Is there a difference between being Stressed and being Depressed?

United States
March 28, 2008 12:56pm CST
Yeah I'm still having a hard time with this whole "you're depressed" diagnosis I got from my doctor. So here is my next question. Can being stressed out be mistaken for being depressed? Here is a run down of my next 3 months. I finally get to have the surgery on my hand on Monday for a condition that has kept me out of work for over 2 years. After the surgery I have to have my final workers compensation hearing that will decide if I am to return to work or be labeled as disabled for who knows how long. If I can return to work there is a good possibility they are going to find a way to fire me because they have been trying to get me to settle for $25,000 and resign since October of 2006. During the time between my surgery and the hearing, I have a custody hearing for my oldest daughter. I have joint custody of her now, I am going for full physical custody of her. On top of that during this time my sweetie and I have to pick a house to move into, wait to see if we get approved for the loan from the bank for the house, do the work that needs to be done on the house, and be moved in and settled before my kids go back to school at the end of August. I also have to make the decision to try to have another baby or to go ahead and have a full hysterectomy done if the hormone therapy I am on now doesn't fix my issues with my reproductive organs by June. I also have a few issues with services my sons receive for their own sets of issues. Fighting with insurance companies to actually pay for medically necessary expenses is never fun. I know from both ends. I work for an insurance company. And on top of all this my grandmother, who basically raised me, is in the hospital every other month dang near dying. And she makes it a point to tell me what an evil child I am for never coming to visit her when she is in there and one day she is going to go in and never come out and I am going to be sorry. There are a few other issues I have that deal with money being repaid to me, my kids "wants" being viewed more like "needs", getting married in August and how they are going to take to the whole adoption thing after I am married to my sweetie, and some issues with how I feel about how I look physically but those pale in comparison to the bigger issues I have had dumped on me these past 2 months. I'm stressed out. I know that. Does that also mean I'm depressed? What would your opinion be of your mental health if all of these things were happening to you?
7 people like this
15 responses
• United States
29 Mar 08
I use a gauging system to help me determine whether or not I'm depressed or stressed out. If I keep thinking why does this sh!t keep happening to me, why does it never end. Then I am depressed. Now if I feel the urge to go out and apply for a job with the Post Office. I would say I'm stressed out. Myself in your situation, I would be more incline to believe I was stressed out. Having that much on the table to deal with at one time is very stressful. As long as I feel that I can get through it and things will work out for the better, than all it is to me is stress. When I think about depression. I think about always being down. Never being able to enjoy someones company or being able to laugh at a stupid joke. Being depressed you always expect the worst out come possible. There is a questionnaire that Doctor's are supposed to use to help determine whether or not a person is suffering from depression. My quack used it to help determine whether or not I had depression. I think (this is my opinion mind you) that yours is more stress than anything. I would violently take the pills the doc prescribed and stick them up his candy arce. But this is just my opinion and how I feel on the situation. I hope you don't take offense to anything I said. It was not meant to be that way. I do hope what I said helps you out though. And congrats on your upcoming marriage.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Mar 08
We will always have issues in our lives. It is how we handle them that distinguish (can't spell worth a crap) who we are. I believe quacks are more into the kick backs they get from the pill companies than the welfare of the patient anymore. Everything is about the money. I really believe yours is more stress than anything. I know how I felt when I was depressed, but everyone is different. I just know how happy doctors are when the get to write out scripts. That just makes their day. From reading some of your other post, I know you have a lot on your plate that would overwhelm a normal person. My hats off to you since you haven't gone postal, but it is awful tempting at times isn't it. Let me know what happens with your court date on your Daughter. If you don't mind.
• United States
30 Mar 08
Oh trust me, I will type a whole discussion with a pencil in my teeth after my daughters custody hearing, if I have to. I think about all else the outcome of this court hearing is my main stressor at the moment. It really will have an impact of which house I buy, where my kids will be going to school next year, how much money will be needed for vacation and where that vacation will be taken, etc. etc. etc. Rest assured, you and everyone else will know all about my custody hearing. Thanks for your interest.
