Mental health is a subject that is now discussed more openly and effectively as compared to it was done in the history of mankind. Depression and anxiety are common mental health problems that can be developed at any stage of life. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in four will be affected by mental health disorders in the world at some point in their lives. Check statistics in the post,‘Mental Disorders Affect One in Four People’.
Table of Content:
- What is Depression?
- What is Anxiety?
- Difference between Depression and Anxiety.
- Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety.
- What Causes Depression and Anxiety?
- Side Effects of Depression and Anxiety.
- Are Untreated Signs of Depression and Anxiety is Different in Men Than Women?
- How to Deal with Depression and Anxiety?
- Natural remedies for Depression and Anxiety.
What is Depression?
Depression is persistent spells of feeling low. One can feel low or down for a couple of days then become normal but in depression, this situation goes for a longer period of time -probably for weeks and months.
Depression isn’t a trivial mental health problem as it’s usually misunderstood. It’s a mental illness that can affect one’s day to day activities severely.
What is Anxiety?
The natural body response to stress is anxiety. It’s an apprehension of what’s going to come. One can feel anxious when going for an interview or taking an exam but if these extreme feelings last longer than 6 months then it’s an anxiety disorder that can badly affect one’s life.
In anxiety disorder, one feels anxious all the time. These feelings are sometimes intense or weak but don’t go away completely. The most prevalent type of anxiety is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and the term ‘anxiety’ also spans less common conditions like phobias. Because of the broader spectrum of anxiety disorder, this post is mainly focused on generalised anxiety disorder.
Difference between Depression and Anxiety:
The difference between depression and anxiety are:
Depression is a single illness but can have different symptoms and it may feel differently from person to person. Despite different symptoms and different negative effects on the person, it’s referred to as a single illness i.e depression and in that one feels down. While anxiety is an umbrella term that enclosed a range of more specific conditions. Anxiety is the result of perceived danger or threat. One can also strike with both at once.
Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety:
The following points are the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Feeling tearful.
- Feeling low or forlorn.
- Losing interest in the things that once enjoyed.
- Feeling tired all the time. Find post ‘why am I always tired’ if suffering from it.
- Lack of sleep.
- Loss of appetite.
- Having aches and pain in the body.
- Feeling anxious.
- An unrealistic view of problems.
- Increase in heart rate.
- Persistent worries of impending danger or doom.
- Poor concentration and focus on worries.
- Feeling tired and weak.
- Poor sleep.
- Hard to control being worried.
- Start eschewing things that trigger anxiety.
What Causes Depression and Anxiety?
There is always a reason for developing a mental disorder or illness. See below for the causes of depression and anxiety.
Causes of Depression:
- Someone’s death or a loss.
- Conflict with friends or family members.
- Certain types of medication.
- Life major events.
- Physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
- Substance abuse (drug abuse).
- Serious diseases.
Causes of Anxiety:
- Stress from educational institutes.
- Being socially excluded.
- Stress at work.
- Being out of work.
- Financial stress.
- Stress caused by emotional traumas.
- Taking some illicit drugs.
- Medication’s side effects.
- Stress in relationships.
- Signs of some maladies such as hypoglycemia, heart attack, and heatstroke.
Side Effects of Depression and Anxiety:
Depression and anxiety can have detrimental effects on ones’ life if remains untreated. Below is its scourging affects on health.
Side Effects of Depression:
- Daily fatigue and headaches.
- Memory loss.
- Trouble in falling asleep and have insomnia issues.
- Diarrhea and constipation.
- Inflammation in the body.
- Loss in weight or gain in weight.
- Sexual health problems; relationship problems.
- Long term depression can even lead to suicide.
Side Effects of Anxiety:
- Live in a constant state of fear, worries, and dread – a sense of doom.
- Panic attacks that include heart palpitation, chest pain, and lightheadedness.
- Breathing problems.
- Upset stomach.
- Headache and muscle aches.
- Affect performance at work.
- Poor exam and test results.
- It hinders social activities.
- Poor relationships.
- One can completely be overwhelmed by feelings.
Are Untreated Signs of Depression and Anxiety is Different in Men Than Women?
Men have more violent behaviour than women if suffering from untreated depression. They show more frustration and anger. There is more risk of reckless driving and unsafe relationships.
Women are more prone to anxiety as compared to men and it’s twice as likely as them. It’s because men and women cope with stress differently. Also, in women, hormones fluctuation, reproductive events, and brain chemistry make them more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety.
How to Deal with Depression and Anxiety?
Early and mild symptoms of depression and anxiety can be treated at home naturally without medications. If the symptoms won’t go after a few months then it’s better to check by a psychiatrist.
Natural remedies for Depression and Anxiety:
- When feeling depressed and stressed, talk to someone about the things that are giving depression and stress to you. Discuss worries and problems with a family member, friend or counsellor.
- Take a time out from the daily routine.
- Calming breathing exercises are used to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Take a deep breath as much as you can without forcing the body. Inhale from the nose and exhale from mouth gently. Keep doing this process for 5 minutes.
- Do exercise or activities, five days a week. It can include swimming, running, bicycling, brisk walking and yoga to relax the mind and body.
- Try to get proper rest and sleep. An adult needs 7-9 hours of night sleep. Find out, ‘How to get a better night sleep’ if struggling with insomnia.
- Eat a balanced diet with regular meal intervals as it stables energy levels in the body.
- People having depression and anxiety sometimes lack vitamin A. Add foods rich in vitamin A, for example, eggs, orange, spinach, and leafy vegetables. Vitamin B complex and omega3 are vital for a healthy nervous system and should also be a part of children’s diet.
- The lower level of zinc is related to oxidative stress in the body. Deficiency in zinc can lead to depression. It can be taken as an antidepressant. Foods rich in zinc are meat, eggs, dairy products, whole grain, and shellfish. Meat is an excellent source among them.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol as it can trigger panic attacks.
- Eat low sodium foods because sodium can trigger anxiety. Find post, ‘Best low sodium fast food options’ if you have anxiety and want to eat out.
- Avoid unhealthy habits and toxic people.
- Try to find positive things in worse situations.
- There are also some nice relaxation apps that one can search and download.
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