Have you been feeling really down for a while and don’t know why? Are you constantly worrying, having sleeping problems or struggling to get through to Friday?
Many people are experiencing these feelings and wondering what’s happening to them. If you’re feeling this way it may be because you have anxiety or depression.
Read on to find out more about anxiety and depression and the treatment options available to you.
What Is Anxiety?
Firstly, anxiety and depression are different disorders, but they have common symptoms such as irritability, sleeping difficulties, and concentration problems. It is quite common for people who have an anxiety disorder to also develop depression.
Anxiety can be categorized as general anxiety and anxiety disorder. Anxiety, or general anxiety, is what we all experience as part of our usual day to day lives. It is a normal reaction to a stressful or uncertain situation. It is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and you need to be alert.
Furthermore, anxiety disorder is characterized by extreme, ongoing and unrealistic worry about everyday things. The sufferer often expects the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for it. They anticipate disaster and cannot be consoled or reassured. On top of this, the person gets into a cycle of worry and feels powerless to do anything about it. Even when they realize that their anxiety is totally unjustified, they are still unable to stop it.
There are different types of anxiety disorder. You can read about the 5 most common types here.
What Is Depression?
There are many difficult situations we encounter throughout our lives that makes us feel sad, worried or scared. These feelings are just normal reactions to everyday life. However, if a person is diagnosed with depression their mood is much more severe and persistent.
If you or someone you care about experiences any of the signs and symptoms listed below, for more than two weeks, then make an appointment to see your doctor:
- pessimism and hopelessness
- loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable, including sex
- restless or irritable
- insomnia or sleeping too much
- overeating or loss of appetite
- significant weight loss or gain
- feeling bad about yourself
- trouble concentrating
- suicidal thoughts or attempts
- unexplained aches and pains
8 Common Types Of Depression
There are many types of depression. Here are 8 of the most common types of depression and a brief description of their characteristics.
Major Depression (Clinical Depression)
A severe form of depression characterized by a constant sense of hopelessness and despair. It is often accompanied by loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities and problems in day-to-day activities or relationships.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Less severe than Major Depression but a continuous, long-term form of depression (chronic). It is characterized by a depressed mood, experienced most of the time. It continues for at least two years.
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder)
Characterized by mood swings between severe highs (mania) and severe lows (depression). There are two degrees of bipolar disorder. They are Bipolar type 1 and Bipolar type 2. Bipolar type 2 is a milder form and is slightly more common than type 1.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year. It typically starts in autumn and increases through the winter months. The signs and symptoms are diagnosed using the same criteria for major depression.
Psychotic depression is also known as major depression with psychotic features. Psychosis is characterized by a loss of contact with reality. The signs and symptoms are diagnosed using the same criteria for major depression. But they also include symptoms of psychosis such as delusions, hallucinations and false beliefs. It is a serious condition which requires immediate treatment and close monitoring by a medical or mental health professional.
This is also known as postpartum depression (PPD) and postnatal depression. It refers to depression associated with childbirth. The exact cause of peripartum depression is unclear. However, it is believed to be a combination of physical and emotional factors such as hormonal changes and sleep deprivation. This should not be confused with the ‘baby blues’. Baby Blues typically begins around the second or third day after childbirth and usually ends within 2 to 3 weeks.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
This is a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms before menstruation. Symptoms include irritability, sadness, and tension.
Situational depression is a short-term form of depression. It occurs as a result of a traumatic event or a change in a person’s life. For example, divorce, retirement, a serious accident or the death of someone close can all trigger this type of depression. Situational depression is different from other forms by its short duration. This is usually attributed to the person coming to terms with the change in their life.
Why Do So Many People Have Anxiety And Depression Today?
Increasing numbers of people around the world are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression including children. Suicide is on the rise in America and New Zealand has the highest teenage suicide rate in the world. There are many reasons why cases of anxiety and depression have increased:
- We live life at a much faster pace. We rush around from place to place, juggling work, study and domestic commitments with parenting responsibilities.
