Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What It’s Like Having Depression And Anxiety

It’s Easy To Overlook The Clues That You May Need Help For One Of These Common Conditions

What Having Anxiety Feels Like

The signs of mental illness aren’t always obvious. Subtle changes in mood or behavior are often attributed to aging, just like weaker muscles and fuzzy thinking. “There’s a tendency to dismiss it as, ‘Well, of course I’m worried, I have heart disease,’ or, ‘Of course I’m sad, I’m not as relevant as I once was,'” says Dr. Michael Craig Miller, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

But depression and anxiety do not need to be routine parts of aging. Getting help for these feelings can help you maintain your health and enjoy life to the fullest.

Whats It Like Living With Anxiety And Depression

Anxiety and depression are listed independently in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders there is a solid and notable link between these mental health conditions. Although it is possible and not uncommon to receive a diagnosis of either anxiety or depression, it is also equally likely to struggle with both conditions simultaneously. Depression and anxiety frequently co-occur, meaning someone experiences the complex symptoms of both conditions at the same time, making each even more difficult and challenging to manage.

There is a unique and complicated link between anxiety and depression. When someone has anxiety, they are at an increased risk of developing depression. In fact, some studies show up to half of those who have major depression also experience persistent, severe anxiety. Also, depression causes emotions such as fear and worry. When you are frequently worried about something , it can trigger anxiety. If you or a loved one are struggling with an anxiety disorder, it is crucial to seek help from a mental health treatment center like The Meadowglade before your symptoms have the opportunity to evolve into a more complex, co-occurring disorder. Knowing if you need to or should consider seeking help is best achieved by understanding what anxiety and depression are and what the symptoms of each condition may look like in a friend or loved one.

Mental Health Issues Like Depression And Anxiety On The Rise Globally

Across the world, people need mental health support now more than ever. Global and community-led initiatives are starting to make a difference. But is it enough? On Global Mental Health Day, we take a look.

Mental health advocates, including the WHO, have been pushing hard to reform mental health care for decades. This year, they stress that a perfect storm of events from the coronavirus pandemic to economic downturns has a major impact on mental health around the world.

According to the WHO World Mental Health report published in June, depression and anxiety rose by 25% in the first year of the pandemic, bringing the number of people living with a mental disorder to nearly one billion people.

Whats more, mental health services have been severely disrupted in recent years and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened, a WHO spokesperson told DW.

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Cnn: What Is It About This Moment That Makes Life So Much More Emotionally Challenging For Girls And Teens

Donna Jackson Nakazawa:

There is a lot of focus on performance and competition.

Our kids are missing out on that important part of childhood, ages 7-13, when they should be doing things like hanging out with their friends and lying on the grass chatting about whatever.

We’ve replaced that with a fast-moving culture and we’ve also added social media, which kids aren’t supposed to be on until they’re 13, but many are much earlier.

Once on social media, the focus on appearance hits girls especially hard.

They are more likely to “like” or “dislike” them based on their appearance and are more sexualized than boys.

They learn that the more clothes you take off, the more likes you get, and that their bodies will be evaluated.

Add to this the threats of global warming, school shootings and everything else.

Everything is literally heating up, and social media platforms are being created to increase the intensity of the excitement.

And then we have to overlay the stark reality that girls routinely face additional threats like sexual harassment, rape and violence against women just because they are women.

  • Children under the age of 10 are using social networks.

    So their parents can help them be safe

  • Why everyday things like getting out of bed, bathing and eating can be a struggle for people with depression

Social media’s focus on looks is hard on girls, who face likes based on their looks.

Psychological Depression Symptoms Include:

Having Anxiety and Depression Is Like MIND MOOD MORE
  • doing poorly at work
  • difficulties with your family or home life

Its not always possible to tell that youre having symptoms of depression right away it can start and progress gradually. A lot of people dont realise theyre ill and try to carry on and cope with their symptoms. Sometimes it takes a friend or family member to notice that theres a problem.

