How Do I Know If I Need Help
Fear and anxiety can affect all of us every now and then. It is only when it is severe and long-lasting that doctors class it as a mental health problem. If you feel anxious all the time for several weeks, or if it feels like your fears are taking over your life, then its a good idea to ask your doctor for help, or try one of the websites or numbers listed at the back of this booklet. The same is true if a phobia is causing problems in your daily life, or if you are experiencing panic attacks.
If Youre Up For It Go For A Walk Around The Block
Research suggests exercise can be an effective treatment for depression because its a natural mood booster and releases feel-good hormones. However, for some people, exercise or a gym can trigger anxiety and fear. If thats the case for you, look for more natural ways to move, such as walking around your neighborhood or looking for an online exercise video you can do at home.
Tips For Men Coping With Anxiety And Depression
There are lots of things you can do to look after your health and wellbeing, so find an approach that best suits you. For example, try to stay active and make plans for the day they dont have to be grand plans, just small things like going for a run or talking to a mate.
Try to include activities or hobbies that you specifically enjoy. At first, you may not enjoy them as much as you did before, but if you keep active and persist, the enjoyment should eventually return.
Its important to look after your body by staying physically active, eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep. Try not to drink alcohol or take other drugs to block out how youre feeling and what is happening. This is not a positive long-term solution and can make the anxiety or depression worse.
The important thing is to find the right options and the right health professionals that suit you.
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Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression
Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.
Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.
If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.
Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.
Limit Caffeine And Alcohol
Too much caffeine restricts blood vessels, which can increase blood pressure and contribute to anxiety. Coping with anxiety also doesnt mean masking it with alcohol.
Alcohol can interfere with the neurotransmitters that manage anxiety and prevent you from getting a good nights sleep. Drinking to cope creates a sort of feedback loop, which makes the anxiety worse and can lead to alcohol dependence, reports Vice.
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Symptoms Of Anxiety In Men
Anxiety is more than having sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach. Symptoms of anxiety can include ongoing feelings of worry, fear and impending doom that are so severe they interfere with your ability to work, maintain relationships and get a decent nights sleep. Physical signs of anxiety may include:
- pounding or racing heart
- thinking about death or suicide.
Journal Your Thoughts To Cope With Depression
Writing in a journal is great therapy and can help you manage depression.
Be totally honest in your private journal. It helps to release your emotions when you write about your thoughts and feelings around depression.
Its amazing how much you can let go of and how therapeutic writing can be.
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Coping Skills For Depression In Teenagers
- Create something: If you feel like youre having a hard time coping with anything when youre depressed, and the idea of doing homework or even tidying up feels insurmountable, see if you can bring yourself to simply create something.Whether its a quick doodle, coloring in a book, thinking of a melody or a song, writing a story, or whatever else, this can be a really useful first step to open up the door. Whether you make art, or build something, or whatever it feels good to see the end result.
- Keep a journal: I recommend keeping a journal next to your bed, but dont set the expectation that youre going to write in it every single day.It can become more of a chore if you try to write it in everyday, you could get burnt out, and so on. Unless theres something specific that you want to journal and keep track of each day, just write in your journal when you feel like it. If its been a while, push yourself a bit to open it, grab a pen, and see what happens. This is another great way to start to pull yourself back up.
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The Need For Professional Help
Coping skills can make a genuine impact in anyones life, especially someone struggling to function in their day-to-day life due to their symptoms. But they are not a replacement for professional help.
Going for an outdoor hike on a regular basis can do wonders for both your physical and mental health, but it isnt a panacea for depression or anxiety disorders. If you or someone you love has been struggling with unwanted or uncontrollable thoughts of sadness or worry, consider going to a professional and talking to them about it.
They can help guide you towards potential coping mechanisms while helping you reduce the severity and frequency of your thoughts and feelings via medication and psychotherapy.
Journaling For Depression And Anxiety
Simply writing down your thoughts and feelings can be strangely cathartic, whether you prefer to do so through a structured story, bullet-point thoughts, or just a pure stream of consciousness.
Journaling has long been one of the most effective coping skills taught to patients struggling with anxious and negative thoughts, and theres plenty of literature detailing how effective it can be at managing these thoughts. Journaling helps you self-reflect and process your thinking, and even identify erroneous or irrational thoughts as they crop up time and time again.
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Start A Walking Program
Walking just 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce your risk for major chronic diseases, including anxiety and depression. Read these tips to get started.
