Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do
Once you begin treatment, you should gradually start to feel better. Here are other tips that may help you or a loved one during treatment for depression:
- Try to get some physical activity. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood.
- Try to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
- Eat regular, healthy meals.
- Do what you can as you can. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
- Try to connect with other people, and talk with people you trust about how you are feeling.
- Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better.
- Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, or drugs, including medications not prescribed for you.
Risk Factors For Depression
Depression can affect anyoneeven a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
- Biochemistry: Differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Genetics: Depression can run in families. For example, if one identical twin has depression, the other has a 70 percent chance of having the illness sometime in life.
- Personality: People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse or poverty may make some people more vulnerable to depression.
When Does Low Mood Become Depression
We all have times when our mood is low, and we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually these feelings pass in due course.
But if the feelings are interfering with your life and don’t go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing depression. See our page on the symptoms of depression for more information.
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How Is Depression Treated
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.
Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency . The evaluation will identify specific symptoms and explore medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors with the goal of arriving at a diagnosis and planning a course of action.
Try To Eat Balanced Meals
Nourishing your body with whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, can help you get the nutrition you need and it could also help improve your symptoms.
Caffeine, refined sugars, and processed foods, on the other hand, could potentially worsen symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
You dont need to cut these out of your diet entirely, but try to balance them with nutrient-dense foods when possible.
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Anxiety: Fearing The Possibility Of A Threat
Unlike depression, which is mainly characterized by deep sadness or a lack of joy, anxiety is more of a system overload. Individuals contending with an anxiety disorder report feeling an adverse sense of hyperarousal, as they remain tense and alert to the possibility of a threat, even when no such threat exists.
The anxiety disorders family is considered the most common group of mental health disorders, with one in 13 individuals facing one or more of these conditions. 40 million US adults, or 18.1%, reportedly contend with an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand, and are found in high comorbidity with depression. Over 50% of individuals facing depression or higher also battle an anxiety disorder, making it more likely to experience anxiety with depression, than not.
What You Should Do
Just because you’re experiencing one of those symptoms doesn’t mean you’ll be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or depression. “But if you’re too caught up in one feeling or another, having less pleasure in life or having trouble doing what you need to do, then certainly get help,” says Dr. Miller.
Reaching out to family and friends may be a good way to start the process. “Talk to people who might be understanding, compassionate, and helpful,” Dr. Miller says. If you feel embarrassed to share your feelings or worries with those close to you, make an appointment with your doctor.
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How The Two Are Different
Anxiety and depression are different disorders. Anxiety is characterized by fear and apprehension. These are often worried and nervous thoughts where significant attention is paid to situations that have happened in the past alongside worries about what is going on in the present and the future. Anxiety creates a feeling of discomfort and releases substantial energy throughout the body. Those with anxiety tend to think negatively and many worry about everyday occurrences unnecessarily. Often anxiety presents itself with feelings of unease and uncertainty.
Depression,on the other hand, centers around the idea that life is already bad, with little hope for the future. There is less worry about the future because it involves less hope. Those with depression may suffer from suicidal ideations, severe fatigue, less energy and fewer emotions and like anxiety these emotions are often very negative.
Physically, anxiety tends to cause an activation of feelings and sensations while depression may cause an absence of feelings and sensations
There are also similarities between the two conditions, and in some cases one can cause the other. For example, after a severe panic attack some people find themselves drained of energy and emotionally upset which may develop temporary depression. The experience may leave the person feeling traumatised and alone.
They sometimes even have similar physical symptoms, including:
- Nausea and stomach issues.
- Aches and pains for no apparent reason.
Can You Have Anxiety And Depression At The Same Time
You can experience symptoms of anxiety and depression at the same time. In fact, panic disorder and other types of anxiety disorders are often accompanied by major depressive disorder.
A recent worldwide study also showed that, of those who experienced major depression for 12 months, 41.6 percent of them also dealt with one or more anxiety disorders during the same period.
As youll see in the upcoming section, many of the symptoms of depression and anxiety overlap with each other, so its understandable why these two conditions are often diagnosed simultaneously.
