Yes, what we typically find is that if stress persists and goes untreated over time, then it will develop into more serious symptoms and/or disorders such as a depression disorder or an anxiety disorder. So it certainly can be a trigger and over time evolve into something as serious as a depression disorder.
Absolutely. Exercise is a physical activity that has been proven repeatedly to be very helpful in getting relief from depression, simply because when we engage in physical exercise certain positive chemicals are released in the brain, which give us a sense of calmness, a sense of relief. It is important to point out that just as exercise can be helpful in decreasing the symptoms associated with depression that we have to be careful and not over-engage in exercise in an effort to manage depression alone because that can also have negative consequences for an individual. So it would be important to, again, properly assess the degree of the depression, the circumstances, and determine if medication is or is not needed in addition to recommending exercise.
Depression is treatable. There are certainly instances where individuals have reported a single episode of depression in their lifetime and denied any other instances where they would have considered themselves to be depressed or to have ever been diagnosed as being depressed. There are depressions that are environmental, that they can be brought on by current life experiences. And we find with depression that is typically brought on by certain stressful life events that once those stressful life events are addressed and are extinguished, then the depression goes away. Of course that means the person is involved in self care and taking the action that has been recommended to them with their decision making and self care.
However, we also know that some individuals suffer from chronic depression, and subsequently those individuals typically are educated to the importance of proper diagnosis and proper management with the use of therapy and medication. Those individuals have found that their depression has not been "cured" by medication or a combination of medication and therapy, even if they go through substantial periods of time where they may be symptom free; they can also realistically expect that depression can return. What we aim for is that their education in therapy will allow them to be proactive so that they intervene in the beginning of recognizing the onset of the depression and immediately get help so that it doesn't spiral back to a debilitating stage.