Depression is very serious, and in no way is the following information meant to be diagnostic, or encourage self-medicating. If you think you are dealing with depression of any kind, please consult with a professional to discuss your options.
Stress is a factor in many illnesses. In fact, it is estimated that 75-90% of visits to the doctor are related to stress – either acutely or because of chronic problems associated with stress. It is also believed that nearly 75% of the diseases prevalent in Western society are related to the stress mechanisms of the body.
Chronic exposure to stress results in chronic engagement of the fight-or-flight mechanism (increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, blood shunted away from the digestive system, increase in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine). Studies show that physiological and psychological consequences of acute/chronic stress can persist well past the cessation of a stressful event.
The body is designed to adapt to stressors to help maintain equilibrium and healthy functioning. The stress response influences many biological and biochemical processes that begin in the brain and spread through nearly all body systems including the adrenals, thyroid, neurotransmitter systems, digestive system, and cardiovascular system. But everyone has an individual "load" that they can manage, which is why stress can express itself in a variety of symptoms throughout the body. Read more