Life changing treatments for those struggling with depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are two of the most prominently known mental health conditions, and it has been found that the two often go hand in hand with one another, hence various therapies for both overlap.
Depression and anxiety are both characterized to cause persistent and often excessive negative thoughts about present situations, the future and oneself. With it often affecting one’s daily life and posing various issues. An example of this being the nature of anxiety leading to obsessive-compulsive disorders, during which may lead to toxic cycles of negative behaviors or thoughts and escalate into depression.
Symptoms of Depression:
Depression is a commonly seen mental health condition which has a negative impact on one’s thoughts, feelings, and even actions. Although it is normal for one to feel sad or down at times, if these feelings continue to persist over weeks or months, this may become a serious concern. The following are the symptoms of depression, helping you to distinguish between your occasional Monday blues and serious mental illness.
- Persistent sadness or constantly feeling unhappy.
- Loss of interest in many of the activities you once enjoyed, as well as the loss of pleasure in participating in activities that were once pleasurable or enjoyable.
- Loss of energy and constantly feeling fatigued.
- Change in appetite, possibly accompanied by weight gain or weight loss that is completely unrelated to any sort of dieting.
- Sleeping too much or having difficulty sleeping
- Persistent feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- This may lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- The unusual difficulty with concentrating or making decisions
- Physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, fatigue, and abdominal pain.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
Anxiety disorders are often associated with constant fear or anxiousness of the future, as well as persistent negative thoughts. It is normal for everyone to experience nervousness and apprehension in their day to day but anxiety can be much more severe especially if left untreated. It can possibly prevent people from doing things they enjoy or even turn simple tasks such as going to school, taking an elevator, or crossing the street into something that can only be done with great difficulty. The following are the symptoms of anxiety:
- A constant, persisting feeling of nervousness or restlessness even when there is not a particular event or situation occurring.
- The strong urge to avoid things that may cause anxiety such as taking the elevator with strangers, being at large gatherings, going to new places, etc.
- A looming sense of impending danger, panic or doom. This may lead to restlessness and constant worry
- The inability to control constant worrying which can lead to trouble concentrating as there is difficulty thinking of anything else that is not the present worry.
- Physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating and trembling.
- Feeling tired or weak physically
If these symptoms have persisted for over two weeks, it is advised to consult a local therapist for a professional diagnosis and further advice.
Treatments to tackle depression and anxiety:
As the treatment for depression and anxiety can be closely linked, it is useful to find therapy approaches that can tackle both.
- CBT: This is a type of treatment that will allow one to explore the link between one’s behaviors, thoughts and the subsequent feelings felt. Hence, allowing one to better understand their emotions and learn to take control of their thoughts. This is a therapy that is often used to treat and is effective for those with depression or anxiety.
- Interpersonal therapy: This is an evidence-based therapy specifically for mood disorders. It is focused on solving one’s interpersonal problems, such as one’s relationships and day to day interactions with people. It aims to improve the quality of one’s social functions and relationships as a way to alleviate distress, working by identifying problems and providing various strategies. It is mostly used by those who suffer from depression or major depressive disorders.
- Joining support groups: Within support groups, people can share personal experiences and coping strategies. This is a good way to connect people who may be in similar situations and allows those within it to gain firsthand information on various therapy approaches or useful information. This can help people feel more empowered and supported within this community.
- Medication: Various types of medication can also help with depression and anxiety, but it is advised to consult a professional therapist or doctor for proper diagnosis and prescription before turning to medication. A few types of effective medication are serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIS. These are drugs which are used typically as antidepressants to treat depressive disorders and anxiety disorders.
- Exercise: Exercising can help to release chemicals within your body to make one feel good as well as help one to feel more relaxed. It can not only help to improve physical health but also one’s mental health and wellbeing. Simple exercises such as going for a walk around the neighborhood can already have a positive impact. This can even be done together with friends or family members.
If you suspect that you or anyone around you is suffering from depression or anxiety do not allow them or yourself to suffer in silence. Don’t hesitate to contact a local therapist or consult a professional for help and begin on the road to recovery.