Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Can You Recover From Anxiety And Depression

Anxiety And Depression: What Are The Possible Links

How To Recover From Anxiety and Depression Without Medication

Although clearly not identical emotional states, mental health research suggests that depression and anxiety often coexist because they can be caused by the same or similar factors. According to an article published May 2020 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, those overlapping causes can include:

  • Genetic Factors Genetic factors contribute to 40 percent of the predisposition to depressive and anxious symptoms, with 60 percent being attributed to environmental, noninherited factors. “Especially with anxiety, more so than depression, there often is some family history, and so therefore we think that there may be some genetic predisposition to this,” Connolly explains.
  • Environmental Factors Also referred to as social factors, these include experiences like trauma or neglect in early childhood, and current stressors such as relationship difficulties, unemployment, social isolation, and physical illness. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder , an anxiety disorder, are particularly likely to also develop depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health .
  • Pain Chronic pain, and particularly disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome , low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain, are closely linked to psychological distress, including both anxiety and depression, notes Harvard Health. In fact, they say, research suggests that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.

Baby Steps I Took During My Anxiety And Depression Recovery

You undoubtedly have seen or read a lot of articles on New Years resolutions. Goals can sometimes be good things for people with depression and anxiety to focus on, as long as they are within reach. Otherwise, from my experience, unattainable goals can cause even more depression and anxiety.

I fondly remember a comedy movie from my late teen years, What About Bob, starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus. The movie was about a psychiatric patient who follows his psychiatrist on a family vacation. In the movie, Dreyfus advises Murray to take baby steps, which were small, attainable steps as a way for Murray to start to conquer his fears.

In late 2015 and early 2016, my anxiety attacks and major depressive disorder brought upon a re-evaluation of a lot of things for me. My conditions led to a leave of absence from work, partial hospitalizations, changes in therapists and medications. Ultimately, in late December, I began transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy.

Along the way, there were some resolutions, or baby steps, I found I could implement relatively easily. Yet, there were other steps, or breakthroughs, that came in their own time.

Some of the steps I could implement right away included:

1. Journaling.

2. Mindfulness.

3. Simple positive self-reinforcement.

4. Meditation.

1. Downsize responsibilities.

2. Confide in family and friends.

3. Social media, knowledge and stigma.

4. Listen to music.

5. Group outings with kids.

Image via Thinkstock.

Depression Is A Biopsychosocial Condition

“Did I think myself sick? Or is it genetic?” I asked the psychiatrist.

“Depression is genetic, psychological, and social, and that’s why when we treat it we treat all these,” she said.

This idea was new to me, that depression had these biological, psychological, and social components. Previously I’d only been prescribed medication and done some cognitive behavioural therapy and talking therapy.

But I hadn’t understood how major changes to routine as well as medication and therapy would be necessary for real change. And I definitely didn’t know how important the social component was when it came to treatment.

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Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight

Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.

  • Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.
  • Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
  • Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
  • If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.

What To Do When Your Anxiety Becomes Debilitating

Dealing with Depression in Addiction Recovery

Anxiety is an intrinsic human emotion that everyone experiences occasionally even people who are usually calm, cool, and collected know what its like to feel anxious, nervous, or worried in stressful or unpredictable situations that take them out of their comfort zone.

But for about 40 million adults in the United States, anxiety isnt just another routine emotion, its a deep-seated, overpowering disorder that causes distress and interferes with life.

Here at EXIS Recovery, we know just how disruptive uncontrolled anxiety can be: It can steal your sense of control, undermine your confidence, trigger intense physical symptoms, and deplete your energy. Luckily, you can reclaim your life from debilitating anxiety heres how.

Recommended Reading: Anxiety And Depression Self Assessment

Coping With Depression Tip : Reach Out And Stay Connected

Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. When youre depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate so that connecting to even close family members and friends can be tough.

You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking. Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness and it wont mean youre a burden to others. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. And if you dont feel that you have anyone to turn to, its never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Depression

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It takes a minimum of 3 to 6 months to recover from depression. However, it might take longer for certain individuals on the basis of the type and severity of depression. There are various methods to get over depression. However, each method takes its own time to work. It was seen that around 40 to 60 percent of people showed improved symptoms after either the medications or psychotherapy, in comparison to 20 to 40 percent who did not receive any medications.

In general, a major depressive episode may last for at least 4 to 8 months. Therefore, it might have impacted a major portion of your life, if left untreated.

Psychotherapies do not happen in a jiffy. They take time, but they are effective. Hence it is important to be patient if you are looking for recovery from depression.

Read Also: Medication For Depression And Anxiety And Weight Loss

What To Do If You Are Thinking A Negative Thought

Negative thoughts are natural and can happen to anyone. But when it comes to negative thinking spirals, they can be difficult to break. In order to break free from a negative thinking spiral, you need to identify what is causing your thoughts and how you are feeling.

This article offers ways on how you can break out of the negative thinking spiral by identifying the cause and challenging it.

Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter

Can I recover from depression without help from a professional?

Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.

Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:

  • problems with sleep
  • sudden loss of interest
  • feelings of worthlessness or helplessness

If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.

Read Also: How Is Depression Different From Feeling Sad

Demand To Feel Well Again

If you went through a severe depression, you may be relieved to just feel OK again. You might not be happy, but you’re grateful that you can get out of bed and go to work.

But that isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to just feel less miserable. You deserve to feel well again, to feel as good as you once did. If your current treatment isn’t allowing that, then you need to make certain everything is being done to improve symptoms as fully as possible. There are many different ways of treating depression — therapy, medicines, and lifestyle changes — that can help.

So don’t settle for feeling just OK. You and your health care provider need to work together. With some effort and good treatment, you can feel truly well again.