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Depression Is Feeling Like Youve Lost Something But Having No Clue When Or Where You Last Had It Then One Day You Realize What You Lost Is Yourself

I dont recognize myself anymore is a common refrain of someone suffering from clinical depression. People will call your name, recognizing someone they think they know. But looking back at you from the mirror is a stranger with a haunted, hopeless expression. You remember once experiencing anticipation and joy but it feels like those emotions occurred in a far-off, never-to-be revisited galaxy. You recall happy memories like scenes from a movie once viewed, not as something personally experienced. I know I used to laugh and joke but now all I want to do is sleep, more than one patient in the throes of depression has told me. Depression sufferers are trapped in a psychological hellish twilight zone.

What Are The Different Antidepressants And How Do They Work

All antidepressants can have side effects, but some may be more problematic than others. You may need to try several different medications, or a combination, guided by your doctor, before you find what works best for you.

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If Youre In Crisis Here Are A Few Resources To Help:

If you live in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK . They have trained counselors available 24/7. Stop a Suicide Today is another helpful resource.

Befrienders Worldwide and the International Association for Suicide Prevention are two organizations that provide contact information for crisis centers outside of the United States.

Anxiety And Depression: What Are The Possible Links

What is Anxious Depression?

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.

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Treatment For Anxiety And Depression

Medications and psychotherapy are effective for most people with depression and anxiety. Your primary care provider or psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. Many people benefit from outpatient psychotherapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy.

Additional treatment can include changing your exercise or eating habits, using social supports, getting enough sleep, changing your responses to stress, avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs, and joining a support group.

If you have severe depression or anxiety, you may need to use crisis resources, like contacting a crisis hotline, going to the nearest emergency department for a mental health evaluation or participating in an inpatient or outpatient treatment program until your symptoms improve.

The Role And Impact Of Fear

We are always exposed to situations that cause us to be afraid: shootings, crime sprees, tragedies in war-torn areas, natural disasters, wildfires, political tensions, a life-threatening pandemic. Just about anything can cause us to become entrenched in fear and pessimistic about the future. For those who experience these situations firsthand, acute mental distress is often the result. For instance, a PLOS Medicine study showed that asylum seekers and refugees experience high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

But you dont have to be involved in frightening or life-threatening events to experience distress from them. Simply hearing or reading about them may be enough to generate fear. Our increased exposure to everything can impair our mental state if we arent careful. But what if fear itself isnt actually the problem?

An interview with The Meadows Chief Medical Officer Jon Caldwell, MD, on our Beyond Theory podcast discusses the role and impact of fear:

Fear has this evolutionary function where it helps to alert us of possible dangers in our environment. Its a very potent emotion, says Dr. Caldwell. What Ive found really interesting is the way that fear can sometimes run amuck and really have a strong presence in our lives, to the point where it can control us.

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Make Time For Rest And Relaxation

Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can affect your energy and motivation, which often only adds to feelings of guilt and worry.

Remember, though: Depression and anxiety are health conditions. If you had the flu, youd need time to rest, right? Mental health symptoms require recovery time, too.

Instead of fixating on the things you think you should be doing, honor your needs by taking time for activities that soothe and relax you. Maybe this includes things like:

  • watching a comforting movie or TV show
  • re-reading a favorite book

How Are Stress Anxiety And Depression Connected

All stress, anxiety, depression, is caused when we ignore who we are ...

Anxiety and depression can be caused by several things, including:

  • Sleep disturbances, like difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning

Advanced signs of a major depressive disorder include:

  • Feeling down or depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Diminished interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Significant changes in your weight
  • Difficulty with sleep, like difficulty falling, staying asleep or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue or frequently feeling tired
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning

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Across The World People Need Mental Health Support Now More Than Ever Global And Community

Deutsche Welle

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, a World Health Organization event to “raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.”

