn into neurons or astrocyte cells. However, when under stress these cells became other type of glial cells known as oligodendrocytes. These are myelin-producing (white matter) cells and they also help form the neural synapses (communication tools which allow nerve cells to share information).

To review: those animals with chronic stress have fewer neurons (gray matter) and more myelin (white matter) producing cells. This gray to white matter imbalance within the hippocampal regions causes all sorts of cell to cell communications which will be discussed below.

Stress Disorders & Brain Connectivity

These findings can suggest that stress disorders, like those who experience PTSD, have alterations within their brain connectivity. This can lead to a stronger connection between the amygdala (the area that processes the fight or flight response) and the hippocampus. When this connection is stronger the response to fear is more rapid. It may also decrease connectivity between the prefrontal cortex (the area that moderates the responses) and the hippocampus. When this connection is weaker, the ability to calm down and shut down the stress response is impaired. Thus, a stressful situation may cause a person with this imbalance to have a stronger stress response but a limited ability to shut it down.

And What about those Oligodendrocyte Cells?

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This study also demonstrates how the myelin-producers- the oligodendrocyte cells- play a large role in long term changes to the brain that can result in mental health problems. These researchers also believe that these stem cells, in response to chronic stress, can become myelin-producing cells rather than neurons. This can affect cognitive functioning as neurons are responsible for processing and transmitting electrical information for memory and learning skills.

While these findings are extensive, more research needs to be done to verify these statements and expand to human studies. This study, however, does create insight on how chronic stress can physiologically affect mental health.  With early interventions, some mental health problems are preventable.

Ongoing human studies are in the process to see if the gray to white matter imbalance is somehow reversible. This would be a breakthrough for all sorts of disorders including PTSD, anxiety disorders and depression. Again, it’s now been shown that the stress and depression connection produces (at least in animals) structural changes. This might be why those with chronic depression have a much higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. The treatment here is to get to the source. This means relieve the stress and lower the cortisol. The link above has the information to do this. However, if you have trouble finding anything please don’t hesitate to email me.

Can’t resist putting this stress humor break here:

regaining energy takes reduction of stress

How stress weakens the immune system

immune system functions

Those who are suffering from chronic or long term stress can experience symptoms such as depression, sleep issues, and anxiety. Those are at higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive problems. The immune system consists of organs, tissues, cells, and cell products. These work together to defend the body from infection and disease. Stress can affect the immune system negatively in two main ways: creating chronic inflammatory conditions and decreasing immunity to those who otherwise might have healthy immune system functioning.

In response to acute stress, cortisol will suppress inflammation. However, if cortisol is found in the blood for longer periods, the body will develop a cortisol resistance. Instead, it will produce substances that will allow inflammation which can later develop into chronic inflammation. These pro-inflammatory substances, called inflammatory cytokines, are associated with a host of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Autoimmune conditions occur when the body mistakes itself as a threat and attacks itself. Examples are rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Chronic conditions include diabetes and heart disease.

Chronic stress can also decrease protein levels necessary to signaling other immune cells. Without these reinforcements, the body is susceptible to acute infections and longer recovery times. Lymphocytes are a major component of the immune system. They get rid of invading organisms that can cause disease, recognize harmful substances and help defend the body against them. Cortisol and corticosteroids suppress lymphocyte production and migration. With a low amount of lymphocytes, the body is now at a higher risk for infection and disease. So, it’s a chicken-egg situation. You get stressed and depressed and that depresses your immune system. On the other hand, you get stressed and develop a depressed immune system which then makes you physically ill and then you get depressed. Obviously, the answer is: address the stress.

Wound healing and stress

stress causes physical problems

Another study on volunteer dental students demonstrates how stress can impact healing time. The students received small cuts on the roofs of their mouths on two separate occasions: one time during summer break and again six weeks later during exams.

During the stress of exams, these wounds took 40 percent longer to heal compared to summer break time. As physiologic proof, the students’ levels of a protein called IL-1, which summons other immune cells to battle, were found to be two-thirds lower during exams.

In a similar study with marital couples, those with hostile behavior towards each other had a wound-healing rate that was 60 percent of the rate of “normal” couples. The take-away is that wounds can fester and either the complications from the wounds OR the stress could then lead to depression. Another chicken-egg situation, right? The fix here is obviously to control the stress.

Infectious disease and stress

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During stressful periods, your risk for infectious illness increases. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, subjects with increased psychological stress levels had a demonstrably increased risk of catching a common cold.

Variables were taken into account by the researchers to get a more accurate reading. These include time of year, nutrition, exercise, sleep adequacy, alcohol use, and antibody levels before exposure to the virus. The study concludes high stress levels are the culprit of lower immunity and higher infection rates.

A number of vaccine studies also state the immune system of high stress individuals have sluggish responses to challenges. In one study, a pneumonia vaccine was administered to 52 older adults, including 11 people caring for spouses with dementia.

