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Mental Health Conditions: What are Depression and Anxiety?

When we do not feel the best other aspects of our lives can suffer. Whether it is job performance or schoolwork, or connections to family and friends. For those with depression and anxiety, daily activities can be overwhelming. Deep feelings of fear or sadness surround those with these mental health conditions. While depression and anxiety can occur on their own, you can also suffer from both of them at the same time. This presents its own challenges, but because some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety are similar, you can use the same type of treatment to help you overcome these mental health conditions.

What is Depression?

When a negative mood and state of mind persist for a long time and interfere with your daily activities, it is called depression. According to the World Health Organization, about five percent of people around the world suffer from depression. That’s about 280 million people. And more women than men seem to be affected by depression, the WHO reported.

Some symptoms of depression are:

· Feeling sad or anxious most of the time

· Not interested in activities you previously enjoyed

· Having sleeping troubles

· Persistent negative moods, such as irritability, frustration, restlessness

· Ongoing physical discomfort like headaches, stomachaches, etc.

· Negative self-view such as feeling worthless or helpless

A diagnosis of depression means that you’ve had low moods and a loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed every day for at least a couple of weeks. Depression can have a negative impact on your ability to perform well at work or school, and it can also hinder your ability to connect to loved ones. Episodes can be either mild, moderate, or severe.

Causes of depression

There can be several different reasons you’re suffering from depression, such as:

· Recent traumatic events such as the loss of a job or loved one

· A history of depression in your family

· Major life change

· Difficult medical diagnosis

· Alcohol or drug abuse

Treatment for depression

Depression can be treated with different approaches, such as counselling and medications. Depending on your symptoms, you can try some of these treatments to help:

Therapy – counselling has been one of the best ways to overcome depression. You’ll be able to share the burden of stress in your life with a therapist, which can lead to a lighting of the load. Talk through your thoughts, feelings, and the issues you’re facing in short sessions. Therapy can last anywhere from a few months to longer if you need it. A good counsellor can also help you identify positive, healthy coping techniques and tools. You can even create a strategy about how to deal with situations that provide you with stress.

Medication – some people with depression find that prescription medications like antidepressants can increase their mood. These medications can also improve your coping skills. There are various kinds available so if you find one isn’t working for you, ask your doctor for a different medication.

People who have depression can sometimes have other mental health challenges as well, including anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

We all react to stress in various ways, and anxiety is one of the ways that you might respond to stress or tension in your life. It is not always a bad thing as it can draw our attention to something or situations that could be dangerous. However, when the anxiety is constant or excessive, it can become a debilitating mental disorder.

Those with anxiety disorders often try to avoid the situation that causes them angst. This can disrupt their jobs, school, and close relationships. There are different types of anxiety issues, including:

· Generalized anxiety disorder

· Panic disorder

· Phobias

· Social anxiety disorder

· Separation anxiety

Professionals use two factors to diagnose someone with an anxiety disorder, they are:

· fear that is disproportionate to the activity

· gets in the way of day-to-day life

Treatment for anxiety

The majority of patients with anxiety disorders get relief from psychotherapy and/or medications. Some counselling can also help you understand different ways of dealing with stress. You can also develop a plan to adjust your lifestyle so you can cope better. Doctors can prescribe different types of medications, such as anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants or even Beta-blockers to help with the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Can You Have Anxiety and Depression Together?

Anxiety and depression are two distinct mental health challenges, but an individual can have them both at the same time. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that up to 60 percent of those with anxiety also have symptoms of depression.

Anxiety and depression can stem from the same root issue in your life, which is why they may occur together. In other instances, one may cause the other. For example, the disabling impact of anxiety can lead to depression. And, those with depression can have anxious or worried thoughts.

Some of the signs that you may be suffering from both anxiety and depression are:

· You feel fatigued often

· Lack of ability to concentrate

· Irritable

· Troubling with sleeping habits

· Physical complaints like rapid heartbeat, headaches, etc.

· Eating too much or too little

· Unable to relax

· Panic attacks

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it is important to get help by talking to your healthcare professional. The treatment for both anxiety and depression are similar and could be overlapped. Counselling or psychotherapy can help improve depression and anxiety. Sometimes you may also need some medications, like antidepressants, to help for a term.

Some lifestyle changes can also reduce the impact that anxiety and depression have on your life, including:

· Improving sleep habits

· Building a strong social support

· Stress reduction techniques like meditation or breathing

· Regular exercise

Finding Help for Your Anxiety and Depression

Those suffering from depression or anxiety will often have difficulties in other areas of their lives, including work, school, and relationships. This can make life feel overwhelming, especially if you’re living with anxiety and depression together. But there is help.

If your having depression or anxiety symptoms, you don’t have to suffer alone. We have both phone and online therapy sessions to help you. Contact us today to find out more.

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