Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on August 30, 2012
Charles Raison, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine. WebMD Health.
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Charles Raison, MD Psychiatrist, Emory University: Stress is the primary inducer of most episodes of depression.
Narrator: Emory psychiatrist Charles Raison conducts cutting-edge research on stress.
Charles Raison, MD Psychiatrist, Emory University: The correlation was tighter between how much television people watched and how distressed they became as opposed to having seen it in real life—especially that was shown in children.
Narrator: The grind of our fast-paced, frenetic lives is stressing us to the breaking point.
Charles Raison, MD Psychiatrist, Emory University: We as a planet are in an epidemic of major depression.
Narrator: Stress affects each of us differently. Some are able to shut out or cope with tension, while others are genetically predisposed to react in a way that's makes them vulnerable to becoming depressed.
Charles Raison, MD Psychiatrist, Emory University: If you're somebody that has had depression in the past or has depression, or comes from a family environment where there's a lot of depression floating around, then you're somebody's who's at risk for responding to psycho-social stress from the environment with depression.
Narrator: How will you know if depression has taken the place of everyday stress? Look for these warning signs: In men: frequent eruptions of anger or irritability; overuse of alcohol or drugs; trouble staying focused at work. And difficulty getting a good night's sleep. Women's symptoms can be more subtle: a persistent sad or 'empty' feeling; Sleeping too little or too much; An unusual change of appetite or body weight; Restlessness or irritability. In severe cases in both sexes, suicidal thoughts may enter the equation. When stress becomes severe, experts have found great promise with psychotherapy and anti-depressant drugs in treating depression…. But prevention is always best. Reduce stress with exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and then there's always the obvious….
Edward Rosensweig, PhD, Psychologist: Turn off the media. You know, there's a hiatus there's a moratorium. We have dinner time we don't answer the phone, the tv's not going
Narrator: For WebMD, I'm Damon Meharg.