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I think with this much stress it would be safe to say that you aer depressed as well. Who wouldn't be? Someone, the Universe, whatever deity you believe is dropping the sky on you. Babe, you will make it through all this. You are a fighter and I DO NOT have to tell you that. If you weren't depressed at least a little you wouldn't be normal. If I was in this situation, I would for sure be extremely depressed but that wouldn't necessarily be a negative. It would actually be a positive, I would have no choice but to grab my shovel and start digging my way out to return to the happy person I know Iam. There are alot of lessons to be learned here and sometimes it takes stuff like this happening to make us realize that we need a fire lit under our a*s. You will come out on top- better and stronger than when you started. Wouldn't it be nice though if it didn't come all at once?? I guess that is just the way it always happens! I'm here if you need anything at all! XOXOXOXOXO Big hugs!!!!!!!!!!!1
• United States
30 Mar 08
Dig a tunnel dig dig a tunnel. Now I have that song from the Lion King 1 1/2 stuck in my head. Yes yes stronger and wiser from these experiences and maybe even a little bit more cynical and outspoken if you can believe that :)
• United States
1 Apr 08
A little more cynical and outspoken, is it possible?? Why yes it is!! Bring it on, I love that part of you! :)
@p_vadla (1687)
• India
29 Mar 08
Stress can be a starting point for depression.Stress can be one of the many causes of depression.Stress can be physical,mental and emotional.Stressful situations prolong depression.Since jobs these days are becoming more and more stressful and demanding, it is quite natural that depression cases at work are on increase. Why are we doing jobs in the first place? To make a living. A happy living. Companies should in tune with changing trends in work, must come up with more and more innovative ways of giving relief to the employees. Stress and depression have to be recognised as valid health issues for insurance and leave.Nothing is more than the health of individuals. For the sake of making somebody rich, people should not be made scapegoats and exploited to the point of exploitation.And these days it is no longer an issue to view depression with suspicion or stigma attached.
• United States
29 Mar 08
I couldn't agree more. I remember back when I started at my employer we were actually encouraged to take a "mental" vacation day. Our jobs are very stressful and we are given 18 days a year to use as vacation days plus 3 personal and 3 sick days, so that we can call in on days when we just need to take a step back from our daily duties and breath a little. I really like that about the company I work for. You are right, more employers should be more concerned over the mental health of their employees.
@gandatwo (602)
• Australia
28 Mar 08
Under the circumstances I feel you are SUPERWOMAN and you will get through this..you know it!If any one trys to lay a guilt trip on you,tell them to go take a flying leap.Keep believing in yourself...it's natural to be feeling the way you are.When you start to shut yourself away,cry at the drop of a hat etc, then you are depressed.Hang in there girl you will make it.All the very best for "A Fab Day In August".
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Mar 08
Then as long as I am still getting out of bed every morning I should be okay. It is time I do something for me though. It has been since last August that I had any time alone to do something that I enjoy. Thankfully, summer is coming.
• Canada
28 Mar 08
there obvioulsy is a difference between the two because they mean two completely different things so.. BUT however depression is a real serious thing i dont think medication is good for it i think its just things in your life that you have to deal with it you can be just constatly stressed or just in bad blah moood and think that is depression but when in reality its not
1 person likes this
@whiteheron (4223)
• United States
28 Mar 08
It sure sounds that you are indeed under a lot of stress... Depression is a way that some people react to life events that are stressful. When a person has a lot of events in life that are overwhelming and feels overwhelmed, feels like not getting up out of bed at all or isn't able to sleep at all; loses interest in things that used to make them happy; isolates themselves from their supports; loses a lot of weight or gains a lot of weight due to the stress; feels hopeless; reports being sad most of the time; cries a lot; is irritated with others; reports sometimes not wanting to be here or even wanting to kill themselves, etc. and has been feeling this way for some time, it is said that a person is suffering from depression. Depression can be the result of circumstances or just a biological condition without obvious circumstances. Counseling should be the primary treatment if there are circumstances that are triggering the depression as sometimes therapists are able to assist in helping reduce the systems and in helping you deal with and find solutions for the problems that caused the depression in the first place. Sounds like you have a right to not feel so good... Also sounds like you are going through a growing time and are getting a lot of stuff to deal with... Sorry that you have to deal with so much stuff right now... There is one thing that I can tell you that might make it all a little easier... This is all a time limited thing. You will eventually get through all of this, finding within you much more strength than you ever thought existed and will look at yourself with some pride and amazement for getting through this time. I predict that you are also going to be learning a lot of wisdom and compassion from this experience that you are going through and will be able to help other people who are going through similar experiences later on... Hoping that you are taking care of your physical body by exercise, eating good food, resting, walking in natural surroundings, spending good times with family and friends. These will reduce the stress level and the depression that is flowing from it.
