Anxiety and depression are words shrouded in heaviness.
Depending on your age or culture, they could be diseases you haven’t heard much about, or something with more complex meaning. If you experience symptoms – such as 3 in 1 As the people of Washington did at one point last year – or know anyone with these diagnoses, you may have seen the impact it has on people and their families.
In an effort to better understand mental health, Greeley Tribune offers this introduction to helping people overcome depression and anxiety. It is not meant to be a thorough diagnosis or diagnosis: talk to your doctor or mental health care provider if you have any questions. If you’re ready to find a therapist, we have a guide to help, and another guide for parents to talk to children about mental health, along with other students by youth. A guide created for
For starters, while everyone can have rough patches where they feel anxious, depressed, or not like themselves, disorders such as clinical anxiety and depression are usually persistent, lasting weeks or months. Although both work on a spectrum, severe anxiety and depression can be emotionally and physically debilitating if left untreated.
Tamera Gittens, a licensed mental health counseling associate who works in Seattle, describes anxiety like this: Feeling nervous is a normal response to stress and is helpful in some ways, as it prompts people to take action. For example, it’s reasonable to worry about an upcoming work deadline.
The difference is the amount of worry and the length of time spent worrying. Once that exam or deadline has passed, so does the feeling. This is not true with clinical anxiety: instead tension persists.
Anxiety can also affect people’s sleeping and eating patterns, their energy and libido levels, work or school performance, and ultimately their relationships with friends and family.
Similarly, depression is characterized by feelings of intense sadness and disconnection, as well as fatigue and negative self-views. At its worst, depression can lead people to suicidal thoughts, self-harm, or attempts to end their lives.
“It’s different from sadness that, at least for me, it’s a feeling of hopelessness,” explains Olympia resident Paul Currington. “It’s more gray than black, if I want to give it a hue.”
currington Now speak publicly about your experience With depression and suicidal thoughts, in hopes of helping build relationships and open up about mental health to others.
“Sometimes finding out that someone else is struggling can be incredibly helpful,” he said. “It just makes you feel like everyone else goes through this. You’re not alone and you’re not weak because you’re feeling these feelings.”
Researchers are still learning how these disorders develop, although there is general consensus that genetics plays a role. If you have a history of any of the conditions in your family, you run a slightly higher risk of developing them. Anxiety and depression can both be aggravated by a stressful event or trauma such as violence or abuse, or the death of a loved one.
Anxiety may also take other forms, including panic disorders, or may be associated with specific stressors (social anxiety disorder) or intense fear (phobia).
Depression can be triggered by circumstances such as relationship changes, financial situations, as well as medical illness. Both disorders can worsen if drug or alcohol addiction is involved or there are other co-occurring diseases. Women are more likely than men to experience depression, as are some communities of color and refugees, with youth and older adults at greater risk overall.
Exactly how these two diseases affect the brain neurologically and cascade to other parts of the body is still confounded, but a few patterns stand out. For example, researchers are investigating the importance of higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, found in people with major depression.
a separate 2020 meta analysis The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience reviewed more than 100 studies and found that people with depression have reduced brain volume in certain regions, including the hippocampus, a part of the brain that deals with learning and memory. The same study also found that people with both anxiety And However, depression has a higher concentration in the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with emotional processing.
The good news is that people with both of these disorders can successfully manage their illnesses and lead full and healthy lives. According to experts, prevention and early diagnosis are important.
One option is psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. Jennifer Watson, a clinical psychologist at Eastlake, encourages people not to wait for things to get worse but to take the first step and seek help.
“If your anxiety or your depression is causing a loss of meaning in your life, that’s enough that you should get support,” Watson said.
Many forms of counseling can be helpful, from cognitive behavioral therapy to exposure therapy. Doctors also highly recommend exercise. it’s challenging to move when you’re feeling sad or anxious, Benefits are comparable to antidepressant medication,
Other treatments may include medication, electroconvulsive therapy, newer forms of psychedelics-assisted counseling, equine therapy, peer counselor support groups, and more.
Watson suggests that people attending their first therapy session think about two main things: What would you like to get out of therapy? Are you looking for someone who can give specific feedback, make concrete plans, or just listen? Share this with your therapist.
You can also ask about the therapist’s background and what specific training styles they have. If you’re interested in a therapist or counselor with a spiritual or religious practice, this is an option. There are also therapists who specialize in working with queer or trans people, people with neurodiversity, or other experiences.
Ultimately, find a network of people to help you through this experience. Friends, family, colleagues, religious communities, and people of similar interest can help you in this process. Many people want to talk about mental health; While the stigma is still present, it is decreasing over time. according to a Survey From the American Psychological Association, People in America are opening up to the conversation on mental health, with over 80% of respondents agreeing that having a mental health disorder is nothing to be ashamed of.
For Karrington, the goal is to normalize conversations about mental health.
“What I want to see in the world,” he said, “is more people being honest about how they’re feeling.”