Is stress and anxiety the same as depression?

What about depression is it the same as stress? 

Many of the symptoms of stress are also symptoms of depression, but it is not clear whether depression and stress cause the same physiological responses in the body. It is estimated that between 25 and 30 million Americans suffer from clinical depression (not just moodiness), although many go undiagnosed. The hallmark signs of depression are a loss of interest in life in general and a hopeless, withdrawn, or pessimistic attitude. Depressed people often experience a loss of energy, feel restless, and have trouble concentrating and making decisions. Some do not experience the agitation and rise in blood pressure and heart rate that are part of the stress response; others do. High levels of cortisol are present in many severely depressed patients, contributing to high levels of LDL (the harmful fat in cholesterol) in the blood. If for no other reason than that depression is linked to an elevation in LDL, people with heart disease might want to seek treatment if they think they might be depressed.
It is not uncommon for victims of heart attack or other lifethreatening illnesses to experience depression once they are home and recovering. If depressive behavior persists for more than a couple of weeks, it is advisable to seek professional counseling. Medications can help mitigate and interrupt depressive periods, and antidepressants are often prescribed. Patients with heart disease should be sure their doctors are aware of all the medications they are taking, since some depression medications have side effects relevant to heart disease.

Some of the relaxation and belief-modification techniques described above, such as stress avoidance and deep muscle relaxation through yoga, can be very helpful to people experiencing depression.


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