Today, stress is a well talked about condition; one that every human being can say that they have experienced. However, the term was not coined until 1936 by Canadian endocrinologist, Hans Selye. According to Selye, the body experiences stress in three stages. The first stage is the alarm reaction in which the body prepares to fight or flight. During the second stage, the body builds resistance to stress, and in the final stage, the body reaches exhaustion.
The adrenal gland is responsible for producing the fight and flight response to stress. In today’s society, people are under constant stress due to a number of reasons such as job obligations, relationship difficulties, unresolved issues, etc. Both positive experiences (marriage) and negative experiences (the death of a loved one) can be triggers. Furrthermore, people are enduring high levels of stress for long periods of time, year after year. When the adrenal gland is continually being activated, it eventually becomes fatigued. One result of adrenal fatigue can be the development of depression (Holmes & Pick, 2010).
Counselling is a unique remedy for stress related depression. It addresses the problem both from the preventative and recovery angle. In therapy, one can prevent the development of depression by learning how to reduce their level of stress. Resolving past issues, developing conflict resolution skills, or finding support during a major life change will prevent high levels of stress that could trigger the onset of depression. On the flip side, if depression is already an issue, talk therapy, particularly cognitive behaviour therapy, is a documented effective remedy. (DeRubeis, Siegle, & Hollon, 2008).
There are skilled therapists at Bayridge Family Center who would be delighted to help you reduce the level of stress in your life. Why not take a positive step in your life today, and call us to make an appointment?
DeRubeis, R., Siegle, G., &, Hollon, D. (2008) Cognitive therapy versus medication for depression: treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 9, 788-796.
Hammen, C. (2005). Stress and Illness. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 293-319.
Holmes, M., &, Pick, M. (2010). Adrenal fatigue – the effects of stress and high cortisol levels. Retrieved, December 15, 2010 from www.womentowomen.com/adrenalfatigue/effectsofhighcortisol.aspx.
Selye, H. A Syndrome Produced by Diverse Nocuous Agents. (1936). Nature, 138, 32.