What You Should Know About Depression and Anxiety
If you have experienced depression or anxiety, you likely know just how much it can impair your functioning.
Depression and anxiety often occur at the same time in the same individual, and each one comes with its own characteristic set of symptoms.
Each one can be very debilitating, and it is important to recognize the symptoms of each one so that if you see that someone you love is experiencing one of these mental issues, you will know that they need help and be able to suggest it to them.
What are the symptoms of depression?
A common misconception about depression is that it is just sadness. Some people even think of it as laziness. However, this is not the case.
Depression goes much further than simply feeling down or sad. According to the Mayo Clinic, it actually comes with a set of symptoms that affect a person physically, as well as mentally.
Depression is the result of a lack of extracellular serotonin in the brain. As such, it can be corrected by taking antidepressants.
Typically, depression is treated using SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
This makes it so that the cells do not take the serotonin back inside, and it remains in the extracellular fluid so that the person’s level of extracellular serotonin is closer to normal.
Perhaps the most obvious set of symptoms of depression are the effects that it has on the mood.
The main observable difference between a depressed person and a nondepressed person will be apathy.
Generally, someone who is depressed loses all interest in things that they used to enjoy, and they don’t have the same level of caring when it comes to daily tasks.
This apathy often extends to their self-care, which is why many people who are depressed simply do not take care of themselves adequately.
Wearing the same clothes for several days in a row and not showering for several days in a row is actually very common amongst depressed people.
In addition, someone who is depressed is generally going to be very hopeless in general.
They’re not going to be content with their lives, and they are not going to have any real hope that things will get better.
This can be very dangerous, as if someone is that miserable and does not feel that things are going to get better, they will start to think that maybe there is no point to living at all.
When people start to get into this mindset, there is a real risk of suicide or a suicide attempt. In addition, mood swings and anxiety can come with the depression.
These symptoms are pretty serious on their own, but in addition to the mood-related symptoms, there are other physical symptoms that depressed people generally deal with. Depression often interferes with a person’s ability to sleep properly, for example.
They often suffer from insomnia and cannot sleep consistently throughout the night. Additionally, they are often tired all day.
They often feel fatigued that spreads throughout their whole body, or else they feel restless throughout the day. Other ways that their entire body is affected is the effect of the depression on hunger.
Not every depressed person has a change in appetite, but it is very common for someone to have either a large gain or a large loss of appetite.
It really just varies with the person how their appetite will be affected. Because of the change in appetite, someone who is depressed is often going to experience weight gain or loss as a result of the depression as well.
Depression also has cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Cognitively speaking, depressed people are less able to concentrate on tasks than people who are not suffering from depression.
They also tend to be slower in the performance of these tasks and other activities, even ones that they would previously have enjoyed. Behavioral symptoms are often very noticeable as well.
They may cry much more than usual or just be irritable in general. Agitation is very common, as is isolation from friends and family members.
If you notice that someone is retreating into themselves, that could be a telltale sign that the person is depressed and needs help.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Many people have an idea of what anxiety is, and it comes with a variety of potential symptoms, according to WebMD as well.
Many people think of anxiety as mere fear or worry, but the truth is that it comes with physical symptoms as well.
Typically, people can be said to have anxiety when they have stress that seems to be disproportionate to the stress level that they should be experiencing based on what is actually happening.
When someone is experiencing anxiety, they can actually feel it all over their entire bodies.
This can come in the form of either restlessness or fatigue all over the body, and a lot of people experience sweating as well.
In terms of behavior, a person who is experiencing anxiety is likely to be irritable or hyper-vigilant.
The cognitive symptoms often include restless and racing thoughts, as well as unwanted and intrusive thoughts.
The people who are experiencing these symptoms on a regular basis may want to see if they have an anxiety disorder.
It is possible to experience these symptoms once in awhile and not have a diagnosable disorder, but if someone is experiencing them all the time, that is a different story.
When a person is experiencing so much anxiety, and so often that it is interfering with his or her quality of life, they will typically be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
An anxiety disorder is a mental illness that can significantly interfere with a person’s ability to live his or her life.
There are a few different types of anxiety disorders; while they all have the anxiety in common, they are distinct disorders with separate lists of symptoms.
What are the different types of anxiety disorders?
One major type of anxiety disorder is a generalized anxiety disorder, otherwise known as GAD.
People who have this disorder feel an excessive amount of fear and worry, as well as tension when it is unwarranted.
Generally, it extends to multiple different aspects of their lives, and it makes it very difficult for them to be able to function.
There are also specific phobias, in which a person will be afraid of a specific situation or object.
There are many fears that are completely warranted, such as the fear of being attacked by a bear when there is actually an angry bear standing right in front of you.
However, if a person has a phobia, their fear goes beyond what is reasonable for the situation. A fear of heights is an example of a phobia.
One type of anxiety disorder that is very well known in the media is OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
People who have this disorder struggle with intrusive thoughts that typically center around one or more themes.
They have obsessions that cause them a great deal of anxiety, and they often try to soothe these obsessions by performing compulsions.
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is another example of an anxiety disorder.
With this particular disorder, a person feels a level of self-consciousness and fear when it comes to social situations.
This individual will constantly live in fear of being ridiculed or judged by other people, causing them to avoid social interactions completely in some cases.
