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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Video Transcript

Narrator: The news in today's age of terrorism is often so stressful it's enough to make you sick… In fact, studies show it is making us sick—both physically and emotionally.

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.