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Do you live with either anxiety or depression? Do you know someone who does? This post will help you learn how living with depression and anxiety positively is possible. The first thing I want to do is summarize what these conditions are and the symptoms that they can cause. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand, but either can also be present without the other.
Low moods characterize depression, decreased interest in activities, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating on tasks, changes in appetite and weight loss or gain.
Anxiety usually causes tension headaches; irritability; restlessness; poor sleep patterns; fatigue and overall lack of energy. It's important to note that while some people have just one condition, others may experience both at the same time.
It's perfectly normal to feel anxious or depressed occasionally, especially in response to life's stressors. However, when these feelings become prolonged, disproportionate or apparent for no significant reason, they need to be addressed.
While behavioral and emotional symptoms may differ within the two, the fact remains they are both an unnatural and unwelcome state of mental health.
Characterized by a constant overwhelming state of fear or worry, anxiety can debilitate in its physical manifestations too. The symptoms of depression may be similar, with unrelenting feelings of sadness or despair.
Living with depression and anxiety is hard.
I am living with depression and anxiety. There are days when I am fine, then others when my depression will act up, or my anxiety. Then there are terrible days where I exhibit both depression and anxiety symptoms.
It is important to have a depression safety plan in place ahead of any depression symptoms. This is a plan of who you can call that will help you with your symptoms and give you any help or advice you need.
This can be a mixture of professional help, and your friends and family. When we are in the middle of a depression episode, we think we are alone in the world. Therefore, a depression safety plan designed ahead of time is a great resource.
Healing Anxiety and Depression
Depression and anxiety primarily affect the way an individual thinks and feels, and in most cases subsequently behaves; therefore, we rely upon patients to identify these changes themselves and seek help. Sometimes family members or close friends may identify vulnerable individuals and help request attention.
7 Hidden depression signs
Depression is not always easy to spot in loved ones, and they may hide it on purpose. Depression can be a devastating condition that affects them on multiple levels.
Why do people hide their depression?
It’s easier to hide the issues than to deal with them, so it’s common for this to occur. Depression still comes with a stigma, and they don’t want it attached to them.
1. They may overcompensate.
To hide their depression, they overcompensate by being more outgoing than usual.
2. They have eating disorders.
Changes in appetite are common. They may eat too much or too little. Their diets may be out of control as they try to hide their depression.
3. They have angry outbursts.
An occasional angry outburst over a terrible situation is normal for everyone. However, if you notice frequent and strange angry outbursts, then your loved ones may be suffering from depression.
4. Their sleep patterns change.
Your loved one's may sleep too much or too little. They may complain about not getting enough sleep, yet they refuse to go to bed.
5. They turn to addiction
Addiction can come in many forms and includes food, drugs, alcohol, or other items. It can also include gambling or other behaviors.
6. They hide their feelings by keeping insanely busy schedules.
It is common for those who are hiding their depression to fill up their day with a ton of activity. This keeps them busy and stops them from thinking. It also keeps others from questioning them.
7. They have trouble thinking clearly.
People who suffer from depression can often make poor decisions or refuse to reach any decision and have trouble with their thoughts. They may also show difficulty in focusing on simple things.
What are some physical effects of anxiety on the body?
Anxiety affects your body and your mind. Besides worrying and feeling nervous, you may experience changes in your immune function, circulatory system, and other areas.
Anxiety usually responds well to medical treatment and lifestyle modifications. If you or someone you know is being treated for anxiety, consider these physical changes that you may want to address.
Try these 7 ideas to relieve anxiety:
- Try to breathe deeply.
When you're tense, your breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Remind yourself to slow down and breathe from your abdomen instead of your chest. You will feel calmer and increase the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your brain and other organs.
2. Avoid infections. Anxiety may hamper your immune system.
Take extra precautions against catching colds and other bugs. Wash your hands and keep them away from your face.
3. Dressing in layers.
Blood vessels sometimes constrict as the result of chronic stress, making it more difficult to regulate your body temperature. Keep a sweater or wrap handy if you are prone to sweats and chills.
4. Eating well.
Anxiety has a major impact on your digestion. You may overeat or lose your appetite. You may experience irritable bowel syndrome or stomach churning. Plan out your meals and snacks to give your body the nutrients and calories it needs.
5. Limit your caffeine.
Does coffee give you the jitters? Try cutting back on caffeine to see if you feel more at ease. Avoid coffee completely or limit yourself to one cup a day.
6. Exercise regularly.
Find a variety of activities that you enjoy. Invite a friend or family member to work out with you so you will have more fun and increase your chances of being consistent.
7. Rest and relax
Anxiety often interferes with sleep, so remove any obstacle you can. Go to bed at the same time each night and keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Relax during the day with meditation, instrumental music, or a warm bath.
7. Rest and relax
Anxiety often interferes with sleep, so remove any obstacle you can. Go to bed at the same time each night and keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Relax during the day with meditation, instrumental music, or a warm bath.]While many people will resort to going online to relax and unwind, sometimes, there may be better ideas than this.
So, how does social media cause addiction? Well, it’s more of the fact that while people relax, they’ll try to use it as a small dopamine rush. However, this can turn into relying on social media too much, plus you’ll be tempted to compare yourself to others. Overall, it’s just best to try to find other methods to relax that are healthy like warm baths, yoga, and meditation. Try to leave social media for social interaction.
Anxiety disorders usually develop in childhood or early adulthood. See your doctor if you have excessive anxiety later in life, so you can rule out physical causes.
- Overactive or underactive thyroid. Overactive and underactive thyroids are among the most common physical causes of anxiety. Your doctor can perform simple tests to help you receive appropriate treatment.
- Issues in the brain. Brain tumors are rare, but they can cause psychological changes. An early diagnosis increases your chances of recovery.
- Chronic conditions. Struggling with a chronic condition can make you more vulnerable to anxiety. Let your physician and loved ones know if you need extra help.
There are a lot of ways to help manage living with depression and anxiety, but it may be best for you to create your own safety plan. We’ve outlined some tips below that should get you started in the right direction. Have you tried any of these? If not, we encourage you to give them a go! They might just make all the difference. What other coping skills have worked well in managing your symptoms? Let us know so we can share more ideas with our readership!
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