After six months, the level of antibodies produced against pneumonia in caregivers had decreased, while the non-caregivers’ levels remained stable. In a similar study, 32 caregivers were given the flu shot. Here, they also found caregivers received less protection from the vaccine than did a control group of non-caregivers. Again, the fix to reverse the stress and guard against depression is to address the stress.

Stress and cancer

stress relieving

Research is expanding on the link between high stress levels and the risk of cancer. Certain white blood cells called “natural killer cells” destroy newly forming cancer cells within the body. There is evidence that individuals with chronic stress may have fewer “natural killer cells.”

Studies show that treatment for cancer patients including stress-management techniques and group counseling can help boost their immune system. One study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, reads women diagnosed with breast cancer who have greater social support show lower levels of cortisol in their saliva than the women who have less support. When cortisol levels are lower, immune system functioning is stronger. In my opinion, cortisol is the silent culprit, rarely measured by non anti aging doctors, in all of these scenarios. I always control everyone’s cortisols closely. One can now see the cortisol connection to pretty much all of the situations above. More so, how simply having a high cortisol level for a long period of time is bad for your brain and body.

 How exactly does stress from the mind end up affecting the immune system?

After a stressful event, such as a car accident or death in the family, humans have a difficult time getting back into a normal routine. This can cause overthinking, loss of sleep, anxiety and develop into long term issues. When the stress response is constantly active it can cause a decrease in immune system functionality. Your environment and overall lifestyle also affects your risk of disease and illness.

Other conditions due to stress and immune suppression:

Stress hormones course through the body and directly suppress the immune system via the mechanism of increased inflammation, as described earlier. More and more studies are showing that chronic inflammation can increase the risk of all diseases. Therefore, a stress-related imbalance in the immune system has quite a wide range of damaging effects, including affecting the health of your brain. More on that coming up.

 Was Mom right?

As we have discussed, various studies show unhealthy stress levels can impact our immune system in different ways. Some studies may suggest lower healing rates under stress or higher risk to the common cold. Then again, is there a direct link between stress making us sick or even decreasing our lifespan?

Every person has a different immune system response that is affected by various factors. This subject is a difficult area to study as participants are limited. As of right now, I am personally convinced that the mind-body connection is more than “proven.”  The link between stress and depression is clear, even if there is a disease caused by stress which causes depression.

Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. So, indeed mom was right about this. I’ll just add it to what mom says in the “how to fix” section at the end of this article.

Time for a humor stress break!

jokes are natural mood enhancers

 

Stress and brain health

A research study conducted by University of Iowa demonstrates a correlation between elevated amounts of cortisol to the gradual loss of synapses in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the region of the brain that houses short-term memory. Synapses are the neural connections that help us process, store, and recall information. As we age, frequent and long-term exposure to cortisol can cause them to shrink and disappear. See? Again, the cortisol “thing”! Previous studies show cortisol has similar effects on other regions what is adrenal fatigueof the aging brain. However, this is the first study to examine its impact on the prefrontal cortex. By the way I made this section separate from the mental health/brain section to give you a “brain-break.”

These findings raise the possibility that short-memory decline in aging adults may decrease or be prevented by treatments that lower levels of cortisol in susceptible individuals. Perhaps, that means treating patients with high cortisol levels or those with long term stress.

The significance of Radley and Rachel Anderson

According to leading contributors of the study, Radely and Racehel Anderson, short-term memory lapses related to cortisol start around age 65. That’s about the equivalent of 21 month-old rats used to make their discovery.

The researchers compared these elderly rats to four month old rats, which are roughly the same age as a 20 year old human. These groups were than separated according to their naturally high or low levels of corticosterone (the hormone that is comparable to cortisol found in humans).

To conduct the study the rats were placed in a T-shaped maze that required them to use their short term memory. To find a treat, these rats needed to remember the direction they turned at the top of the T around 30, 60, or 120 seconds prior, and then have to turn the opposite way each time they ran the maze. Although memory declined in all groups as time increased before running the maze again, older rats with higher corticosterone levels consistently performed the worst.

They chose the correct direction only 58 percent of the time, compared to their younger peers with low corticosterone levels who chose it 80 percent of the time.

Stress does indeed age the Brain

Chronic stress is linkable to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research indicates greater stress can be the reason some women’s brains age more prematurely than men’s. UC Berkeley scientists have findings showing the pattern of gene activation and deactivation that occurs as the brain ages seems to progress more quickly in women. Again, as one of the most recognized brain health experts in America, I feel that women, especially, should be monitored for high cortisol starting at around age 45. Menopause is a time of high stress and often weight gain- and high cortisol is easy to treat. I monitor men starting at around age 50 unless they are high-powered execs (women too) who I feel are prone to high cortisol levels.

