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25 November 2013 : Original article

Depression and ways of coping with stress: A preliminary study

Agata OrzechowskaABCDE, Marlena ZajączkowskaCEF, Monika TalarowskaDF, Piotr GałeckiDFG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889778

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1050-1056

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Coping with stress is defined as all activities undertaken by a human in a stressful situation. The effect of stress on depression, its role in triggering the subsequent phases of the disease, and the factors that mediate the stress-depression relationship become more and more often subjects of research in psychiatry and psychology. Factors important for the formation of depressive symptoms and disease progression are significantly associated with coping strategies used in the face of stress. The main aim of the study was to evaluate the most popular strategies of coping with stress in people with depression in comparison to healthy subjects.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Initial research was carried on 80 patients aged from 20 to 66 years with a diagnosis of depression. The control group consisted of 30 healthy subjects aged 22 to 57 years. Analysis of the most popular strategies of coping with stress was performed with the Multiphasic Inventory for Measuring Coping (COPE) by Carver, Scheier, and Weintraub.

RESULTS: In contrast with healthy people, patients with depression in stressful situations more often use strategies based on avoidance and denial and have more difficulties in finding positive aspects of stressful events.

CONCLUSIONS: Depression may be an important factor in the negative assessment of one’s own ability to cope with difficult situations and can aggravate a tendency to perceive stressful events as overwhelming.

Keywords: Case-Control Studies, Adult, Adaptation, Psychological - physiology, Denial (Psychology), Depression - physiopathology, Negativism, Questionnaires, Stress, Psychological - physiopathology

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750