Coping With Stress and Depression


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Coping With Stress and Depression

  1. 1. Coping with Stress and Depression Presented by Zaza Sakhat, LICSW & Susan Weinstein
  2. 2. Agenda •  How to identify signs of stress •  What are ways to reduce stress •  What is mindfulness-based stress reduction •  How to identify when it s more than stress •  What are anxiety and depression •  How and where to get help
  3. 3.   Consider: What causes you the most stress?   Stress is a fact of life, but it can be managed Viewer Activity
  4. 4. Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It comes from the strains of day-to-day life or acute events. Definition of stress
  5. 5. Acute Stress—How does it feel ? You are driving You see a dog in the road You slam on the brakes What happens to your body?
  6. 6. Signs of Stress   Digestive problems   Tense muscles and aches   Racing heartbeat and restlessness, sweating   Skin problems   Getting sick more frequently   Irritability, quick temper   Worried, anxious thoughts   Forgetfulness, problems concentrating   Less interest in sex   Menstrual or fertility problems   Drinking more alcohol, smoking more often
  7. 7. How stress impacts the body You have a fight or flight response   Adrenaline and other body chemicals are released   Good for short spurts, not long term   Chronic stress without healthy release has long-term consequences to physical and emotional health
  8. 8. Chronic stress can take a toll Increased vulnerability to  Infections, viruses  Sleep problems  Anxiety  Depression  GI problems  Heart conditions  Weight gain or loss  Infertility  Compromised glucose control (diabetes) Take the Holmes and Rahe stress test at
  9. 9.   Healthy ways and unhealthy ways How do you cope with stress?
  10. 10. Strategies for coping with stress   Relax deliberately and breathe deeply   Eat well, with a healthy, balanced variety of foods   Stop smoking   Limit coffee and alcohol   Exercise and move your body   Sleep long enough to feel rested   Set limits   Spend time with others   Laugh and sing   Practice spirituality   Focus on your goals
  11. 11. Rationale for reframing Reframing negative thoughts can help us: •  Turn them into positive possibilities •  Reduce stress and improve mood
  12. 12. Reframing What nourishes you?
  13. 13. Inventory your personal attributes Reframing
  14. 14. Practice gratefulness  I recognize  I acknowledge  I appreciate
  15. 15. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way—deliberately, in the present moment, and without judgment
  16. 16.   Decreases the negative effects of stress   Some success easing other health problems   MBSR is a lifestyle change, more effective in the long run Benefits of MBSR The MBSR program was founded in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, U-Mass Medical Center; now offered at centers and clinics nationwide Citations: Carmody & Baer, Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, etc., J Behav Med, Feb 2008; Marchand, Mindfulness-based stress reduction … for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress, J Psychiatr Pract, Jul 2012
  17. 17. Ways to practice MBSR   Meditation   Yoga   Tai chi   Other body-centered meditative approaches By increasing awareness in a conscious way, you can work through your stress
  18. 18. Commit to reducing stress For your eyes only, jot down one or two things you can do starting tomorrow (maybe even tonight?) to help manage your stress—at home and at work. I commit to:  [doing what?]  [by when?].
  19. 19. Remember to breathe!
  20. 20. Beyond Stress
  21. 21. Anxiety or clinical depression Do you know someone who is anxious or depressed?
  22. 22. These are medical conditions Clinical depression and anxiety:   Affect people of any age, gender, race, income level   Are treatable medical conditions   80% of people improve with treatment   Are often biologically based   Like diabetes or heart disease
  23. 23. What is anxiety? Excessive dread, fear, or worry that is intense and ongoing
  24. 24. Who has anxiety? Anxiety is very common: •  40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety disorders* *Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27
  25. 25. Signs of anxiety disorders •  Irrational feelings of fear, uneasiness, dread •  Excessive worry •  Impaired concentration or selective attention •  Feeling restless or on edge •  Heart palpitations or racing heartbeat •  Avoiding activities or people •  Easily startled or jumpy •  Bothered by normal surrounding noise or conversation •  Irritability •  Sweating •  Fatigue •  Headaches and stomach problems •  Insomnia •  Repetitive/compulsive behaviors (checking, counting, washing) •  Nervousness
  26. 26. What is clinical depression?   A treatable medical condition   Affects people regardless of gender, race, income level, age   More than sadness or “the blues”
  27. 27. Who has clinical depression? Common •  14.8 million American adults in a given year1 •  About 7% of American adults are depressed1 •  20% of teens will experience depression by adulthood2 If untreated, can lead to suicide •  30% attempt suicide, and half of those take their lives3 1: Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun; 62(6): 617-27 2: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Facts for Families, The Depressed Child, 2008 3: National Center for Health Statistics, 2007.
  28. 28. Depression—what others notice •  Talking very negatively •  Acting without concern for others •  Abusing alcohol or drugs •  Picking fights, being irritable, critical, or mean •  Withdrawing from people •  Having trouble at work •  Talking suddenly about separation or divorce •  Complaining of medically unexplained aches and pains •  Eating or sleeping too much or too little •  Behaving unusually or uncharacteristically
  29. 29. Abusing alcohol and drugs Common sign 9% of full-time workers—about 12.7 million people —have problems with alcohol consumption.* *2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  30. 30. Markers of depression For at least 2 weeks: •  Feeling miserable, depressed, sad, empty, or irritable •  Losing interest or pleasure in most activities Thinking of death or suicide - Seek help immediately
  31. 31. Help and Resources
  32. 32. Where to go for help •  Employee Assistance Program at your company •  Your doctor (get a referral) •  Mental health clinician (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, family therapist) •  Complete an online screening, give to your clinician to get a full evaluation   Depression and Bipolar Test:, click Tools   Massachusetts residents:   Outside Massachusetts:
  33. 33. Nonprofit organization helping families recognize and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides Visit Families for Depression Awareness at Learn More, Get Support
  34. 34. Audio Podcast Series Depression in the Family •  Signs of Depressive Disorders •  Diagnosis and Treatment •  Helping a Family Member •  Caregiver Burnout •  Family Communication •  How to Find and Pay for Treatment •  Family History
  35. 35. Depression Test •  Anonymous, confidential •  Available at •  Print out results, take to clinician
  36. 36. Mental Health Family Tree
  37. 37. Depression Wellness Analyzer Computer-based tool to monitor treatment. Download at
  38. 38. Care for Your Mind Bringing people with mood disorders and their families into a conversation about mental health care system and how to fix it •  Collaboration with Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance •
  39. 39. Coping with Stress Training   Stress is top health concern among employees   Depression training helps employers reduce the cost of untreated or poorly treated depression We can present a company-specific webinar or in-person workshop to employees We also have a Coping with Stress Workshop, including Facilitator’s Guide, so you can present the workshop to your company, community group, or other organization
  40. 40. Massachusetts Department of Public Health The Massachusetts Workplace Mental Health Initiative
  41. 41. Stay Engaged With Us • Sign up for our email newsletter (go to homepage at • Volunteer or share your story (go to and click Volunteer tab) • Participate on
  42. 42. Special Thanks Zaza Sakhat, LICSW, today’s presenter Educational grant support from: •  Massachusetts Department of Public Health •  Takeda and Lundbeck •  AstraZeneca •  Forest Laboratories and contributions from individuals like you!
  43. 43. Next Steps •  Please complete the online evaluation to receive your free Coping with Stress brochure and reframing handout: •  Implement your commitments to reducing stress •  Visit to learn more, volunteer, and/or donate to Families for Depression Awareness
  44. 44. Thank you!