Do you feel like your anxiety and depression issues are flaring up? Or do you lack enthusiasm for once-fun hobbies or feel disheartened, despondent, restless, or overwhelmed? If you are experiencing any of these destructive emotions, it’s time to seek the help of a medical professional.
Two of the most prevalent mental health conditions that affect people on a regular basis are anxiety and depression. Anxiety disorders are thought to impact about 350 million individuals worldwide annually, with 1 in 10 persons at risk of experiencing one at some point.
Recognizing the issue is the very first step in addressing anxiety and depression. Knowing your symptoms allows you to comprehend them better, prepare ahead of time, and make wise decisions for your future.
In this article, we’ll talk about the symptoms of anxiety and depression, how these feelings show themselves in our daily lives, and the ways to deal with them.
Many of us get tangled with differentiating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. But the problem is not with us being unable to do so. In fact, depression and anxiety, in the opinion of psychologist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD, are like the two sides of a single coin. “We get anxious when we are depressed, and we become depressed when we are anxious.”
Readily distinguishable indications between anxiety and depressive symptoms depend on a few important distinctions, which are hinted at below.
An individual with anxiety disorders may feel scared or uneasy concerning specific situations and occurrences. Additionally, individuals may notice bodily symptoms like perspiration and a racing heart when faced with anxiety.
But, one crucial factor to recognize here is that it’s normal and healthy to feel a little anxious when confronted with any unfamiliar situations or circumstances. For instance, when you’re facing an interview or attending a test. In reality, our response to these kinds of circumstances encourages us to stay vigilant and make sensible decisions.
An anxiety attack extends beyond the regular uneasiness that one can periodically encounter. When these fear and persisting thoughts continue to grab on everyday events, it turns into a concerning situation as it may impact an individual’s routine tasks, relationships, and health.
The key determinants of prolonged anxiety usually involve:
● Troubles with sleeping
● Rapid breathing
● Experiencing a rapid heartbeat
● Feeling agitated
● A feeling of despair
● Being exhausted
● Having trouble focusing on anything but the current problem
Why do anxiety disorders occur?
People often tend to refer to anxiety issues as a lack of confidence or self-esteem when the reality is something that needs to be tackled with caution, patience, and medical help. Also, they are not caused by personal flaws, emotional weaknesses, or parenting issues.
According to studies, a variety of circumstances can trigger anxiety in the person affected:
● Genetic: There is a familial tendency for anxiety problems. They could have derived from one or both of your ancestors.
● External elements: Trauma can spark an anxiety condition, especially in those who are predisposed to it genetically.
● Chemical instability: Extreme or chronic tension may affect the chemical stability that controls your emotions, temper, and mood, which further leads to anxiety disorder.
The main anxiety disorder types are-
● Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): In an effort to stop or eliminate obsessive thoughts, people frequently conduct repetitive actions like hand hygiene, checking, or cleansing. However, engaging in these so-called “repetitive behavior” merely reduces anxiety momentarily.
● Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Your intense and unreasonable stress or tension may be spurred on by GAD, even if there is no justification for it.
● Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): As suggested by the name, PTSD occurs when a person experiences a traumatic event in which they either sustain major physical trauma or are significantly at risk of doing so.
● Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is a type of anxiety condition marked by sporadic, intense feelings of dread or fear.
● Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder: Extreme self-consciousness and excessive anxiety in normal public encounters are symptoms of social anxiety disorder.
When to consult a doctor.
There is no reason to wait if you are apprehensive about your anxiety-related symptoms, to talk to your doctor. Additionally, individuals do not have to experience all of the symptoms of anxiety to discuss them. Furthermore, you shouldn’t postpone until they intensify or till the time you start to notice additional issues. You would be able to treat your problems faster if you and your psychiatrist could communicate frankly and clearly about your concern.
Treatment & Medications
Psychotherapy and medication are the two basic therapies for pervasive anxiety disorder. Both the combined treatment might work best together for you. However, identifying the treatments that work most effectively for you might need some experimentation.
Engaging with a therapist in psychotherapy will help you manage your anxiety concerns. The most successful type of psychotherapy for anxiety disorder has been found with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Medications for anxiety disorder include antidepressants such as citalopram (Lexapro), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva).
While it’s justified or expected to feel sorrowful or gloomy in situations when your near and dear ones die, in breakups, divorce, or separation, but when these emotions get prolonged and intensify, you are in a state of major depressive disorder.
MDD, also familiar as Clinical Depression, creates an impact on your emotions, thoughts, and behavior and can cause a multitude of mental and biological health concerns. And when it remains unchecked or neglected, a person may occasionally feel the impulse to commit suicide because they may believe life has no purpose.
The key determinants of major depressive disorder or clinical depression typically include the following:
● Stressing on mistakes committed in the past or blaming oneself.
● Feeling agitated almost every day.
● Experiencing extreme fatigue.
● You consider hurting yourself or displaying suicidal behavior.
● Insomnia or excessive sleeping
● Experiencing a rapid gain or loss in weight.
● Irrational behavior, impatience, or frustration, especially about trivial issues.