Mental health advocates, including the WHO, have been pushing hard to reform mental health care for decades. This year, they stress that a perfect storm of events from the coronavirus pandemic to economic downturns has a major impact on mental health around the world.

According to the WHO World Mental Health report published in June, depression and anxiety rose by 25% in the first year of the pandemic, bringing the number of people living with a mental disorder to nearly one billion people.

Whats more, mental health services have been severely disrupted in recent years and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened, a WHO spokesperson told DW.

Special initiative for mental health

So what’s being done about it? In 2020, the WHO established the Special Initiative for Mental Health. It is the WHOs most ambitious mental health programmes so far, aiming to increase access to mental health services for 100 million people across 12 nations, including Ukraine, Jordan, and Zimbabwe.

Many countries have very outdated mental health service mandates. We’re working with countries to change their approaches so more people have access to support, Alison Schafer, technical advisor in WHOs Department of Mental Health, told DW.

Big picture approach to mental health

Signs And Symptoms: How To Identify Depression

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersdiagnosed with major depressive disorder

Do you:

  • Constantly feel tearful, empty, or worthless?
  • Have little interest or pleasure in your work, hobbies, friends, family, and other things you once enjoyed?
  • Notice dramatic changes up or down in your appetite or your weight not related to dieting?
  • Often feel listless or fatigued for no obvious reason?
  • Have trouble concentrating or making decisions?
  • Find yourself wringing your hands, pacing, or showing other signs of anxious restlessness or the opposite, moving or speaking more slowly than usual?
  • Struggle with insomnia or sleep too much?
  • Have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death?

To be diagnosed with MDD, one of your symptoms must be a persistent low mood or a loss of interest or pleasure, the DSM-5 states. Your symptoms must also not be due to substance abuse or a medical condition, such as thyroid problems, a brain tumor, or a nutritional deficiency.

Of course, its normal to have any or all of these symptoms temporarily from time to time. The difference with depression is that the symptoms persist and make it difficult to function normally.

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Living With Anxiety And Depression Is A Constant Fight With Yourself

I usually dont experience one without the other. One moment Im facing a cycle of racing, urgent thoughts and emotions and the next, Im facing a vast void of nothingness. My anxious mind tells me that something is wrong with me and that I have to fix myself to save myself. My depressed mind tells me not to bother because nothing matters anyway. Its like there are two parts of me fighting with one another but nobody wins. Olivia LaBarre, 28, a practitioner withReiki Healing Works in Brooklyn

People Think Depression Is Sadness People Think Depression Is Crying People Think Depression Is Dressing In Black But People Are Wrong Depression Is The Constant Feeling Of Being Numb Being Numb To Emotions Being Numb To Life You Wake Up In The Mo

How to Spot Severe Depression vs Feeling Depressed

Sadness is a common feeling in the kaleidoscope of diverse human emotions. It can be triggered by a terrible experience such as going through a romantic breakup or listening to survivors of a mass shooting talking on television. You will cry, perhaps turn down social engagements, feel darkness but in time the kaleidoscope will shift to a cheerier hue. However, for the 6.8% of adults in the United States who suffer a major depressive episode each year, it is darkness 24/7. A clinically-depressed person is often _beyond sadness_his or her feelings hidden deep beneath a throbbing wall of numbness.

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Are There Clinical Trials Studying Social Anxiety Disorder

NIMH supports a wide range of research, including clinical trials that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditionsincluding social anxiety disorder. 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 that others may be better helped in the future.

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

What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms

You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.


Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.

Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises can help to calm you when you are feeling anxious. Or having a panic attack. You will get the most benefit if you do them regularly, as part of your daily routine.

There is more information about breathing exercises in the further reading section at the bottom of this page.

Support groups

You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.

You might be able to find a local group by searching online.

Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area if you follow this link:

Or you can call the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service on 0300 5000 927 for more information.

Recovery College

You can find more information about Recovery by clicking here.

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