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Eustress keeps a person motivated, alert, and well-prepared to respond to problems. But distress can cause major depression. Sustained levels of stress results in elevated hormones like cortisol and reduced serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, like dopamine, which have been linked to depression. When such chemical systems start working normally, they regulate the body’s biological processes such as appetite, sleep, sex drive, and energy, and allow the expression of normal emotions. If the stress response does not successfully shut off and reset after a difficult situation gets resolved, it may lead to depression.