- There’s the break down of the nuclear family. Divorce is stressful for everyone concerned. Then when some parents meet new partners there can be even more stress if they endeavor to merge their two families together.
- The cost of basics such as food, electricity, and housing costs have risen beyond many people’s means. However, wages haven’t risen to keep up with it. People become stressed with trying to make ends meet which forces both parents out into the workforce.
- Children have a lot of pressure on them to achieve academic success. In addition to this, many also attend multiple after school activities, such as sports, dance classes, and swimming lessons. Others have to spend time in after-school care because both parents are working.
- The imaginative and exploratory free play which has historically helped children to develop social and emotional skills has decreased over the past few decades. It has been replaced with computer games, DVDs and other technological devices.
How Can You Treat Anxiety And Depression?
Get Personal Support
If you suspect that you may have anxiety or depression then a good thing to do is get support. This could be a caring friend, family member, neighbor, work colleague or a church member. Support doesn’t have to be face to face either. With today’s technology, it can be very easy to keep in touch with someone by phone, email or Skype. So if you can’t leave the house easily because of a disability, transport difficulties or young children, you can still get support in other ways. It’s amazing how a quick chat with a supportive friend can make a world of difference to how a depressed or anxious person feels.
See Your Doctor
The next thing would be to make an appointment to see your doctor. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and talk about your treatment options.
Treatment options may include medication, talking therapies such as counseling and psychotherapy, self-help treatments or a combination.
Anxiety and depression can make it hard for you to cope with day to day life. Listed below are some natural treatment options you can use.
One of these treatment options is self- hypnosis. It is a very affordable and calming treatment that you can use in the comfort of your own home. Choose from over 800 self-hypnosis audio downloads from Uncommon Knowledge. They have a variety of audio for anxiety and depression.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Another option is the Emotional Freedom Technique. EFT is a gentle tapping technique (instead of needles) that stimulates the traditional Chinese acupuncture points. This technique is used in combination with positive affirmations. It can be used for a broad range of psychological problems. Watch this video and get more free information from Dr. Carol Look here.
Researchers have known for a long time that the gut is connected to the brain via the 10th cranial nerve. However, until recently, research has always focused on the effects of the brain on the gut but not the other way around. A recent study now brings to light that your gut health can affect your mood. It has found that probiotics may relieve anxiety and depression symptoms.
There are many brands of probiotics on the market but the best ones contain L. acidophilus, B. longum, and B.bifidum plus Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus helveticus. These strains are responsible for influencing mood. Mood Probiotic is one example of this type of probiotic and it has good reviews.
A cautionary note: be aware that there can be side effects. However, in many instances, if they are not severe, reducing a daily caplet to one every second day may be all you need until your body adjusts. For more information about the pros and cons of probiotics click here.
Yoga is a spiritual practice that includes physical bodily positions, breathing techniques, and simple meditation. There are many physical benefits of regular yoga sessions. Benefits include improvements in muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and posture. Yoga may also help with mental and emotional problems. Yoga is a calming practice that encourages relaxation, slow breathing, and building self-awareness. Join a local yoga class or do an online yoga class at home. Try a beginner’s class here.
Finally, meditation is a technique for resting and clearing the mind and achieving an emotionally calm state. Many people use meditation to relieve stress and anxiety. It is recommended for anyone who wants to achieve calmness and inner peace. Find out more by reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s Beginner’s Guide To Meditation. Also try one of her recommended meditations for fast anxiety relief here.
You Are Not Alone
Coping with anxiety and depression can be really hard. I know what it’s like because I’ve been there too. I also have family members who continue to deal with it every day. It is for this reason that I created my website Matters Of My Mind. I will continue to research the topic and its treatments with the intention of sharing information and giving hope and support. I hope you have found this article valuable. Please leave a comment or question below and visit again soon.
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.