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What Can I Do To Help My Anxiety And Depression

Match Your Support To Their Preferences And Attachment Style

How to Help Someone With Depression or Anxiety

Its best to ask someone what type of support they prefer rather than guess! However, we know from research that people who have an avoidant attachment style are likely to respond best to strong displays of concrete practical support. That could include helping the anxious person break tasks down into manageable steps, or talking through specific options for how to deal with a difficult situation, like how to respond to an angry email, but still acknowledging their autonomy and independence while doing so.

Other people are more likely to prefer emotional support, especially those who are securely attached, or who have a preoccupied attachment style due to a fear of being abandoned or of their emotions being overwhelming to others. Folks like this respond well to statements emphasizing that theyre part of a tight teamfor example, their supporter saying, This is tough but we love each other and well get through it together.

Tip : Get A Daily Dose Of Sunlight

Sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Whenever possible, get outside during daylight hours and expose yourself to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. Remove sunglasses and use sunscreen as needed.

  • Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, or spend time gardening.
  • Double up on the benefits of sunlight by exercising outside. Try hiking, walking in a local park, or playing golf or tennis with a friend.
  • Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows.
  • If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box.

What To Do When Depression And Anxiety Mix

Kara Mayer Robinson Jabeen Begum

You’ve noticed some changes lately. Maybe you feel sad, hopeless, or donât get any joy out of activities that used to be fun. Sounds like depression, right?

Maybe that’s not all. Sometimes you’re worried, afraid, and just plain uneasy. Isn’t that a sign of anxiety?

Not so fast. Itâs normal to have ups and downs or to have things youâre concerned about. You might be going through a difficult time. Your doctor can help you figure out if itâs actually a condition and what would help.

Depression and anxiety are like flip sides of the same coin, says therapist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD. “Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often makes us depressed.”

If you have both conditions, there are lots of ways to get help.

Read Also: How To Conquer Social Anxiety

Connect With Friends Or Whnau

Connecting with people can help you feel better faster and stay well for longer. Try some of these ideas if you haven’t been keeping in touch with friends or whnau for a while.

Find one of these occasions to get in touch:

  • meet up with friends for a coffee
  • help out at the local community centre or marae
  • spend more time with the children or grandchildren . Maybe you could take them to their khanga or childcare. You might like to stay around to watch them play or have a casual chat with any other adults who are there. Facebook some friends or whnau you havent caught up with in a while
  • go to whnau birthdays, anniversaries and holiday get-togethers
  • make a meal with a friend
  • go for a walk or a swim with friends
  • join online forums or chat groups
  • get help from a friend or counsellor to begin to work out any difficult relationships.

We know that when people are feeling low and anxious, they often withdraw from their whnau and friends. Its a natural response but actually, strong connections can help you get well faster and help you stay well for longer.

Your whnau and your community can be your strength, providing a strong sense of belonging and support . Getting involved, spending time with them, and even doing things for them can give you a feeling of purpose and wellbeing.

It might help to plan your outings. Decide what youre going to do and write down when youll do it. This makes it easier to ignore those negative feelings that stop you going at the last minute.

How Does Psychotherapy Treat Anxiety Disorders

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Psychotherapy, or counseling, helps you deal with your emotional response to the illness. A mental health provider talks through strategies to help you better understand and manage the disorder. Approaches include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common type of psychotherapy used with anxiety disorders. CBT for anxiety teaches you to recognize thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings. You then work on changing them.
  • Exposure therapy focuses on dealing with the fears behind the anxiety disorder. It helps you engage with activities or situations you may have been avoiding. Your provider may also use relaxation exercises and imagery with exposure therapy.

Recommended Reading: How Can You Cure Anxiety Without Medication

Stress Is Not Anxiety Or Depression

Stress is not the same as anxiety or depression but for some people, being stressed for a long time can lead to anxiety or depression, and it can affect a persons physical health, particularly cardiovascular health.

When we talk about being stressed, it usually means were upset or tense about something thats happening in our lives. Stress is a normal part of daily life. Its a natural physical and mental response that is designed to help people cope effectively with emergencies.

Some stress can be a good thing. It can help us get motivated to get things done, but health problems from stress happen when it is regular and doesnt let up.

Signs Of An Anxiety Attack

These are some of the more common mental and physical symptoms of anxiety:

Its also possible to experience an anxiety and panic attack simultaneously. The quick coping strategies mentioned above may also help with a panic attack.

Other mindful strategies to cope with panic attacks include focusing on an object, repeating a mantra, closing your eyes, and going to your happy place.

Also Check: What Causes Severe Depression And Anxiety

What Is Separation Anxiety Disorder

This condition mostly happens to children or teens, who may worry about being away from their parents. Children with separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way or not come back as promised. It happens a lot in preschoolers. But older children and adults who experience a stressful event may have separation anxiety disorder as well.

What Happens If I Dont Get Treatment For My Child With An Anxiety Disorder

How To Help Someone With Anxiety or Depression

Getting your child help for an anxiety disorder can improve their development and self-esteem. But untreated anxiety disorders can harm:

  • Family relationships.
  • School performance.
  • Social functioning.

