A long, stressful day at work, followed by a full house with children running around and leaving a mess in their path can really take a toll on someone’s mental and emotional state. But is this emotional and mental exhaustion, along with depression, something we are born with, or is it strictly trauma related? According to Dr. Zul Merali, president, and CEO at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, it is a combination of both.
Dr. Merali explained, during a phone interview done exclusively with Provider: “We are all born with serotonin, which binds to the brain receptors. You can have genetic mutations where you might be born with genes that produce high levels of serotonin, or they might produce low levels of serotonin.” He adds: “Those who are born with low serotonin levels may function properly, but all it can take is a couple of stressful or traumatic events that can cause them to become depressed or mentally and emotionally exhausted.”
With that said, it’s important to recognize the warning signs of depression and mental and emotional exhaustion. Here are some of them.
1. Irritation: I asked Dr. Merali if there was any connection between irritation, depression and mental exhaustion. His first words to me were that they were both “intricately tied.” He explains that when everything is going well in someone’s life, they don’t stress or worry about anything. But when someone is unable to cope with certain things, whether it is small or big, they begin to become irritated. He adds: “When it becomes a pattern, it’s basically the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The stress becomes too much for the individual and because it has now become part of your daily life, you stay irritated because you can’t break the pattern.” One of the reasons why this occurs is because of awareness of certain events. Dr. Merali used a car accident as an example. He explained to me that certain events or places can be triggers to your mind. When you remember a certain place or event that was stressful or traumatic, you associate that with how it made you feel. So if you constantly have the same stress in your life, it’ll cause you to become mentally and emotionally exhausted.