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Is Depression And Anxiety A Mental Illness

Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression

Sleep disorders and mental illness: Insomnia, depression and anxiety

According to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States, anxiety and depression can share several common symptoms, including, but not limited to:

  • Being easily fatigued
  • Sleep disturbance

Other signs that a person may suffer from both anxiety disorder and depression include:

  • Constant, irrational fear and worry
  • Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, headaches, hot flashes, sweating, abdominal pain, and/or difficulty breathing
  • Changes in eating, either too much or too little
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Inability to relax
  • Panic attacks

Talking To Your Doctor

If you have anxiety, depression, or both, chances are that your doctor will recommend medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Keep track your symptoms and keep a log of how you feel each day, as this can help in the diagnostic process. Its also important to speak up and ask your doctor whether they think you have depression, anxiety, or both. This clarity can help you understand the treatment focus and how to manage your symptoms. For example, a patient who is prescribed an antidepressant like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor may not realize that the medication has been prescribed for their anxiety, as SSRIs are used to treat both anxiety and depression.4 Never hesitate to ask about your diagnosis, as you have a right to your personal health information.

The most important quality that anxiety and depression share is that they are both very treatable conditions. Never hesitate to find people to help you stayed informed and on the right track towards a healthier mind and body. Who can you recruit to help you with your anxiety or depression today?

Differences Between Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are mental health conditions that can affect how you think, feel, and act. Both disorders are influenced by levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Anxiety may occur as a symptom of depression. It’s also not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression. Nearly one-half of individuals who are diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Though depression and anxiety share some symptoms, each disorder has its own distinct symptoms that distinguish them as separate mental health conditions.

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Emotional Aspects Of Social Networking Sites

The valence of posts on SNSs may both reflect and impact depression and anxiety. Individuals scoring higher on depression scales in the reviewed studies generally expressed more negative affect on SNSs and were more likely to perceive negative interactions. The way individuals interpret emotional and social content on SNSs may place depression as antecedent to maladaptive SNS use, which may, in turn, maintain depressive symptoms. For individuals who are already depressed, ambiguous interactions are often interpreted as negative , which may attenuate the potential benefits available through SNS use.

Icipating In Clinical Research

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Clinical trials are research studies that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so others may receive better help in the future.

Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.

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What Does Anxiety Feel Like Compared With Depression

Anxiety involves feeling tense, nervous, or unable to relax, with a persistent sense of dread or fear. Physically, you may have a churning feeling in your stomach, feel lightheaded or dizzy, and have rapid breathing or a fast heartbeat.

The classic signs of depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, but some people with depression also feel restless or irritable, have trouble concentrating, and struggle to sleep and eat.

Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Mental Illness

NOTE: Persons with mental illness usually exhibit a cluster of symptoms not just one or two symptoms that are persistent and interfere with daily life and work. This listing of warning signs and symptoms of mental illness is to be used as an educational and information tool not as a diagnostic instrument. A diagnostic evaluation by a licensed mental health and/or medical professional is needed to determine if someone has a mental illness. A diagnostic evaluation may include: a complete physical checkup to rule out other illnesses information gathering on family health history and other diagnostic tests/evaluations as determined by a licensed professional.

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Symptoms Of Major Depression

  • sleep disturbance
  • muscle tension.

If youve experienced these symptoms most days for more than six months, and they cause distress in your daily life, then you may receive a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. Other types of anxiety disorders include separation anxiety, panic disorder, or phobias, among others.

If you compare the two lists of symptoms, you can see that there is some overlap. Sleep problems, trouble concentrating, and fatigue are all symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Irritability may also manifest in forms of anxiety or depression .

There are however, some distinguishing features. People with depression move slowly, and their reactions can seem flattened or dulled. People with anxiety tend to be more keyed up, as they struggle to manage their racing thoughts. Another distinguishing feature is the presence of fear about the future in people with anxiety. Depressed people who do not have anxiety are less likely to be fraught with worry about future events, as they are often resigned to believing that things will continue to be bad. In other words, they may predict the future based on how they feel in the moment.

