Causes Of Depression And Anxiety In The Lgbtq Community
Some people try to attribute depression and anxiety in LGBTQ individuals to underlying mental illness. Its important to make perfectly clear, though, that your sexuality is not a disease. The problems faced by those who identify as LGBTQ often come from minority stress. This specific form of stress stems from the prejudice, stigma and discrimination encountered by these individuals.
Even though the world has become relatively more accepting of sexual and gender minorities , discrimination and hate still exist. When people get constantly exposed to stressful and hostile social environments, its not uncommon for mental health problems to emerge. The following experiences directly lead to minority stress:
- Expectations of rejection
- Concealing sexuality or gender identity
- Internalizing homophobia
- Ameliorative coping processes
- Experiencing prejudice or discrimination
Unfortunately, these experiences occur all too frequently. LGBTQ high school students experience bullying at nearly twice the rate of their heterosexual classmates. Theyre also nearly three times as likely to deal with sexual dating violence. This at least partially explains why the suicide attempt rate among LGBTQ students is nearly five times above average.
If you dont feel safe at home, how can you feel safe anywhere? Whether stress comes from home or elsewhere, though, there are ways to overcome depression and anxiety.
How To Manage Your Symptoms
In addition to a formal treatment plan from your doctor, these strategies may help you find relief from symptoms. Its important to know, though, that these tips may not work for everyone, and they may not work each time.
The goal of managing depression and anxiety is to create a series of treatment options that can all work together to help, to some degree, whenever you need to use them.
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?
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Autism Spectrum Disorder And Anxiety/depression
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder ?
Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD, is a developmental disability that affects communication, socialization, and behavior. 2 While you can be diagnosed at any age, it is common for symptoms to develop within early childhood, and these symptoms typically last a lifetime. 1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it is estimated that 1 in every 68 children have ASD.3 In the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders created in 2013, previously separate disorders, including autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified , and Asperger syndrome would all become known as ASD. 4 Common Behaviors
The following is a list of common behaviors and signs of ASD in children or adults. However, it should not be used as a diagnostic tool.
- Little or inconsistent eye contact
- Not looking or listening to others
- Often not pointing at objects to show interest
- Trouble relating to others
- Repeated behaviors, words, or phrases
- Being very interested but unable to talk, play, or relate to others,
- Not interested at all in others
- Trouble adapting to change
- Sensitivity to smells, noises, tastes, temperature, or other sensory inputs
- 40% of people with ASD have elevated levels of anxiety or one or more anxiety disorder
- 30% of people with ASD have a Specific Phobia
- 17% of people with ASD have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
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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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.
Causes Of Attention Problems In Depression
It is not known, specifically, what causes attention problems in depression. It may have to do with the gray brain matter shrinkage that is typically present in people with major depressive disorder. What is known, though, is that both people with unipolar and people with bipolar depression experience concentration problems and both youth and adults with depression experience this cognitive deficit. Fatigue, another symptom of depression, may also play a role in negatively affecting attention span.
It’s worth noting that some antidepressant medications that are used to treat depression may have cognitive side effects such as attention problems. If these problems arise after starting a medication, the treating doctor may decide to alter the dose or the medication type.
Also, many people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder also experience depression and when these illnesses are present together, they may compound each other.
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Can You Have Anxiety And Depression At The Same Time
Its a complex picture. Depression and generalised anxiety disorder have some distinct features, and some that overlap. To complicate things further, its actually possible for someone to experience depression and anxiety at the same time.
In fact its not just possible its quite common. Around half of people with generalised anxiety disorder will also have depression. When the conditions coexist like this, they can be more severe and long-lasting than usual.
Its also possible to be diagnosed with one of the conditions, and to have symptoms of the other . The way symptoms overlap make it hard to be precise with numbers. But estimates of the number of people with depression who also experience symptoms of anxiety range as high as 85 per cent.
Many experts actually view mixed anxiety and depressive disorder as a separate category in itself. This is where someone may have symptoms of both conditions, but not severe enough to have a formal diagnosis of either condition. But this combination can still cause considerable distress and affect someones daily life.
