Managing Symptoms: Staying Healthy
Being healthy is important for all children and can be especially important for children with depression or anxiety. In addition to getting the right treatment, leading a healthy lifestyle can play a role in managing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Here are some healthy behaviors that may help:
- Having a healthy eating plan centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes , lean protein sources, and nuts and seeds
- Participating in physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day
- Practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques
Insomnia Anxiety Depression: Which Comes First
During my usual perusal of Sleep Review magazine online, I read about a new study finding that chronic insomnia can actually increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders and depression. . These findings dont surprise me in the least.
But whats interesting about this new study is that it tried to decipher which actually happens firstthe insomnia or the anxiety and depression. Its the old chicken versus egg puzzle a question much more difficult to answer. And what they found is that insomnia could be a precursor to mental disorders. The researchers are careful, however, to say that this doesnt mean insomnia causes either anxiety or depression, but that it could be a red flag. Good thing they added that.
Its seems logical that if youre not getting sound sleep on a routine basis, that your mood and mental state could take a hit. It also seems logical to say that anxiety and depression could make it difficult to sleep well. I think theres a lot of going both ways here. One can certainly aggravate the other.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, and with more people getting diagnosed with anxiety and depression lately, you have to wonder: should focusing on getting high-quality sleep be part of the normal course of treatment? Drugs and antidepressants aside, perhaps we should be paying more attention to our Zs for the sake of preventing and treating these mental disorders.
Score one for Sleep. Yet again.
Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter
Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.
Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:
- problems with sleep
- sudden loss of interest
- feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.
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The Past And Future Of Anxiety: An Interview With Dr Barlow
Finally, as in my descriptions of anxiety, many of the features I’ve delineated as typical of depression occur not only in major depression but, to varying degrees, also in bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, and dysthymia .
Note 1: Part 2 will discuss the many crucial similarities and overlaps between anxiety and depression, which make them so complementary. Part 3–perhaps the most originative of this 4-part post–will go into the negative beliefs about yourself and the world around you that give rise to both these distressful mental/emotional states. Part 4 will look at the research findings and theoretical speculations on co-occurring anxiety and depression and, finally, Part 5 will consider the various treatment considerations in devising the best therapy for helping those with both disorders.
—I invite readers to follow my ongoing psychological reflections on .
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Anxiety, depression and stress just about everyone feels these emotions at some time. All are common reactions to lifes challenges, from losing a loved one to going through a divorce. On the surface they can look a lot alike, but there are distinct differences.
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What To Do When Depression And Anxiety Mix
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.
If it turns out that you have both conditions, there are lots of ways to get help.
Early Intervention Is Key
While there is no shortage of scientific studies on depression and anxiety presenting separately, there are few studies on the efficacy of treatment options when both conditions are present.
We do know from research in general that the longer any psychiatric condition goes undiagnosed, the more likelihood of frequent episodes, severe symptoms, and treatment resistance, says Bhatia.
A 2015 World Journal of Psychiatry study, which documented a higher percentage of treatment resistance in comorbid anxiety and depression than when either condition occurs alone, recommended a comprehensive approach to treatmentintegrating various psychosocial approaches and incremental pharmacological interventions, among other things.
A timely, in-depth diagnostic assessment is a critical starting point, the study concluded.
There are many evidence-based options for treatment, and many are effective even with severe anxiety and depressive disorders, says Bhatia, but early intervention is key.
Regardless of the approach, people with a dual diagnosis should work with a professional who assigns homework between sessions, according to Ben Rutt, PhD, a licensed psychologist in Maryland.
You need to come up with a plan to get you from here to where you want to be, and for this kind of issue, you cant just go into therapy and talk about the problem of the week, he says.
For anxiety, he might help clients gradually gain exposure to a situation that in the past has caused panic attacks.
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Anxiety Or Depression: Which Comes First
Depression and anxiety are currently considered as separate disorders. Some people clearly have one or the other, but many people experience an overlap of symptoms. It is possible an individual could meet the criteria for both diagnoses, but people are more often diagnosed as having depression with anxiety symptoms, or less often, anxiety with depressive symptoms.
