What’s the Difference Between Stress and Depression?

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, you are not alone. Stress is good if it motivates you, but it’s terrible if it wears you down. Many factors can contribute to the pressure you experience. This stress can cause changes in your body that affect your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.

Depression is more serious and long-lasting than stress and requires a different kind of help. The good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. However, it’s not something you can snap out of by yourself, so it’s crucial to get help early. How do you tell the difference between stress and depression? Both can affect you in similar ways, but there are key differences. Symptoms of depression can be much more intense. They last at least two weeks. Depression causes powerful mood changes, such as painful sadness and despair. You may feel exhausted and unable to act.

Here are common signs of stress and depression. See how they are different.

Depression vs Stress Table

Reducing Stress

If you are stressed out, there are many good ways to get relief. Drinking or taking drugs, however, won’t solve anything and can lead to more problems. So here are some constructive choices:

1. Make a Plan.

Figure out what is causing the stress. Think of as many possible causes as you can and write them down. Now brainstorm for solutions that will reduce the stress and commit them to paper. A trusted friend or family member may be able to offer some good ideas as well. Now choose a few solutions to start tackling the issues. If they are complicated, break them down into manageable chunks. Then give your plan a try. If one solution doesn’t help, try another one. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s all a part of the process.

2. Get the Stress Out.

Remember to take breaks when you feel worried or stuck. Do something relaxing every day like singing, dancing, and laughing–anything to burn off the energy.

3. Take Care of Your Body.

A healthy body can help you manage stress. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep, eat healthy food, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly. Go easy on the caffeine. Shorting yourself on sleep, and especially pulling an all-nighter, robs you of energy and your ability to concentrate. A healthy diet improves your ability to learn. Don’t skip breakfast.

4. Don’t Suffer in Silence.

Get support, whether from family, friends, or a trusted online community. A heart-to-heart talk with someone you trust can help you get rid of toxic feelings and may even give you a fresh perspective. If these steps don’t bring relief, or if you are still unable to manage your stress. It could be something more acute and chronic–like depression. So don’t let it go unchecked!

Getting Help for Depression

Remember, you should not be ashamed of suffering from depression and other mental health conditions. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Telling someone you are struggling is the first step toward feeling better. You will need the assistance of a mental health professional to beat depression.

If you think you might be depressed, reach out to us at Salience TMS to learn if you are a good candidate for TMS therapy. TMS is a non-invasive FDA-approved treatment for depression. Call us today at 214 889-8778.