What Is An Anxiety Disorder

Mental Health Matters: Depression and Anxiety in Older Adults

Although anxiety is not always present in depressive disorders, most of the time it lurks beneath the surface. But true depression differs from an anxiety disorder in that a depressed mood is typically its most obvious symptom, whereas anxiety is the primary sign of an authentic anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders include:

Previously, two other conditions — obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder — had been classified by the American Psychiatric Association as being subtypes of anxiety disorders. However, in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , each of these conditions is now classified as its own separate type of disorder.

Anxiety disorders affect women twice as frequently as they do men. And many studies show that people with depression often experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

An anxiety disorder that’s left untreated can cause unnecessary suffering and impairment for both the person who has one and the person’s family.

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Catch Your Inner Dialogue

Its normal for people with inflammatory arthritis, or any type of chronic illness, to catastrophize their pain, which can exacerbate feelings of helplessness, says Dr. Bartlett.

Catastrophizing is dwelling on how much your body hurts or how helpless you feel against the pain, which often leads to worst-case scenario-type thinking. This type of mindset can keep you stuck in depression.

Here are some examples of catastrophizing, according to Dr. Bartlett:

  • What if I never feel better how am I going to be a good father or mother to my kids?
  • What If I never feel good how will I feel in five or 10 years?
  • What if I lose my job what if Im never able to work again?

Although learning to stop this response wont stop the pain, it can help you to better cope with your emotions and manage your condition. Seeing a mental health professional can help you recognize catastrophizing or other kinds of toxic inner dialogue and develop strategies to reframe your thoughts.

What Causes Depression

The exact cause of depression is unknown. It may be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.2 Everyone is different but the following factors may increase a persons chances of becoming depressed:1

  • Having blood relatives who have had depression
  • Experiencing traumatic or stressful events, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one, or financial problems
  • Going through a major life change even if it was planned
  • Having a medical problem, such as cancer, stroke, or chronic pain
  • Taking certain medications. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether your medications might be making you feel depressed.
  • Using alcohol or drugs

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Take Care Of Yourself

You can also improve symptoms of depression by taking care of yourself. This includes getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, avoiding negative people, and participating in enjoyable activities.

Sometimes depression doesnt respond to medication. Your healthcare professional may recommend other treatment options if your symptoms dont improve.

These options include electroconvulsive therapy or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat depression and improve your mood.

What Is Mental Illness

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About one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and most of us will experience a mental health problem at some time in our lives.Mental illness is a general term that refers to a group of illnesses, in the same way that heart disease refers to a group of illnesses and disorders affecting the heart.A mental illness is a health problem that significantly affects how a person feels, thinks, behaves, and interacts with other people. It is diagnosed according to standardised criteria. The term mental disorder is also used to refer to these health problems.A mental health problem also interferes with how a person thinks, feels, and behaves, but to a lesser extent than a mental illness.Mental health problems are more common and include the mental ill health that can be experienced temporarily as a reaction to the stresses of life.Mental health problems are less severe than mental illnesses, but may develop into a mental illness if they are not effectively dealt with.Mental illnesses cause a great deal of suffering to those experiencing them,as well as their families and friends. Furthermore, these problems appear to be increasing. According to the World Health Organization, depression will be one of the biggest health problems worldwide by the year 2020.

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The State Of Mental Health In America

Mental Health America is committed to promoting mental health as a critical part of overall wellness. We advocate for prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated services, care and treatment for those who need them, and recovery as the goal.

We believe that gathering and providing up-to-date data and information about disparities faced by individuals with mental health problems is a tool for change.


Cognitive Aspects As Mechanisms And Moderators

The prominent risk factors for depression and anxiety that emerged from this review included frequent SNS social comparison, negative perceived interaction quality, addictive or problematic SNS use, and rumination . These factors represent cognitive and interactional styles that have well-established associations with depression and anxiety but may be enhanced by the enduring nature of social content on SNSs. Although the total frequency of SNS use does not appear to be directly related to either depression or anxiety, there are different moderating and mediating factors and patterns in the functions of SNS use by individuals with higher depression or anxiety that may contribute to or exacerbate symptoms .

