Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are normal reactions to difficult life situations for any person. This could be due to a loss of a loved one or divorce, to name a couple. However, some people experience these feelings on a daily basis. Having these feelings on a normal basis can interfere with life’s daily activities.
One can suffer from anxiety or depression, but they can often occur at the same time. Studies show that between 10% and 20% of adults in any given 12-month period will visit their primary care physician during a depressive or anxiety disorder episode, and that nearly 50% of them will suffer from a co-morbid, secondary depressive or anxiety disorder.
It has been shown that anxiety and depression can often be linked. Anxiety disorders are more than just feeling a little worried or anxious sometimes. When the anxiety becomes persistent and irrational then people often feel bad about that. This can lead to depression. In addition, people who are often depressed can have feelings of worry and anxiety.
It can be helpful to know the symptoms of both in order to best understand how you are feeling and find the proper treatment.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural response necessary for our survival. It gave us a response to possible danger that would elevate our heart rate, cause sweating, and increase our awareness. However, our anxieties have shifted from carnivorous animals to financial worries, work issues, etc. Anxiety helps us to avoid danger and keep us safe. However, anxiety is not a good thing when it keeps us from living our lives.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, irritability, nervousness, and trouble sleeping. You may notice your heart rate increasing, nausea, perspiration, and hyper awareness.
Normal Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorder
If your worries or fears are chronic, extreme, excessive, and negatively affects your life, then you may have an anxiety disorder. Having butterflies in your stomach is a type of normal anxiety. However, not being able to leave your house because of those butterflies may constitute an anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
What is depression?
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression may include a persistent, anxious, or empty mood, It may include hopelessness, pessimism, irritability, guilt, decreased energy, restlessness, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, and fatigue. It could include difficulty sleeping, concentrating, eating, and moving. You may experience aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive issues.
Types of Depression
- Snapping a rubber band on your wrist when you have a negative thought will eliminate it
- False. Suppressing your emotions will only make them stronger and more frequent.
- If you have an anxiety disorders, you should avoid situations that make you feel stressed.
- False. Avoiding situations merely because they cause you stress may only reinforce your anxiety and make you feel fragile. You can have anxiety and still cope in situations that make you feel stressed.
- Some people are just chronically anxious and nothing can make them stop.
- False. Therapy can help you to reduce your worry and stress by learning different ways to cope with your thoughts and create new habits in relation to them.
- If you eat right and exercise, your anxiety and depression will be cured.
- False. Eating right and exercising are good techniques to manage your anxiety or depression, not cure it.
There are several exercises that you can do on your own to manage your anxiety and depression.
- Stress management: With stress management you learn how to do just that, manage your stress. Examples of stress management include: seek social support, get enough sleep, enjoy hobbies, eat well, manage your time effectively, exercise regularly, be assertive about your feelings, and maintain a positive attitude.
- Meditation: Meditation helps us to pay attention to our own inner thoughts, sensations, and emotions. With practice, meditation can help us to curb our negative thoughts and produce more positive reactions.
- Exercise: Exercise can help to improve alertness, reduce fatigue, enhance concentration, and improve cognitive function. Exercise also releases endorphins that make you feel good. Endorphins help us to sleep better and reduce stress.
There are several types of therapies that may be helpful in reducing your anxiety and/or depression. These include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal “talk” therapy, and problem solving therapy.
Both anxiety and depression can be treated with several types of drugs. Some drugs help to cure the possible physical cause of anxiety and depression, an imbalance in brain chemistry or high blood pressure. Other drugs help to treat mental and physical symptoms.
Types of medications include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, tricyclics, and beta-blockers.
Taking the following actions may help to keep your anxiety and/or depression in check while you seek help:
- Reduce caffeine consumption
- Keep a healthy diet
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drug consumptions
- Get good sleep
- Build a good support network
- Educate yourself about anxiety and/or depression
- Accept that you cannot control everything
- Do your best
- Learn what triggers your anxiety
Both anxiety and depression are very treatable with medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
It is crucial that if you are having feelings of depression and anxiety that you seek treatment in a form that will work for you. No one has to suffer from depression and anxiety. Speak to a psychiatrist, therapist, or trusted healthcare professional.
Don’t suffer any longer, get help today.