More Education Better Understanding
These findings point to some improvement in understanding and attitudes about mental health and mental issues. But more needs to be done. Efforts like McLean Hospitals campaign and the National Alliance on Mental Healths StigmaFree pledge have done much to bring understanding to the public.
More and more individuals are choosing to be open about their own mental illness. By speaking out, they show that psychiatric conditions like depression and addiction are common and no different than medical conditions like diabetes or asthma.
At the same time, many efforts to promote good mental health have been introduced. Just as individuals are encouraged to exercise, improve their eating habits, and see a doctor when they are sick or injured, these programs teach mindfulness, stress reduction techniques, and gratitude. Many emphasize that good physical health is essential to good mental health. Some of these efforts are available online or through apps.
Though many are still confusedor unawareof the differences between mental health and mental illness, times are changing. Despite the terms becoming more mainstream, there is still much to be done to help others understand that each impact everyone differently.
We are all human, said Palmer. We are all vulnerable to illness. Its important to see the strengths and dignity in all people regardless of their health status and try our best to help alleviate suffering when we can.
What Strategies Are Often Used In Treating This Dual Diagnosis
Evidence-based research suggests that both anxiety and depression be treated at the same time.
Effective strategies often used in treating these co-occurring conditions include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT is often used to treat people with both disorders. Fears, anxieties and tendencies toward depression are managed by seeking out their root causes. Once uncovered, patients learn how to take control of their emotions and life.
- Antidepressant medications Often combined with CBT, these may be prescribed in treating both disorders. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are new antidepressant drugs that produce fewer side effects than their predecessors.
- Exercise This can be very helpful for both disorders. Physical activity causes feel-good chemicals to be released in the body. This aids in relaxation and feeling of well-being.
- Relaxation techniques This typically involves meditation or mindfulness. These techniques can often help to remedy both disorders and improve quality of life.2
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.
Get Mental Health Support
We understand how difficult it can be to cope during these uncertain times, especially when you are living with chronic illness. It is important to talk to someone who can help. You should contact your primary care physician or your insurance provider to learn about the supportive resources that are available to you. Here are other mental health resources for your reference:
- To find local support groups and services, you can call 1-800-950-NAMI or email . The National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM ET.
- For a counselor or therapist in your area, view the resources page at Mental Health America: Finding Therapy.
- If your mental health concern is an emergency for you or someone else, you should call 911.
- If you are having suicidal thoughts or have or are thinking of hurting yourself, you should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifelines 24-hour toll-free crisis hotline, 1-800-273-TALK .
Addressing Your Mental Health By Identifying The Signs Of Anxiety And Depression
What is stress, and what happens when we arent able to cope well with stress? Stress can present itself after being fired from a job, going through a divorce or losing a loved one. Even getting married, transitioning to a new job or having a baby can cause stress.
Many people look to define stress as either good or bad, when in reality its neither. Stress is an event we view as out of our control and typically occurs outside our daily routines. How we react shapes our ability to cope with these and other similar events in the future. When individuals struggle to cope with stressful situations, depression and anxiety become more noticeable.
According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults every year.
The most common anxiety disorders include excessive fear or anxiety of:
- Specific phobias
- Natural environment heights, storms, water
- Blood-injection injury needles, invasive medical procedures
- Locations airplanes, elevators, enclosed places
Its common for those struggling with anxiety disorders to also struggle with depression or vice versa. Close to 10 percent of the worlds population suffers from anxiety and depression. However, while anxiety and depressive disorders are highly treatable, only a small percent of affected individuals receive treatment.
Can Anxiety And Depression Be Treated Together
Yes. No one has to suffer from anxiety disorder or depression, and certainly not both. People with anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist, or other healthcare professional about their symptoms and start treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect you have both anxiety and depression, Connolly recommends getting a thorough evaluation from a psychiatrist as a first step. “It’s really crucial for people with both to have a good assessment to rule out bipolar disorder,” she says.
Important: If you or someone you know needs help coping with anxiety or depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK . The Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they text to 741741.
Talking To Your Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
Communicating well with your doctor or health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read NIMHs Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider to help prepare for and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask your doctor, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website.
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.