• United States
29 Mar 08
You guessed... I am one...:)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Do I owe you $100 now? J/K I really appreciate the free advice. I saw a therapist for awhile last year when I was having trouble getting rid of some anger I had towards "some guy I used to know" She wasn't particularly helpful though because I was able to identify my "trigger" and her ways of coping didn't work for me. "This is all a time limited thing." That has got to be the best line I can use right now as my mantra. I know it is. And by the time I say I DO in august all of these things will have been worked out and I will still be here. But I do have one more question. If I came to you with this whole laundry list of things on my plate, would you have jumped right to a depression diagnosis even with the lack of sure signs of depression like mood swings, lacking the desire to do things I enjoy, etc. or would you have thought something else?
• United States
30 Mar 08
you asked if I would give you the depression diagnosis... I would have to give you a firm maybe, maybe not... If the symptoms have lasted for awhile yes... If not Adjustment Disorder would have been preferred. Honestly, it also depends on your insurance as some insurances will only pay for treatment, counseling included, if you have a "parity" or more severe dianosis like depression which will lend itself to needing more treatment, counseling or in some cases medication. I am a therapist so I do not prescribe medication. A psychiatrist, being primarily a physician with an residency in psychiatry would usually prescribe medication first as that is what he is trained to do. I have been known to talk with my clients about diagnosis. The first thing that I tell all of my clients is that you are a person who is far from being the diagnosis you are given. The diagnosis describes how you are behaving and feeling. It is not a definition of you.
@flowerchilde (12547)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Oh man. I hate to say this, but if all this was on my plate right now, I'd certainly be stressed and depressed, and distressed, to top it all off! I think you're doing really good, I mean you are still forming words and not in a fetal position under the covers.. Which might be where I'd be! - That reminds me to take time to thoroughly unwind every day. I've found that I absolutely have to take five or ten minutes every so often and just do and think about nothing. I actually do a little silencing meditation for one of those minutes (I learned this years ago from a teacher of it) to close my eyes and peacefully concentrate on thinking of nothing.. of imagining my mind empty of thought for a moment. It's not the easiest thing to do! It's really quite a riotous and noisy place in there! But it gets so you can see thoughts 'coming in' (up?) some from the right, some from the left, some up, some down (those are the good ones!) - anyway the teacher said to just let those drift right across the mind and out the other side and return to concentrating upon utter silence. And like he said, you'd be surprised how peaceful one can begin to feel regularly bym practicing this. Sometimes before a stressful time, it seems like I get a little nudge or reminder that I should be more faithful at this.. but of course I never listen.. All the best to you... hope a really peaceful time follows all this!
• United States
29 Mar 08
And congrats on your wedding! hope it's a great day!
• United States
29 Mar 08
Meditation never works for me. I close my eyes I start to picture something peaceful and the next thing I know I am snoring at my kitchen table. HAHA! No hiding under the covers for me though. I believe if I just lay down and don't fight then I can't have an emotion about what happens because I didn't try to do anything to prevent it. I will live to fight another day, of that I am sure of. But we may have to make the honeymoon last a little longer.
@overhere (516)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I would be worried by an out n out diagnosis of "depression" and any ensuing meds from what you have said here. I know nothing more than you have written above but have suffered with severe clinical depression in the past. Everything you have written above on their own would lead a sane normal person to be incredibly stressed they are each on their own traumatic experiences to be dealing with and as such could lead to depression in someone prone. But being stressed needn't necessarily mean you are also depressed and to me their is something underlyingly (?) too positive in the way you write here that doesn't lead me to think you ARE depressed. You have WAY TOO MUCH on your plate and need to reach out to any and every available source of help in each of the issues you are facing - nothing is truer than the saying that a trouble shared is a trouble halved - and treat each issue separately and feel good about yourself for each achievement on a day to day basis rather than trying to peer over the mountain ahead. I personally believe if you had depression you would have thrown the towel in before now on any and every issue you have listed whereas it is obvious you are fighting all of them to the very best of your ability and you must be amazing to be coping with all of this at all. So if I were you I would be wary of a straight diagnosis of "depression". Good luck with your trials ahead and the very best for your up coming marriage ((((hugs))))
• United States
29 Mar 08
And I believe that is why I am having such a hard time accepting the depression diagnosis. I get out of bed every morning whether I want to or not. My kids are all cared for. My daily duties don't suffer because I don't lack the desire to complete them. I haven't gained or lost weight. I don't cry at the drop of a hat. I am a little more "irritable" now then I used to be but that I believe is a direct result of having so much going on that I have little control over the outcome. I have control issues. Those I readily admit to.