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Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Several different disorders fall under the anxiety umbrella. The following are some of the most well-known:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Generalized anxiety disorder involves chronic feelings of anxiety and exaggerated worry these feelings are generally unprovoked.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder : People with OCD experience recurring, unwanted thoughts and/or perform repetitive behaviors to provide temporary anxiety relief failure to perform these behaviors tends to increase anxiety symptoms.
- Panic Disorder: Panic disorder involves repeated and unexpected episodes of fear or panic these feelings are accompanied by physical symptoms like heart palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : PTSD typically develops after exposure to a terrifying event in which harm may have been threatened or occurred triggering events include assaults, natural disasters, accidents, and military combat.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: People with Social Anxiety Disorder experience overwhelming anxiety and feelings of self-consciousness that occur during everyday social situations it can be limited to individual situations like speaking in front of a crowd, or it can be so broad that symptoms are triggered whenever other people are around.
Allow Yourself To Feel What Youre Feeling
Depression and anxiety are medical conditions, not the result of failure or weakness, and theyre absolutely not your fault.
Without a doubt, the unwanted emotions they cause can lead to plenty of distress. But knowing depression and anxiety result from underlying causes and triggers, not anything you did or didnt do, can promote self-compassion instead of criticism or self-punishment.
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Get Help Finding Treatment
Here are tools to find a healthcare provider familiar with treatment options:
- Psychologist Locatorexternal icon, a service of the American Psychological Association Practice Organization.
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finderexternal icon, a research tool by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry .
- Find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapistexternal icon, a search tool by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
- If you need help finding treatment facilities, visit MentalHealth.govexternal icon.
Impact Of Destination Anxiety
Destination anxiety can have a negative impact on your life in several ways:
- It can prevent you from enjoying the present moment and living your life to the fullest.
- It can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as prevent you from achieving your goals.
- It can also cause you to miss out on opportunities and experiences that could be beneficial to you.
- Finally, it can lead to negative self-talk and a negative outlook on life.
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Major Depressive Disorder With Seasonal Pattern
Previously known as seasonal affective disorder , this type of depression occurs during the winter and fall months, when there is less daylight. Less commonly, it may follow other seasonal patterns.
It lifts during the rest of the year and in response to light therapy.
This condition seems to particularly affect people who live in countries with long or severe winters.
The medical community does not fully understand the causes of depression. There are many possible causes, and sometimes, various factors combine to trigger symptoms.
Factors that are likely to play a role
How Are Stress Anxiety And Depression Connected
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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Aim To Get A Good Nights Sleep
Not enough sleep can worsen symptoms of both anxiety and depression but too much sleep can also affect well-being and mood.
Experts recommend most adults get
These tips can help you get the sleep you need:
- Make a habit of going to bed and getting up around the same time each day.
- Turn off electronic devices about 1 hour before bedtime.
- Create a soothing ritual that helps you wind down before bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
Electroconvulsive Therapy Electric Shock Treatment
If you have severe depression and other treatments, like medication, haven’t worked, ECT might be recommended for you.
When receiving ECT, you will be given an anaesthetic and medication that relaxes your muscles to begin with. Electrodes will be placed on your head that give an electrical “shock” to your brain.
ECT is given over a series of sessions, normally twice a week for three to six weeks.
ECT can cause side effects including nausea, headaches, aches in the muscles and memory problems.
Most people find that ECT is good for relieving severe depression, but the beneficial effects tend to wear off when several months have passed.
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Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
Does Depression Change Your Personality
Research has turned up mixed results about whether or not depression can actually change a persons personality.
However, according to of 10 studies, depressive symptoms may be associated with changes in several specific aspects of personality including extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness which could be temporary or persistent.
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Can Depression Be Prevented
You can help prevent depression by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and practicing regular self-care activities such as exercise, meditation and yoga.
If youve had depression before, you may be more likely to experience it again. If you have depression symptoms, get help. Care can help you feel better sooner.
The Most Common Depressive Disorders Include:
- Major depressive disorder This is a depressed mood that lasts for a two-week period. This could occur as a single or recurrent episode.