The two disorders have a few symptoms in common. Both depressed and anxious people may complain of insomnia, restlessness, irritability, a tendency to isolate, and a change in appetite or eating habits. The difference lies in the feeling behind the symptoms.
Anxious individuals will experience these symptoms because of their fears and overactive nervous system, while depressed individuals feel a sense of dread, emptiness, or hopelessness behind these same symptoms. For example, a person may isolate because they are fearful of others, someone else because their emotional heaviness seems more manageable when they are alone.
One Disorder Can Trigger Symptoms of the Other
People with anxiety problems sometimes report feeling helpless or hopeless from being trapped by their fears. They might have disengaged themselves from society, and it is common for humans to have depressive feelings if they spend most of their time alone. Some individuals experience shame about having anxiety.
A New Diagnosis Combining Anxiety and Depression?
What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions
Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.
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Responding To Emotional Troubles Without Eating Disorder Behaviors
While decreasing and, hopefully, discontinuing the eating disorder behaviors will increase the feelings of emotional discomfort in the short term, the long term goal would be to respond to feelings of disappointment, anger, fear, sadness, etc. without the bulimic behaviors.
This will give the patient the best chance for lasting recovery and a sense of empowerment over both mood and behaviors. Another reason trying to make changes to decrease ones depression and anxiety without decreasing the behaviors of bulimia is ineffective, is because there is no stable cognitive ground on which to stand.
Just as a child cant learn on an empty stomach, a person with bulimia is stuck in a compromised place of mental functioning when they are actively binging and purging.
If Youre Up For It Go For A Walk Around The Block
Research suggests exercise can be an effective treatment for depression because its a natural mood booster and releases feel-good hormones. However, for some people, exercise or a gym can trigger anxiety and fear. If thats the case for you, look for more natural ways to move, such as walking around your neighborhood or looking for an online exercise video you can do at home.
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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.
How Do You Know If You Have Both
To answer this, think about how you feel after social interactions. Do you feel good about yourself or bad about yourself?
Keep in mind that everyone deals with awkward social interactions from time to time. Its how you handle and cope with these interactions that can determine whether you have both.
A person who doesnt have social anxiety can usually brush off an awkward social moment and move on.
For the socially anxious, however, the fear of embarrassment is too intense to brush off these types of incidents.
Often times, you cant stop thinking about the mistake. Youll replay it over and over in your head. Youll convince yourself that you looked stupid or made a fool of yourself. The more you engage in this type of negative self-talk, the more socially inept and helpless you can feel.
If you cant reign in these emotions, you may begin to experience depression as well.
Treatments are available to successfully improve social anxiety and depression when they occur together. If youre diagnosed with both, your doctor may choose a therapy that works for both conditions.
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How Is Depression Different From Anxiety
Depression is different from anxiety. Rather than feeling anxious and nervous, feelings of gloom and melancholy overwhelm. Feeling sad or down after experiencing a loss or disappointment is an emotion that everyone feels at one time or another. But when low mood and sadness is severe and lasts for long periods of time, it could be due to depression.
There are two main types of depression: Major Depressive Disorder and Persistent Depressive Disorder . While the signs and symptoms of both are similar, the intensity and duration differ. Symptoms of both Major Depressive Disorder and dysthymia include:
- Sleep disruptions
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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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Why Anxiety And Depression Are Linked
Are anxiety and depression the same? No, but they share many similarities and connections.
Anxiety and depression often occur together. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 50 percent of people with depression also have an anxiety disorder. Co-occurrence is prevalent because anxiety frequently causes depressed states and major depressive disorder can result in anxiousness.
Therapy For Anxiety And Depression
There are many different types of therapy that can be used to treat anxiety or depression alone. When both disorders are present, you may need to use a variety of these methods. Here are some types of therapy that work well for anxiety and depression:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Psychoanalytic therapy
- Interpersonal therapy
There are also therapies designed for anxiety, such as exposure therapy, and techniques that are effective for depression, like behavioral activation. You may find it helpful to incorporate some extra therapeutic techniques into your treatment plan.
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Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression
Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.
Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.
If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.
Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.
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?