Are Your Daily Hassles Making You Depressed?
It is easy for us to forget the importance of the little challenges we face everyday. We tend to put the blame of our stress and sadness on the bigger life events we face; such as divorce or grief. Big stressors are also what researchers tend to focus on when trying to find out what has pushed someone that one bit too far.
But let’s not forget, that while smaller daily hassles have no where near as big an impact on us as big life events, we tend to have more of them in a short space of time. Whether its something as small as your favourite top being dirty when you have a stressful day, or that you’ve run out of breakfast cereal, they all add up. It’s just how we deal with them that is important.
New research by Charles et al (2013) has looked into how people react to these every day hassles, and whether this has an impact on our lives a decade later. The stressors people reported were pretty standard; having an argument, things in the home breaking, being late for something etc.
They were followed up 10 years later, and asked if they’d been treated for any mental health problems. This included depression, anxiety or emotional problems.
Surprisingly, it was found that the way participants dealt with their every day hassles actually predicted whether they suffered emotional problems later on in their life. This result has been replicated by others (spring.org.uk gives Parish et al, 2011 as an example) showing that maybe more research should be conducted into the effects of daily hassles.
No matter how big or small a stressor is, they all add up, and it is how we deal with them that determines the impact we have on our lives. I have found that people always assume that depression has one single trigger. While in some this is true, there are people who have developed it after an extremely stressful event; this isn’t the case for every sufferer. Depression can be a build up of many things, most of which we don’t know how to deal with. And these can really have a negative impact on your life.
Written by: Philippa Berry
Published on: 15th April 2013