NERVOUS SYMPTOMS OF STRESS: DEPRESSION AND IRRITABILITY

Depression

«I am depressed. My mind is filled with morbid thoughts. Can’t face the day. Would just like to stay in bed. Not get up. Never get up. Never wake up again. Sometimes as bad as that. Can’t get going. Everything a burden. Getting the children off to school. He helps, but he does not understand. Sometimes tells me to pull myself together. That bites. It hurts me. He does not mean it. But it hurts me. All I am trying to do is to pull myself together. But I can’t. I just can’t. »

Depression has different causes. Sometimes it is the direct result of stress, but not always so.

In stress our brain is bombarded with an excess of messages so that it is not functioning as well as it should. We become aware that we are not coping properly with our situation in life. It is this awareness of our failure that makes us depressed.

Irritability

«Have lost my cool. Edgy. Blow up about trivial things. Irritable. Just plain irritable. Used not to be like this. Irritable at work. Irritable with my wife. Poor dear, she bears the brunt of it. Scold the children for playing around like normal kids. It used not to be like this. There has been a change. And the change is in me. »

In stress, the nerve cells of our brain have become over-alerted by the excess of messages they are receiving. They fire off too quickly, and in inappropriate circumstances. As a result we are soon finding fault unnecessarily with those at work, bickering with our wife and scolding the children.

An unhappy consequence of this situation is that people withdraw from us to avoid our irritability. Workmates no longer suggest a friendly drink on the way home. Our wife spends longer doing the chores rather than sitting with us. And the children, without any conscious evaluation on their part, take to playing in another room.

*51/98/5*

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