Use the following ideas to start your own walking program.
- Wear the pedometer for a few days and see how many steps you average.
- Set a daily goal and work up to it. A good goal is to increase your average daily steps gradually so that you get used to the increased distance. Recommendations vary on how fast to increase steps. Anywhere from 500-2,000 steps a week is reasonable.
- Record your daily steps in a log or notebook.
There are many ways to increase your daily steps:
- Choose a more distant parking place
- Take the stairs
- Walk over to a friend’s dorm room or a colleague’s office instead of using the phone or e-mail
- Walk the dog
- Walk with a friend each day
Find ways to walk even during the winter months or other inclement weather.
- Walking in the malls
- Local school track or fitness center
- 3-5min “walk breaks” during study time/work/etc
If you experience pain or discomfort, check with your primary care provider.
Remember, it takes about six months to “lock-in” a new behavior. Think of your walking program as a permanent change in your behavior. If you maintain your walking program for a minimum of six months, you are much more likely to maintain this change long-term.
Best Medication For Depression
However, there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy ways to cope with depression.
Some of the negative coping tactics include overeating, isolating yourself, alcohol or drug abuse, self-harm, and other forms of medication.
This not only puts you in danger, but it makes the depression worse.
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When To Talk With A Mental Health Professional
Chronic anxiety also can point to an underlying mental health issue. When your anxiety causes extreme distress or interrupts your ability to function on a daily basis, or when panic attacks are frequent and debilitating, its important to reach out to a mental health professional. They can provide a treatment plan, which may include specialized antianxiety medicine, psychotherapy, or both.
For more information, call UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital at 1-877-624-4100 or 412-624-1000.
What Is Health Anxiety
Health anxiety, sometimes called illness anxiety disorder or hypochondria, is worrying excessively that you are or may become seriously ill. You may have no physical symptoms. You may also believe that normal body sensations are signs of severe illness, even though medical tests dont reveal a serious medical condition. Health anxiety is similar to generalized anxiety, but it focuses specifically on illness or the possibility of illness.
This excessive anxietyrather than the physical symptom itselfresults in severe distress that can disrupt your life.
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Support Groups To Deal With Depression
There is a magical thing that makes you feel comfortable, i.e., Support groups. In depression, you feel like bad things are happening to you only, nobody can understand you, and you feel hard to open up.
Support groups are communities formed by professionals, where people with the same mental illness share their personal experiences and journey to get over it.
You can get added to support groups in two ways, whatever is convenient for you.
- Coping with depression through online support groups
- Dealing with depression through in-person support communities
There are many ways to cope with anxiety and depression. But Medication and Psychological session are one of best way to handle your depression.
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
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How To Really Connect With Others
Whether youre talking with a friend or loved one at a social distance, via video, or on the phone, its important to strive for more than just a surface connection. The deeper the connection you establish, the more youll both benefit.
Move beyond small talk. To really establish a connection that will ease your loneliness and depression, you need to take a risk and open up. Sticking to small talk and limiting yourself to a surface connection with others can actually make you feel even lonelier.
Open up about what youre going through, the feelings youre experiencing. It wont make you a burden to the other person. Rather, your friend or loved one will most likely be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only deepen the bond between you.
Nothing needs to get fixed. Depression relief comes from making a connection and being heard by someone. The person you talk to doesnt need to come up with solutions, they just listen to you without judging or criticizing. And the same is true when youre listening to them.
Find New Ways To Engage With Others
Meeting friends and family in person is still difficult for many of us at the moment, but that doesnt mean you have to resign yourself to feeling isolated and alone. While nothing beats the mood-boosting power of face-to-face contact, chatting over a video link, on the phone, or via text can still help you feel more connected. Reach out to close friends and family, take this opportunity to look up old friends, or schedule online get-togethers with groups of people. Even if your depression symptoms make you want to retreat into your shell, its vital you regularly stay in contact with people.
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Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress
Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.
What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present
Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:
- Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
- Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
- Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
- Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
- Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
- Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
- Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
- Feeling often tired and cranky
- Inability to relax and live in the moment
- Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2
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Contact Health One Family Medicine If You Experience Symptoms
A certified and licensed healthcare provider can help you manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression and suggest treatment methods for you. Get in touch with a provider from Health Once Family Medicine today by calling at 262-5762 or visit to book an appointment.
Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs
Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1
Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.