Another can’t resist it stress break here:

you can decrease stress weight gain with humor

Stress and aging in general:

Job Stress Can Damage Cells, Leading To Early Aging

Work related stress can cause a harmful effect on critical DNA within the cells, according to a 2012 study by the journal PLosONE. First of all let me define telomeres. Telomeres are the tips of DNA and shorten with aging, but various influences can make them shorten faster or slower. They are considered a reliable biomarker of physiologic age. Fasting, for example, slows the shortening as one example. The study concluded that individuals who had highly stressful occupations had the shortest telomeres. When telomeres become too short these cells can die or become damaged. Those who did not experience work exhaustion had longer telomeres. Telomere shortening has been linked to Parkinson’s, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and aging in general. And yes-even depression!

Even The Anticipation Of Stress May Accelerate Cellular Aging

UC San Francisco research has findings that the mere anticipation of stress can increase an individual’s risk of age-related disorders. In the study, 50 women (half of whom were caretakers for a patient with dementia) were instructed they would have to participate in public speaking or solving complex math problems. The study found that those who felt most threatened by the anticipation of the stressful event exhibited greater signs of aging on the cellular level. The researchers proposed that greater anticipated threat levels in daily life may promote cellular aging in chronically stressed persons. There’s still research that needs to be done, but doesn’t your intuition tell you this is correct?

Stress Can Lead To Vision & Hearing Loss

need adrenal fatigue supplementsThe stress hormone adrenaline can increase blood pressure and speed up your heart rate. In addition, it can also lead to temporary vision and hearing loss. When the production of adrenaline is prolonged or repeated, that’s when we see a constriction of blood vessels. This may lead to a decrease in hearing and vision. It is unclear whether this can result in permanent loss, but research is ongoing. No studies have been done on this particular stress and depression potential link. However, there is more depression amongst elderly people with uncorrected hearing loss.

Chronic Stress Can Contribute To An Unhealthy Lifestyle

People who are under stress start to lose motivation. As a result, they begin to take less care of themselves. People under stress are known to eat more poorly, exercise less, drink more alcohol, and, probably, rely on medication. All of these things are going to show up as major negatives for your body. Pretty much everyone knows the stress and weight gain connection. When I do a consult for someone purchasing a weight loss and metabolism kit, I know they usually have stress in their life. In addition to using metabolism boosting supplements, natural appetite suppressant supplements and leptin/ghrelin normalizers, I include a special supplement (Pharmagaba) for stress eating. Stress is a top reason for unexplained weight gain. More importantly, it is easy for me to identify and help you fix! File that.

Creating a healthy lifestyle is vital to aging well. Regular exercise protects the aging brain, and conversely, sleep deprivation can accelerate aging. As you get older, good nutrition becomes increasingly important in how the body ages. The important information to remember is when creating a less stressful lifestyle you can simultaneously create a lifestyle which is conducive to disease prevention and healthy, vibrant aging. Since this article is about stress and depression, I must mention the following: Everything above regarding an unhealthy lifestyle contributes to your risk of depression and everything “good” guards against it.

Can’t resist it stress break:

reduce chronic inflammation with the right wine

Let’s make it simple now-stress and depression

Yes, there is indeed a link between stress and depression. It can happen in several ways. Someone can be under so much stress that it leads to chronic fatigue and restless sleep. That in and of itself leads to a decrease in the production of happy brain chemicals and, therefore, depression. Depression can “present itself” as someone looking for more energy, better sleep or they simply display unexplained anger and irritability.  

A person can “stress-eat” themselves up a few sizes. This leads to a loss of self-esteem which is then connectable to depression. Others can suffer skin or hair issues. For certain individuals, a noticeable decrease in their perception of their appearance will impact their self- esteem and cause depression. I’m sure you can think of more scenarios, but it is clear stress does impact our whole body and mind. If this is you, please consider the we have the best  natural mood enhancers before you take anti-depressant drugs. In fact, just get a Dr.Kim Crawford consult and I’ll take you by the hand when it comes to treating depression naturally.

Now how do we solve all of this?

Well it’s obvious that we need to get to the root cause which is stress, right? So, we use all of the methods in this website for managing stress which are many. We have many ways to help you get down those toxic cortisol levels and help relieve your stress through several physiologic mechanisms.

Please don’t turn to pharmaceuticals such as xanax and valium which are highly addictive, don’t solve the problem long-term and predispose you to Alzheimer’s. Then, if all of the stress has caused any of the problems I’ve discussed above, including depression, you need to see “what you need.” This is easily accomplished in the symptom checker questionnaires found on the home page.

If you need therapy, go for it. If you have only mild depression, that could certainly be due to the sleep deprivation and fatigue you have experienced due to stress. So in your case, you would add l-tyrosine, 5-HTP and SAMe. I encourage you to follow the instructions on the website. And of course, if you have questions just ask me!  

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