Your child may also end up with more serious mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, there are several treatments for anxiety disorders. The right treatment can help your child manage their symptoms and feel their best.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop An Anxiety Attack Now

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.

What Lifestyle Changes Are Recommended For Anxiety And Depression

More info on this topic

Lifestyle changes are simple but powerful tools in treating depression and anxiety, and they are an essential component of an integrated approach to treatment. In some cases, lifestyle changes alone can help depression or relieve anxiety, so it makes sense to start with them right away. But if you are suffering from moderate to severe depression or anxiety, also seek professional help right away. And if you dont see relief from symptoms of mild depression in a few months, likewise seek professional help.

Lifestyle changes that can help include the following.

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Unsure How To Help A Friend With Depression Or Anxiety Here Are Five Ways

When people find out that I am a clinical psychologist, one of the most common responses I get is, How do I help someone in my life struggling with mental health issues? There is a reason this response occurs with such frequency. In 2017, 7.1 percent of all adults in the United States had one or more major depressive episodes, and 19.1 percent met diagnostic criteria for at least one anxiety disorder. Now consider that these numbers dont include any of the following:

  • People who had less severe symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • People who had significant depressive episodes and anxiety disorders prior to 2017
  • People who struggled with mental health problems other than depression and anxiety in 2017
  • These facts demonstrate that the percentage of individuals struggling with significant mental health problems at any given time is staggering. As such, virtually all people are closely acquainted with at least one person who is currently struggling with a mental health problem.

    The impact of having a loved one struggling with depression or anxiety can be profound and, in fact, is often itself a reason that many people seek therapy. Unfortunately, there is no single behavior that is effective at helping all people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.

    The good news is, there are some approaches that tend to work better than others. I have outlined these below:

    1. Educate yourself in order to dispel harmful myths about mental illness.

    2. Try some perspective taking.

    Write Down Your Thoughts

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    Writing down whats making you anxious gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting.

    These relaxation tricks are particularly helpful for those who experience anxiety sporadically. They may also work well with someone who has generalized anxiety disorder when theyre in a bind too!

    However, if you suspect you have GAD, quick coping methods shouldnt be the only kind of treatment you employ. Youll want to find long-term strategies to help lessen the severity of symptoms and even prevent them from happening.

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    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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    • Anxiety and depression in men are common, and effective, evidence-based treatments are available.
    • Anxiety and depression are mental health conditions, not weaknesses.
    • Taking action may seem difficult but help and support is readily available.
    • Its important to seek support for anxiety and depression early the sooner the better.
    • With the right treatment, most people recover from anxiety and depression.

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    How To Help Someone With Depression And Anxiety

    This article was co-authored by Liana Georgoulis, PsyD. Dr. Liana Georgoulis is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of experience, and is now the Clinical Director at Coast Psychological Services in Los Angeles, California. She received her Doctor of Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2009. Her practice provides cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies for adolescents, adults, and couples.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 26,190 times.

    Depression and anxiety can greatly impact peoples lives and leave them feeling isolated and unable to cope with daily life. Its difficult to see someone you care about struggling with mental health problems and not know how to help. Some of the best help you can offer is by being present in this persons life and showing that you care.

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    4. Remember that you cant fix them, but you can help them get help.

    One of the biggest sources of distress for people dealing with others mental health problems is an inflated sense of responsibility. You are not responsible for fixing a persons depression or anxiety, nor is it likely that you will be able to. What you may be able to do, however, is help them connect with a professional who might be able to. Educating yourself on the effectiveness and local availability of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions for depression and anxiety is one concrete thing you can do to help someone effectively address their depression and anxiety. And if they refuse to get the help you suggest, and you are feeling discouraged and stuck, consider speaking to a mental health professional yourself for support.

    5. Keep at it as long as you can.

    The unfortunate truth is that supporting people who are struggling with mental health issues can at times be unrewarding and frustrating. When people are feeling scared or hopeless, it is only natural that they may be resistant to your outreach and may struggle to enjoy activities that are supposed to be fun. Nevertheless, it is important that you keep connected and providing support as long as you can . Keep calling and texting and inviting, even if the outreach seems to go unnoticed. Keep telling them that you care and are there for them, even if it seems your efforts go unappreciated.

    References

    Also Check: How To Know If You Have An Anxiety Disorder

    Why Are Anxiety And Depression Often Co

    Its a cycle, says Sally R. Connolly, LCSW and therapist. When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem. You feel bad about it. Then you feel like youve failed. You move to depression.

    These two disorders anxiety and depression have a complicated relationship:

    • The chance of acquiring depression is much higher when an anxiety disorder already exists. Nearly half of those with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety.
    • People who are depressed often feel anxious and worried. One can easily trigger the other, with anxiety often preceding depression.
    • People with post-traumatic stress disorder are especially prone to developing depression.
    • A biological predisposition for both of these conditions if often at the root of an individuals battle. This seems to be true with anxiety disorders even more than with depression. Connolly explains, Some people are just worriers and pass it down.

    People with an anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist or other healthcare professional about their symptoms. Treatment for an anxiety disorder should not be delayed. If not caught in time, depression may find the door wide open for moving in and setting up house in those individuals.2

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