● Sadness, grief, loneliness, or a sense of helplessness.
● Drifting away from the majority of the past interests.
What contributes to chronic depression?
Depression can have many different causes. It has numerous stimuli and a wide range of potential causes. The onset of MDD might also be influenced by modifications in the hormonal levels.
A devastating or stressful life event, such as a family tragedy, a relationship breakdown, an ailment, unemployment, or concerns about one’s career or finances, maybe the culprit for depression in some people.
While sometimes, different situations can blend up altogether to trigger clinical depression. Additionally, some research has indicated that depression is more prevalent in older persons and in those who experience challenging social and financial conditions.
The major causes are as discussed below:
● Genetic background: If a parent, sibling, or other family member has struggled with depression in the past, your chances of developing it yourself are more likely.
● Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Most people who are discouraged or depressed have the propensity to turn to drinking or consuming drugs. Although all these toxic substances can momentarily make their issues go away, they could end up damaging their mental health and cause severe depression.
● Loneliness: Your chance of developing depression may heighten if you experience feelings of isolation brought on by events such as breaking up any type of contact with family members and friends.
● Old Age: It’s typical for older persons to experience depression following the loss of a spouse or kid.
● Severe physical ailment: Major illnesses such as battling cancer, heart ailments, etc, can lead to depression.
The main depressive disorder types are:
● Bipolar Disorder: A person with bipolar disorder may experience extremely high emotions that cause obsessive actions, faster speech than usual, a lack of sleep demand, and euphoria. A very depressed mood is the flip side of bipolar illness.
● Psychotic Depression: A psychotically depressed individual will experience two major symptoms, firstly, hallucination and secondly, delusion. Those who hallucinate may see, hear, or experience events that aren’t actually there. In comparison, persons who are deluded have strong convictions, such as the notion that they are another person or that they are constantly followed or watched.
● Seasonal Affective Disorder: The term “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD refers to mood swings that occur annually over the same month, mainly in the winter or the fall. It occurs more typically in countries where there are seasons with less daylight than average, such as the long winter months in the northern parts of the United States, Russia, or European countries.
● Persistent Depressive Disorder: A variant of depression with episodes that persist for more than two years is known as dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder.
● Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression is the name given to the type of depression that develops in women after giving birth.
When to seek medical advice.
It’s crucial to obtain the care you require, yet many people put off seeking therapy because they fear the way other individuals will perceive their mental health. Therefore, seeking support and counseling is imperative if you are exhibiting signs of depression or mood swings, as hinted above.
Medications & Treatment
Generally, patients with clinical depression are prescribed antidepressant or counseling sessions under a professional medical expert or psychiatrist. The type of antidepressant recommended for patients with depression includes- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), bupropion, etc., as they help to increase the quantity of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin levels are frequently believed to be low in persons with depressive conditions.
It’s important to note that the treatment procedure and medications have their own side effects, such as extreme gain in weight and oversleeping. Additionally, it’s best to talk to your doctor before discontinuing any prescriptions because doing so could have serious consequences.
Managing anxiety and depression
Though a therapist can give you additional insight on how to deal with and treat anxiety and depression, at the same time, you can take steps to manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression by yourself. The suggestions and ideas presented underneath may not always be beneficial to you, yet experimenting with various strategies or combining them will allow you to figure out what is best suited for you.
● Try to get some quality sleep of at least 8-9 hours.
● Focus on eating a decent diet or a balanced meal.
● Schedule your time for rest and recreational activities.
● Connect with your family, friends, and pets.
● Practice routine yoga and exercise.
● Give yourself the freedom to embrace your emotions without any guilt.
● Appreciate yourself whenever you accomplish a task, no matter how small.
Coping with anxiety and depression can be a shattering experience if you don’t seek help or can’t understand the reason why it’s happening. However, you don’t have to deal with it yourself. Recognize the symptoms, and when they continue for several days, don’t hesitate to get help from a reputable and qualified therapist or psychiatrist. Keep in mind that early diagnosis might help to prevent and cure it in the best way possible entirely.
How can we detect or diagnose anxiety disorders?
Ans- If symptoms significantly limit a person’s ability to interact at home, work, or school for more than six months, therapists and psychiatrists will diagnose them with an anxiety disorder.
What types of treatments are commonly applicable for anxiety disorder?
Ans- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychotherapy, Support Groups, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Antidepressants, and Stress-Reduction Methods are applied when dealing with anxiety disorder.
How should children with anxiety disorders be assisted?
Ans- Practically speaking, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs are the two therapeutic modalities that appear to be equally successful while treating anxiety disorder in children.
How is depression detected and treated?
Ans- An appointment with the doctor for a physical examination is the first step in receiving a diagnosis. Psychotherapy, which can also be used in conjunction with antidepressant medicines, is the cornerstone of treatment for depression.
Disclaimer: The information included here is only for knowledge-sharing purposes, and the blog is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis, medical advice, or treatment by a healthcare professional. Every individual needs advice based on diagnosis and evidence, hence the reader should consult their doctor to determine the disease and any treatment must be taken under appropriate medical guidance.