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Description: Stress is related to depression somehow, right? But just how ARE they related? And How does anxiety play into this? Think about what you might know about how these things are related and not just correlationally (as in, more stressed people get depressed than do non-stressed people) but at the neurological level. Once you have your thoughts on that sorted out think about what the 10 simple words that can help, mentioned in the article title might be and then read the article linked below to find out.

Source: The link between stress and depression … and the 10 simple words that could help, Dean Burnett, In Mind: Focus on Mental Health, Neuroscience, The Guardian.

Date: October 13, 2019

Photo Credits: Brain Stress, Jamie Cullen, the Guardian

Article Links: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/13/the-link-between-stress-and-depression-and-the-10-simple-words-that-could-help

We are getting a clearer and clearer picture of the systemic nature of the human stress response. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that initiates and drives out stress response floods our system with cortisol and glucocorticosteroids. Over time the flood of stress hormones can start to reduce our brain plasticity at the neuronal level and that can lead to many of the symptoms associated with depression as well as anxiety. So what to do? Well it may be simple, though not easy … “Face your fears. Be more active. Watch what you drink.” Worth a shot as good place to start!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What does it mean to talk about stress as a systemic response to life events?
  2. How are stress and depression related?
  3. What do the 10 simple words suggest we do and what would that do for us in relation to our stress response and depression?

References (Read Further):

Pariante, C. M., & Lightman, S. L. (2008). The HPA axis in major depression: classical theories and new developments. Trends in neurosciences, 31(9), 464-468. https://www.psychiatry.wisc.edu/courses/Nitschke/seminar/Pariante%20CM,%20Trends%20Neurosci%2031,%202008.pdf

Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2010). Mental models and human reasoning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(43), 18243-18250. https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?output=instlink&q=info:vYi4vVmLbc8J:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&scillfp=6366405593367046915&oi=lle

The Stress Cycle Reaction, Melissa Samartano, PsycCentral, https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-stress-reaction-cycle/

Stress Control, Jim White,  https://stresscontrol.org/course

Wingenfeld, K., & Wolf, O. T. (2011). HPA axis alterations in mental disorders: impact on memory and its relevance for therapeutic interventions. CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, 17(6), 714-722. https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?output=instlink&q=info:O97wXOSt1woJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&scillfp=545229739555029362&oi=lle

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