- Persistent depressive disorder This is a depressed mood that occurs almost every day for at least two years
It’s common for those struggling with anxiety disorders to also struggle with depression or vice versa. Close to 10% of the world’s population suffers from anxiety and depression. However, while anxiety and depressive disorders are highly treatable, only a small percentage of affected people receive treatment.
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Anxiety And Depression In Children: Get The Facts
Many children have fears and worries, and may feel sad and hopeless from time to time. Strong fears may appear at different times during development. For example, toddlers are often very distressed about being away from their parents, even if they are safe and cared for. Although some fears and worries are typical in children, persistent or extreme forms of fear and sadness could be due to anxiety or depression. Learn about anxiety and depression in children.
Different Types Of Depression
There are different types of depression, and there are some conditions where depression is a symptom. These conditions include:
- Bipolar disorder people with bipolar disorder, which is also known as “manic depression”, experience times of depression, where the symptoms are similar to clinical depression. They also go through phases when they have excessively high moods . Bouts of mania can include harmful behaviour like unsafe sex, spending sprees and gambling.
- Seasonal affective disorder is also called “winter depression”. It’s depression that is related to weather, usually winter, so it happens seasonally.
- Postnatal depression happens to some women after they’ve had a baby. It’s treated similarly to other types of depression, with antidepressant medication and talking therapy.
Learn more about how depression is diagnosed here.
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When Anxiety And Depression Coexist
“There are many symptoms that overlap,” says Holland. These include symptoms like difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, loss of energy, aches, pains and digestive issues.
Holland also notes that there are further nuances to the symptoms, meaning there’s more overlap than might appear at face value oftentimes, for instance, anxious thinking patterns can include an element of feeling worthless or excessive amounts of guilt. And irritability is often a symptom that clinicians associate with depression because of the other symptoms present, although irritability isn’t directly outlined within a depression diagnosis.
“Many of the symptoms in either category could be associated with the other diagnosis, if given the right circumstantial evidence, which is why it’s so important to be evaluated by a mental health professional,” Holland says.
In her practice, Holland uses the patient’s suicidal ideation and energy levels to help distinguish between which diagnosis to give. “If someone is struggling with lethargy and motivation, I generally look more toward depression,” she explains. “If someone feels more like they or their brain is spinning like a top, I look to anxiety.”
“Anxiety and depression have a complicated relationship that can become cyclical,” adds Brandon. He explains that people who are depressed often feel anxious and that chronically anxious people can become depressed.
Whats The Difference Between Depression And Anxiety
Anxiety and depression are distinct mental health disorders. Each has its own set of symptoms.
For example, someone with anxiety may experience excessive fear or worry, while someone with depression may experience persistent feelings of hopelessness.
However, they are often interconnected. Someone with depression can experience anxiety symptoms as part of their mood disorder, and someone with a persistent anxiety disorder can develop depression over time.
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Psychological Depression Symptoms Include:
- doing poorly at work
- difficulties with your family or home life
It’s not always possible to tell that you’re having symptoms of depression right away it can start and progress gradually. A lot of people don’t realise they’re ill and try to carry on and cope with their symptoms. Sometimes it takes a friend or family member to notice that there’s a problem.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is a condition that occurs in children and youth ages 6 to 18. It involves a chronic and severe irritability resulting in severe and frequent temper outbursts. The temper outbursts can be verbal or can involve behavior such as physical aggression toward people or property. These outbursts are significantly out of proportion to the situation and are not consistent with the childs developmental age. They must occur frequently and typically in response to frustration. In between the outbursts, the childs mood is persistently irritable or angry most of the day, nearly every day. This mood is noticeable by others, such as parents, teachers, and peers.
In order for a diagnosis of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder to be made, symptoms must be present for at least one year in at least two settings and the condition must begin before age 10. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is much more common in males than females. It may occur along with other disorders, including major depressive, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, anxiety, and conduct disorders.
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder can have a significant impact on the childs ability to function and a significant impact on the family. Chronic, severe irritability and temper outbursts can disrupt family life, make it difficult for the child/youth to make or keep friendships, and cause difficulties at school.
Treatment typically involves and/or medications.
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