When stress becomes depression

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MOST MEN suffer from stress at some time in their lives, whether it be work, relationship, life event, health or financially related.

We can often remain unaware that stress is affecting us as different people react to life challenges in different ways and what one person may perceive as stressful, another may not.

People also experience differing symptoms when they are stressed but the most common include the following, physical symptoms: headaches, nausea, stomach ache, change in bowel habits, loss of appetite or overeating, tiredness, insomnia, chest pains, palpitations, erectile dysfunction and hyperventilation.

Psychological symptoms

Irritability or impatience, tearfulness, feeling overwhelmed, unable to switch off, feeling worried, poor concentration, being disinterested in other aspects of life and loss of sense of humour.

Behavioural symptoms:

Biting fingernails, picking at skin, smoking more cigarettes, drinking more alcohol, making a point of avoiding situations that trigger the stress and withdrawal from social engagements and hobbies.

Taking steps to breakdown a big problem into smaller parts that are easier to address, is a good place to start when trying to discover what triggers our stress.

In addition, we should try to set realistic goals and recognise that sometimes there will be things that we cannot change.

We should also ensure look after our physical health by sleeping and eating well, whilst cutting down on excess smoking and drinking alcohol wherever possible.

Finding time for physical exercise, by organising out time will help to release feel good pheronomes in our bodies and more importantly we should not forget to factor in breaks and periods of down time.

If the original trigger that caused the stress settles down or disappears but behaviour, feelings and physical symptoms persist it may be a sign that our stress is turning into depression or anxiety.

Feeling sad, a loss of appetite, sleeping poorly, and concentration difficulties for more than two weeks, especially if the stressful trigger has passed, may be a clue that we are becoming depressed.

However, experiencing symptoms of feeling afraid, panic attacks, irritability or restlessness for more than two weeks this may point to anxiety.

Most crucially, taking little enjoyment in life, starting to feel worthless, having thoughts of self-harm or considering that life is not worth living are signs that we should seek urgent help.

If any of the above affects your life and you feel the need to talk confidentially about your feelings, do not hesitate to call the freephone Samaritans in Spain number 900 525 100, available 24 hours a day throughout Spain.

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