Depression and Anxiety
Depression and Anxiety
Many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from some form of depression.
The depression can range from mild to severe depression.
If you suffer from anxiety or know someone who does, be on the look out for the warning signs of major depression. Most people who suffer from major depression often lack the ability to see whats happening to them. The presence of major depression can complicate the treatment of anxiety disorders.
The following is a list of symptoms to look for to help you determine if you are depressed and whether or not you may need to consult with a mental health professional.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression is diagnosed when a person has many of the following symptoms and the depression is interfering with day to day activities such as work, school, sleeping, eating, and enjoying life.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
Types of Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are several types of depression:
- Major depression,—severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes.
- Persistent depressive disorder—depressed mood that lasts for at least 2 years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for 2 years.
- Psychotic depression, which occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).
- Postpartum depression, which is much more serious than the “baby blues” that many women experience after giving birth. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer.
- Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness, is not as common as major depression or persistent depressive disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes—from extreme highs to extreme lows.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Children who develop depression often continue to have episodes as they enter adulthood.
Depression in adolescence frequently co-occurs with other disorders such as anxiety, eating disorders, or substance abuse. It can also lead to increased risk for suicide.
A child with depression may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative and irritable, and feel misunderstood.
Depression during the teen years comes at a time of great personal change—when boys and girls are forming an identity apart from their parents, grappling with gender issues and emerging sexuality, and making independent decisions for the first time in their lives.
Childhood depression often persists, recurs, and continues into adulthood, especially if left untreated.
How to Fight Depression
Anxiety and depression can be triggered in many ways. For instance, chemical imbalance can be caused by too much sugar in the diet, wheat/gluten allergy, mold allergy, excess alcohol intake, vitamin deficiency, mineral deficiency, essential fatty acid deficiency, amino acid deficiency, allergies to additives and food coloring, exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy metals, and side effects to prescription medication.
When doctor’s and insurance companies insist that the sole treatment for chemical imbalance is prescription drugs we lose sight of the delicate biochemistry of the mind and body that can be manipulated by food and other medications.
Therefore, it is up to you to take charge of your own health and not just assume your anxiety & depression is from a chemical imbalance. For a more natural relief of your anxiety and depression, we recommend visiting a holistic doctor or a regular physician who offers a holistic approach to your health.
In addition, begin eating a wholesome organic diet, taking natural supplements, being active and exercising daily. Set realistic goals, break up large tasks into small ones and set priorities.
Try not to isolate yourself. Spend time with friends and find someone you can confide in. Try positive thinking by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Finally, try simple relaxation techniques such as stretching and yoga to calm and relax your mind.
For more information on natural supplements, read our article on natural supplements for anxiety. The natural supplements listed in this article are also good for depression. You can link to the companies that sell these products from our hand picked Supplement Store. You can also check out our top picks for quick anxiety relief here.
If you’re considering taking any herbal supplement as a treatment for anxiety, talk to your doctor first, especially if you take other medications. The interaction of some herbal supplements and certain medications can cause serious side effects.
If your anxiety is interfering with daily activities, talk with your doctor. More serious forms of anxiety generally need medical treatment or psychological counseling for symptoms to improve.