Show Sources

American Psychological Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth edition, Text Revision, Washington American Psychiatric Association, 2000.Ã

American Psychiatric Association, Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depression, 2000.Ã

Compton M. Ã ACP Medicine, Psychiatry II, 2003.Ã

Fochtmann, L. Focus, Winter 2005.Ã

National Mental Health Association: “Depression: What You Need to Know.”Ã

National Institute of Mental Health: “The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America.”Ã

How To Reach Out For Depression Support

Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.

Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.

Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.

Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find waysboth big and smallto help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.

Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being neededboth powerful antidotes to depression.

10 tips for staying connected

  • Talk to one person about your feelings.
  • Help someone else by volunteering.
  • Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
  • Schedule a weekly dinner date.
  • Also Check: What Medication Is Given For Depression

    Is Depression Actually A Unique State Of Consciousness

    It seems surreal that its 2018, and only now do we have an estimate of how often people thrive after depression. This neglect of optimal outcomes is shocking, because nobody seeks the mere absence of distress and disorder. The hope after depression is for a new era when one can love and be loved, be engaged in the present moment, extract joy and meaning, and do something that matterssomething that makes the pain and setbacks of daily life worthwhile. Isnt the whole point of intervention to help people unlock their potential despite a mental disorder?

    We discovered that psychology and psychiatry have a blind spot for good outcomes. This blind spot is larger than depression. It covers substance use problems. It covers anxiety and eating disorders. It covers most major mental health problems. In all these cases, we lack even the most basic estimates of how many people go on to fully recover and flourish in their lives.

    We believe that until these blind spots are filled in, therapists and physicians should tread more lightly. People experiencing problems in treatment settings are routinely told that their condition has a grim prognosis. Until we know how common flourishing is, such pronouncements are misinformed, even hurtful. They do not serve patients well.

    LinkedIn Image Credit: A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock

    Engage In Regular Exercise

    Quick tips on OCD and Depression

    Getting regular exercise can help you take the edge off anxiety symptoms or prevent them from developing in the first place.

    Aerobic exercise, or the kind that gets your heart rate up, is particularly helpful. Walking, running, swimming, or cycling for at least 20 minutes most days of the week can help ease state anxiety and trait anxiety .

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    Supporting Someone With Anxiety Or Depression

    There are ways that you can help someone with anxiety or depression. It may be helpful to:

    • let them know if youve noticed a change in their behaviour
    • spend time talking about their experiences and let them know youre there to listen without being judgmental
    • help them to get information from a website, library or community health centre
    • suggest they go to a doctor or health professional, and help them to make an appointment
    • offer to go with them to their appointment and follow up with them afterwards
    • encourage them to get enough sleep, to exercise and to eat well
    • encourage family and friends to invite them out and keep in touch, but dont pressure them to participate in activities
    • contact a doctor or hospital if they become a threat to themselves or others.

    It is unhelpful to:

    • put pressure on them by telling them to snap out of it or get their act together
    • stay away or avoid them
    • tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
    • pressure them to party more or wipe out how theyre feeling with drugs and alcohol
    • assume the problem will just go away.

    If you or someone you know needs support, talk to a doctor or other health professional about getting appropriate treatment.

    Do People Recover From Depression

    I am a 44 year old woman and have been taking antidepressants for about 2 years now and have been diagnosed as having clinical depression. I was taking Paxil, first 30 mg. finally down to 5 mg. I am now taking Wellbutrin Sr. I also suffer from panic attacks and social anxiety. I think I can deal with the panic attacks and social anxiety, but not the depression. I would like to get off of medication for good. My question is can one ever get better having clinical depression? Will this medication ever help or am I on some kind of medication for life?

    People do recover from depression. In fact they recover from depression spontaneously all the time, without any treatment. The typical depression lasts for something like six months and then tends to get better all by itself. Depression does tend to reoccur, however. People who have been previously depressed are known to have high relapse rates. For this reason, medical doctors like to keep people on anti-depressant medications for extended periods of time .

    Read Also: Persistent Depression Vs Major Depression

    Neither Major Depression Nor Generalized Anxiety Disorder Will Cause The Other To Develop

    If major depression occurs before generalized anxiety disorder, or vice versa, it would be tempting to suggest that the condition that developed first somehow played a role in the development of the other.

    In fact, this type of cause-and-effect relationship does not exist with co-occurring mental health disorders. Regardless of which condition manifests first, both disorders can be said to emerge independently and organically, from a confluence of risk factors and life experiences.

    Both MDD and GAD have their roots in genetic, environmental, and social factors, and often in traumatic experiences that occur within the context of those causal factors. They are each a sign of an underlying vulnerability, and should not be seen as precursors to each other.

    What To Do If A Negative Thought Is Persistent And Wont Stop

    How I Recovered From Anxiety & Depression (No Medication)

    If you are struggling with thoughts that are negative and keep coming back, you might find it hard to cope. Here are some ways to help you cope with these thoughts:

    â Focus on the positive. Itâs important to take a step back and think about what is going well in your life.

    â Get out of your head and into your body by focusing on physical sensations like breathing or moving your body.

    â Put yourself in a different environment or situation where you can feel safe and relaxed. This could be going for a walk, listening to music, or spending time with friends.

    â Write down the negative thought and then write down the opposite of it

    â Talk to someone who can provide support for you: friends, family

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    What Are Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression

    It is not uncommon for people with depression to experience anxiety, along with symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, and trouble sleeping. Likewise anxious people can become depressed and experience low energy or a loss of interest in life.

    People suffering from anxiety or depression can have a broad range of experiences- some may have only mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, while others may experience debilitating anxiety attacks or severe depression. Symptoms may also fluctuate, from difficult episodes to periods of relief.

    Attend one of three Mind-Body Tools to Manage Anxiety and Difficult Emotions workshops.

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