A single copy of this article may be reprinted for personal, noncommercial use only.
Chronic stress: Can it cause depression?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/AN01286
- With Mayo Clinic psychiatrist
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.read biographyclose window
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, board certified in general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, is a St. Louis native looking to the Internet as a way to help people improve their health and be more active participants in their own health care by learning from Mayo Clinic's experts.
Dr. Hall-Flavin served on the faculties of Cornell University Medical College, New York Medical College and The George Washington University Medical School before joining the Mayo Clinic staff in 1996. He has special interests in adult psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine. He served as medical director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence from 1986 to 1999, and is currently involved in translational medicine research involving the introduction of pharmacogenetic technology into the daily practice of community psychiatry.
"With the advent of pharmacogenetics and related fields and the advances in translational medicine, informed collaborative relationships between knowledgeable, capable health professionals and informed, proactive individuals and their families are more vital than ever," he said.
"I'm optimistic that our Internet health education activities will contribute to ever-improving health outcomes for all who participate and apply what is learned."
Stress basics (5)
- Normal stress or adjustment disorder?
- Chronic stress: Can it cause depression?
- Stress and weight gain
- see all in Stress basics
Relaxation techniques (1)
- Can I use yoga for weight loss?
Chronic stress: Can it cause depression?
Can chronic stress cause depression?
from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Depression has many possible causes, such as genetics, brain chemicals and your life situation. Chronic stressful life situations can increase the risk of developing depression if you aren't coping with the stress well. There's also increasing evidence of links among poor coping, stress and physical illness.
Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to positive or negative situations in your life, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Stress itself isn't abnormal or bad. What's important is how you deal with stress.
If you're having trouble coping, chronic stress can wear you down and overwhelm you. You may frequently be in a bad mood, your productivity may decrease, your relationships may suffer, and you might even find it difficult to go about your normal daily routine.
You can try some self-help stress relievers to get your stress under control, such as meditation, yoga, exercise or simply cutting back on your obligations. If your stress management efforts aren't helpful enough, see your doctor. If you've developed depression, you and your doctor can discuss treatment options.Next question
Stress and weight gain
- Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.
- Understanding chronic stress. American Psychological Association. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.
- Stress: Coping with everyday problems. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/stress/stress-coping-with-everyday-problems. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.
- Krishnan R. Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and neurobiology of depression. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 12, 2012.
- Mickey BJ, et al. Emotion processing, major depression, and functional genetic variation of neuropeptide Y. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2011;68: 158.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minn. Jan. 17, 2012.