Stress and Depression

Note effect on blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes

Stress at work:

Your line manager has accountability to ensure that your workload is manageable, however you equally have a responsibility to self-manage your stress.  You can do this by:
  • working regular hours
  • using your annual leave allowance
  • talking to your manager (give examples, don't generalize)
  • booking a day off to recuperate when you feel you are becoming overwhelmed
The main causes for stress at work are:
  • lack of consultation
  • unrealistic deadlines
  • pressure
  • feeling undervalued
If you don't keep your manager informed ... and you don't stop and look objectively at your situation, the risk is that you will attempt to cope, typically getting stuck in a vicious cycle: 
  • You work harder to try to close the gap between what you are achieving and what you THINK you should be achieving (which is generally whatever lands on your desk) 
  • You stop taking breaks
  • You start eating lunch whilst working
  • You work longer and longer hours
  • You take your laptop home and work at weekends
As a result:
  • You become disengaged
  • You feel as though you are failing (even though the workload is untenable)
  • You become over-tired
  • Your health suffers
  • Low self-esteem
  • You take sick days (work related stress = 25% sickness in the workplace)
  • and ... the workload gets even worse ... so you repeat the vicious cycle

During this time, you may experience:

muscle tension
low immune system

and emotionally could be affected by:

panic attacks
less sociable

The main cause of work related stress are DEMANDS:

Help yourself by -
  • Assess and evaluate true demands
  • Assess and evaluate your workload
(involve your manager in this)

  • If you have little control over how to carry out tasks, this creates low job satisfaction, leading to low self esteem.
  • Equally how others interact and communicate with you has a considerable impact.

intensification of demands / increased demands + low autonomy = higher work speed + increased time pressures ... which lead to rhythms induced by demand
 Update your manager regularly on your stress and work levels.

Stress caused by a life changing event (e.g. divorce, death, redundancy):
Research suggests that a major life change results in a 51% chance of developing a serious illness, such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • colitis
  • stomach ulcer
  • diabetes type II

Breathe, breathe and breathe again

Stress (non work related):

help yourself:

  • deep breathing
  • back massage
  • blogging/writing
  • music
  • walking
  • laughing
  • hugging
engage in one activity daily simply for pleasure (e.g. reading or painting) - even 15 minutes each day helps
  • get enough sleep
  • moderate intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • set realistic goals at home and at work
  • do one thing at a time
  • healthy diet
  • exercise daily
  • accept help

ensure you have uninterrupted relaxation time daily (for 10 minutes you could):

  • meditate
  • yoga
  • shut the bathroom door and have a bath
add a few drops of an essential oil ... perhaps Melissa, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Frankincense FOR STRESS
Bergamot, Lavender, Rose, Neroli, Clary Sage or Ylang Ylang FOR DEPRESSION

practise mindfulness:
  • have self-awareness
  • be non-judgmental
  • live/think/breathe ... moment to moment


Be aware that diabetes and depression often go hand in hand.  Being diagnosed with diabetes can result in depression.  Or your depression could be as a result of something else (chemical imbalance / life changing event) but compounded by your diabetes.

You may experience:
  • Thoughts:  I'm a failure, life isn't worth living, I'm worthless
  • Feelings:  overwhelmed, guilt, irritable, indecisive, sad, miserable
  • Physical:  tired, run down, muscle pain, headaches, weight loss
Help yourself -

speak to your doctor or diabetes nurse about your feelings and they may recommend counselling, a referral to a specialist or medication.

If you do not seek help, the situation ... how you cope ... your depression ... your diabetes ... could worsen ...
.... and exhaustion or not caring ... could result in you ... not bothering to exercise or eat healthily ... even stop bothering to monitor your blood sugar levels ... increasing the risk of being afflicted with other diabetes-related conditions ... which could lead to ... e.g. loss of eyesight ... or, amputation of a foot.

Nutritional therapists recommend magnesium-rich food, such as dairy products, nuts and wholegrain cereals to fight depression

GRIEF - alternative therapies include:

homeopathy (Ignatia 6c for grief and uncontrollable grief, Pulsatilla 6c for helpless weeping and insomnia, Sulphur 6c if depressed or despairing)
Bach Flower Remedies and Grief (Gentian - to give optimism and perseverance, Sweet Chestnut for anguish and bereavement
counselling (Australia)

You can help yourself by expressing emotions that are overwhelming you. 

It's good to talk