One of the risk factors for depression and an individuals interaction with SNSs was rumination. Greater rumination is frequently associated with higher ratings of depression and also impacts well-being by maintaining a focus on negative affect . Rumination is a likely mechanism for the relationship between negative interactions with SNSs and depression based on its role in SNS negative emotional expression and social comparison . There is considerable potential for SNSs to amplify and assist ruminative processes by exposing SNS users to a constant stream of rich social information that can be selectively reflected on as permanent content on a users profile .

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What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder are filled with greatly exaggerated worry and tension — even though there is usually nothing beyond ordinary concerns to worry about. These individuals anticipate disaster and ruminate about their health, their finances, their work, their relationships and family problems.

To make a diagnosis of GAD, excessive worrying and anxiety have to occur more days than not for at least 6 months. The person is unable to control the worry and may have other symptoms including:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Shakiness
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms are often accompanied by worry over the implications of the attack — like fear of death from a heart attack — and altered behavior, like avoiding a particular place because of the attack.

Social Aspects Of Social Networking Sites


Across studies, social aspects, including feelings of social support, social connectedness, and positive interaction quality, emerged as protective factors for SNS users. The SNS network structure itself may play an important role in supporting mental health, in that some platforms may better provide social resources to individuals with depression. Indeed, more integrated social networks on SNSs were associated with lower levels of depression . Studies suggest that social support and social connectedness derived from SNSs are constructs distinct from general social support or connectedness . SNSs may therefore be contributing additional benefit to their users by creating another domain in which individuals can access, or have greater perceived access to, social support, especially with individuals for whom face-to-face interaction is difficult . The broad and visibly articulated social context on SNSs may contribute to the feeling of social connectedness derived from SNSs and its association with better mental health outcomes . As such, SNSs may provide an environment where those already high in social skills and resources are benefiting from their cumulative sources of social support as well as augmenting social support access for those who have difficulties engaging face-to-face .

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Does Medication For Depression And Anxiety Work

A group of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to be helpful for both anxiety and depression.

Anti-anxiety medications have also been shown to reduce anxiety among patients.

Note that you may need to try medication for six to eight weeks before you notice fuller effects.

Treatment Of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can be successfully treated. The most common form of treatment is a combination of drug therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy .

Because most anxiety disorders have some biological basis, the most common drugs prescribed are anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

CBT involves helping people to turn their anxious thoughts and feelings into more rational ones. Sometimes people will benefit from being exposed in a controlled way to the object and situation they fear. Some CBT techniques have been developed to deal with specific disorders. For example, people with panic disorder can benefit from learning new breathing and meditation techniques, which can help them deal with their anxiety.

Support groups and learning more about the disorder can also help a great many people deal with anxiety disorders. Involving family and friends who are also affected by the disorder, can help people recover or learn how to cope with their condition.

The most important first step in treatment is to get a proper diagnosis from a specialist in anxiety disorders. Many people suffer for 10 years or more before getting the right treatment.

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Who Is At Risk From Mental Disorders

Determinants of mental health and mental disorders include not only individual attributes such as the ability to manage one’s thoughts, emotions, behaviours and interactions with others, but also social, cultural, economic, political and environmental factors such as national policies, social protection, standards of living, working conditions, and community support.

Stress, genetics, nutrition, perinatal infections and exposure to environmental hazards are also contributing factors to mental disorders.

So Is Anxiety A Mental Illness

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Research and treatment protocols have stated the answer. In short, anxiety is NOT a mental disorder that needs to have thorough treatment. Instead, it is the result of day-to-day factors that aggravate a behavior and particular ways of thinking in an individual.

This behavioral issue can be treated by implementing behavioral modifications, vigilant support and sometimes, pharmacological relaxants. People suffering from anxiety shouldnt worry about suffering from an irreversible disease.

Anxiety is readily reversible, you just need to have the right state of mind and added encouragement to reverse it.

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Attitudes About Mental Illness And Mental Health

A CBS News poll conducted in the fall of 2019 detailed American attitudes and awareness of mental health issues. Almost 90% of respondents said there is some stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness in our society. More than 30% stated that discrimination and stigma associated with mental illness has decreased over the past ten years. However, about 30% said that the situation remains unchanged.

Most of the poll respondents said they had some understanding of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Many said that they know someone who had been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition. The poll found that most Americans considered mental illness a serious issue.

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