Mental Health Awareness: Stress and Depression

By Chelsea Bullock, Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival

This week’s Mental Health Month (MHM) topic is stress and depression. Stress is good if it motivates you but it’s bad if it wears you down. Stress can cause changes in your body that affect your overall physical, mental and emotional health.

Chelsea Bullock Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival

Chelsea Bullock
Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival

Common signs of Stress:
• Trouble sleeping
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Problems with memory
• Changes in eating habits
• Feeling angry or irritable
• Feeling burnt out
• Trouble functioning

Ways to reduce stress are, make a plan, get the stress out of your life, take care of your body and don’t suffer in silence. If you are still unable to cope and feel as if the stress if affecting how you function it could be something more acute and chronic like depression.

Common signs of depression:
• Withdrawing from other people
• Feeling sand and hopeless
• Lack of energy
• Trouble making decisions
• Being restless or irritable
• Eating more or less than usual
• Sleeping more or less than usual
• Anger and rage
• Thoughts of suicide

Depression is more serious and more long-lasting than stress and requires a different kind of help. The good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. It is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but often begins in adulthood.

Tips for Depression Prevention:
• Become aware of what healthy coping strategies are important for maintaining your mood.
• Identify early warnings signs that are a signal that you need to make some changes.
• Your relationships are an important resource.
• Try speaking and thinking positive instead of negative
• Have a therapist you can see when your mood starts to go downhill.

Stress, depression and other mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of. Mental health conditions are not a sign of weakness and seeking help is a sign of strength.
Save the Date: Saturday, May 21st at 10:00 a.m. join The NAMI Walk (National Alliance on Mental Illness) in Greenville, SC at Timmons Arena Furman University
If you want to learn more about mental health, the effects, treatments and statistics there are several website you can visit., (National Alliance on Mental Illness, (Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration)

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold “when he is only sad.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Author: Duane Childers

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