Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on August 30, 2012


Charles Raison, MD, Psychiatrist, Emory University. Edward Rosensweig, PhD, Psychologist. WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise.

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Video Transcript

Narrator: The grind of our fast-paced, frenetic lives may be doing more than stressing us…

Charles Raison, M.D.: Stress is the primary inducer of most episodes of depression.

Narrator: While some of us are able to shut out or cope with tension, others are genetically predisposed to react in a way that's makes them vulnerable to becoming depressed.

Charles Raison, M.D.: If you're somebody who's 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: More and more therapists are increasingly advising patients to unplug themselves from encounters that are likely to cause stress.

Edward Rosensweig, PhD.: Turn off the media. You know, there's a hiatus there's a moratorium. We don't answer the phone, the TV's not going

Narrator: There's compelling evidence that activities like tai chi and yoga, deep breathing, massage and meditation are helpful in reducing stress. In fact, there are a number of other creative strategies you can use to ward off stress-induced depression: A meaningful hobby like art or music can strike the right chord; Find a social outlet…a study tracking breast cancer patients found that those who attended weekly support groups lived twice as long as those who didn't; Keep a journal. Research shows writing down your feelings can reduce tension; Try cutting back on caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. And…. Exercise on a regular basis — it triggers chemicals in the brain that block stress. For WebMD, I'm Damon Meharg.