Another anxiety disorder from which people often suffer is a panic disorder, which is characterized by attacks of terror that happen at random times.
People who have this disorder often have panic attacks, which are characterized by difficulty breathing and a feeling that the person is going to die in some cases.
During these attacks, they also experienced chest pain, sweating, and often feel palpitations of the heart.
How can one treat depression?
There are many things that people can do to treat depression, according to Helpguide.org.
It is important to keep in mind that when it comes to depression, no two cases are the same, so treatment plans can vary from person to person.
The best thing that a person can do if they find that he or she or a loved one is experiencing depression is to be as informed as possible about all of the potential options when it comes to treatment.
The first thing that a person should do in this situation is to learn as much as possible about the depression itself.
This could include a trip to the doctor, in order to rule out any underlying conditions.
If there is an underlying medical condition, then this condition would need to be treated before the person could focus on treating the depression.
It is entirely possible in this situation that if the underlying medical condition goes away, the depression will go away as well.
Someone in the situation should also recognize that it can sometimes take time to find the right treatment plan. It is important to find a good therapist who is also competent.
However, it is important to keep in mind that not every therapist will be a good fit and that you may have to go through a few therapist before you find one who really clicks with you and is able to help you.
The majority of the time, if a person is experiencing depression, the therapist will refer him or her to a psychiatrist in order to have medications prescribed.
SSRIs are typically what is prescribed for depression, although some people may not want to take them.
If you are interested in taking a route that involves medication, it is important to bring up to the psychiatrist what your medical conditions and concerns are, so that any side effects of the medication will not potentially exacerbate any existing problems.
However, make sure that you do not rely on medication alone in order to treat your depression.
Medication usually works much better when it is paired with the right lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a strong therapy program that you are actually following.
It is also important that you have as strong of a social support system as possible, as social connections will help protect you from depression.
It will really help just to have people that you can talk to while you are going through this.
While you are treating your depression, it is important to incorporate lifestyle changes as well.
It can be very difficult to incorporate these lifestyle changes when you are depressed, as the depression will make you feel apathy and the significant lack of motivation to do things.
However, it is important to make as much effort as possible to force yourself to do these things, as going against the grain will be what helps you get better in this case.
Regular exercise has been shown in some cases to be just as effective as medication when it comes to treating depression.
It boosts the levels of endorphins, as well as serotonin in the brain. It has many of the same effects as antidepressants do, and it does not need to be done in large amounts.
Optimally, a person with depression should be trying to exercise for approximately half an hour to an hour every day.
Nutrition and sleep are also very important when it comes to treating depression. It is good to eat small and well-balanced meals throughout the course of the day, in order to reduce the likeliness of mood swings as much as possible and keep your energy as high as possible.
Complex carbohydrates are better than sugary foods because they will give you energy without the sugar crash.
Sleep is also very important because of its strong effect on mood regulation. Your depression symptoms will generally be worse if you are sleep deprived, as the deprivation will make fatigue, sadness, and irritability even worse. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night.
Additionally, it is good to make changes in your life that will help you minimize the amount of stress that you are dealing with.
Having a good social support network is part of this, but it is also important to try to remove aspects of your life that cause undue stress, such as toxic relationships and excess amounts of work. Having a minimum amount of stress in your life will help you fight depression more effectively.
How does one treat an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety often co-occurs with depression, so it is very common for a person to be treated for both at the same time.
SSRIs are often prescribed for both anxiety and depression, so they will often be prescribed in the case of an anxiety disorder. Anxiolytics are often prescribed as well for anxiety disorders.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there are many things that people should be doing while they are trying to recover from anxiety disorders.
Self-care is very important at this time. When someone is suffering from an anxiety disorder, they should try to minimize the intake of caffeine and alcohol, as well as be engaging in relaxation techniques and effective stress management techniques.
A healthy diet is also important during this time, with sugar being something that should be avoided in most cases.
In addition to medication, most people who have anxiety disorders will be in therapy as well.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used for anxiety disorders, although exposure and response prevention therapy is also a front-line treatment in many cases.
Exposure and response prevention entails being exposed to whatever it is that precipitates the anxiety and conditioning the person into being made less and less anxious by the stimulus.
In addition, meditation has been shown to help with anxiety, as well as depression. Meditation and mindfulness exercises have been shown to be very effective in terms of changing the way the brain works in a person who is experiencing these mental issues.
However, these techniques should be used in a constructive manner and should be advised by a professional, so that a person does not do them incorrectly and possibly make their condition worse.
If you have a mental health condition, you should be aware that it is nothing that should make you ashamed.
According to author Mel Robbins, there are many things that you can do to help yourself overcome depression and/or anxiety, including exercise on a daily basis (the video in this link is very useful in terms of understanding things that you can do to get into the right mindset to be able to fight a pervasive mental issue).
There are many things that you can do in order to help your treatment along, and the importance of these things is not to be underestimated.
Though depression and anxiety may seem like insurmountable problems when you are dealing with them, they are not.
If you are able to find the right treatment plan and follow through with it, it is possible to get your life back and overcome anxiety, depression, or both.
As long as you continue to believe that you will have a positive outcome and work towards it, this positive outcome can be achieved.