• United States
29 Mar 08
I would be flocking depressed and looking for a razor :)))))) Seriously Cyn, there is a big difference between depression and stress. Stresses we can eventually toss off or leave behind us once we climb into a bath tub for instance. Depression is a different kind of ball game. There is no respite. You might have periods of feeling better but they do not last long. Stress we can relive with exercise, meditation, reading, mylotting, any numerous ways. We are okay untill it builds again. With all you are going through I wish you would relax and let your doctors drive for awhile. YOU NEED THEM TO.
• United States
29 Mar 08
I can tell you are very passionate about this subject and I have read every word you have written both here and in other comments. It is a really nice thought to just be able to sit back and let someone else take over for a while. But I have control issues and that is where I believe my stress is stemming from. All of these things going on right now I have little control over the outcome and that makes me angry. Not depressed. Angry! I don't disagree that I have some issue, some chemical imbalance, that may need pharmaceutical intervention to correct, but I just don't think depression is the right one.
@besthope44 (12145)
• India
10 Oct 10
I use to manage depression, listening musiq, playing violen and i like chocolates, and i feel i get refreshed after having my chocolates. And best remedy is Meditation, try breathing exercise, it will help you balance and handle depression.
@MAMABLAZE (242)
• United States
1 Apr 08
Wow cyn you have alot on your plate! There is definitely a ton of stress to be had there. I'm sure there is a difference between stress and depression. However I cannot dish out the facts as I do not know them. Maybe you are depressed because of the stress. That sounds realistic to me...I mean geez...don't think I could handle your load all at once. They would be taking me to the crazy house and that won't address everything that needs doing or accomplish your goals. All I can say is hang in there, I mean what other choice do you have...right? Best of everything and I'll be paying attention if you need an ear...here to give any help I can...Mamablaze!!
@MsTickle (24994)
• Australia
1 Apr 08
Seems to be that you're burying yourself under all these issues, appointments, happenings and events. And that's perfectly understandable. But It also seems to me that you're so deep into it that you are losing sight of the light of day and also your grip on the control of things. I don't think you're stressed or depressed. I think you're tired and fed up. If I may, I'll make a couple of suggestions which you're not expected to follow but it might help you see things a little more clearly. Get yourself a planner and put it on the wall with all the necessary dates filled in. Make sure all the prep is done for those dates as necessary and then ....relax. Just take each event as it happens, deal with it and move on to the next. Somewhere in the middle of all this take a couple of days off and go and stay in a motel by yourself; do things you like to do, like read, or shop or dine out or have a session at the local spa or just swim and sunbake by the pool. You seem to be doing too much for too many people and it's not a very balanced picture. Take care of you for a change.
@pphdpphd (36)
• United States
29 Mar 08
stressed is depressed if you were not stressed out you would not be depressed they are truely the same thing whether you want to accept it or not and when it comes to money that is the worst listen money comes and goes there is no way to change that formula try the best to look at the good sides of everything the glass is always half full not empty.
@djmarion (4901)
• Philippines
29 Mar 08
in my opinion, depression is more on emotional aspect while stress is the result of physicall, mental or emotional fatigue. meaning we get stress due to different things, we can also get stress when we are in a depressive state.
@ciades (1624)
• Philippines
29 Mar 08
Stress and Depress means differently. When you feel depressions it can lead you for being stress. Stress is pressurement,hassle or anxiety while depressions means misery or sadness. When you feel sad or unhappy or to be despair it's so hassle because it can affect your daily activities and definitely your life. On that way yourself having a stress. Depressions is one of the causes of being Stress. So, if you don't like to be stress avoid depressions..