An introduction to Depression and Anxiety
Everyone feels sad or worried from time to time. Such emotions are both natural and unavoidable. People worry about their children, bills, aging parents, jobs, and health.
And most people have shed a tear or two watching a sad movie or a news story about a poignant tragedy. That’s normal. A little bit of anxiety and depression is part of everyday life. But when sadness fills most of your days or worries saturate your mind, that’s not so normal. You may be experiencing a real problem with depression or anxiety. Anxiety and depression can affect how you think, behave, feel, and relate to others. When you understand what’s going on, you can start doing something about it. That’s our first step. Creating awareness through Depression Treatment about what’s going in in reality.
If you were able to listen in on the thoughts that reverberate through a depressed person’s head, you might hear “I’m a failure,” “My future looks bleak,” “Things just keep on getting worse,” or “I regret so many things in my life.”
On the other hand, the thoughts of an anxious person might sound like “I’m going to make a fool out of myself when I give that speech,” “I never know what to say at parties,” “The freeway scares me to death,” “I know that the odds of a plane crash are small, but flying scares me,” or “I’m going have a nervous breakdown if my editor doesn’t like what I write.” Thoughts influence the way you feel. The very darkest thoughts usually lead to depression, whereas anxiety usually stems from thoughts about being judged or hurt. And, of course, people often have both types of thoughts.
If you were to follow a depressed or anxious person around, you might see some behavioral signs of their emotional turmoil. That’s because depression and anxiety on the inside affect what people do on the outside. For example, a depressed person may look tired, move slowly, or withdraw from friends and family; an anxious person may avoid socializing or have a trembling voice.
Depression and anxiety inevitably produce physical symptoms. In fact, some people primarily suffer from changes in appetite, sleep, energy, or pain while reporting few problematic thoughts or behaviors. These symptoms directly affect your body, but they’re not as easily observed by other people. When you’re feeling down or distressed for any length of time, odds are that your relationships with those around you will take a hit. Although you may think that your depression or anxiety affects only you, it impacts your friends, family, lovers, co-workers, and acquaintances.
If you’re reading this article, you probably either know somebody who’s possibly depressed or feel a little anxious or depressed yourself. But you may not know where those feelings come from. It’s valuable to understand the origins of your feelings, whether its biology and genetics, personal history, or stress. This is where rehab and recovery help you gain insight into the source of your problem and connect the dots, because knowing the origins of your emotions allows you to discard the baggage of guilt and self-blame.
So we always need to review the major causes of depression and anxiety: biology, personal history, and stress. Many of our clients come to us believing that they’re to blame for having succumbed to emotional distress. When they discover the factors that contributed to the origins of their problems, they usually feel less guilty, and getting rid of that guilt frees up energy that can be used for making important changes. Genetics, depression and anxiety can have biological underpinnings in the behaviours you act out (legal or illegal) or as the result of physical illness. This lifestyle can have many side effects. Sometimes solving your problem is as simple as checking your actual, real behaviours. Overthinking does little for bringing about change.
Almost any medication you’re taking could influence your emotions negatively. Check with your pharmacist or primary care physician to see if your medication may be causing part of your problem. Don’t stop taking the medication without medical consultation. Alcohol is also widely known to contribute to depression or anxiety when it’s abused. Some people find that even moderate amounts of alcohol exacerbate their problems with mood. Alcohol also interacts with a wide variety of prescribed and over-the-counter drugs to produce harmful and even deadly results.
Finally, illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and so on are taken to alter moods. In the short run, they accomplish that goal; but in the long run, they almost inevitably worsen mood problems. Physical illnesses can also produce symptoms of anxiety or depression. Not only can the illness itself cause mood problems, but worry and grief about illness can contribute to your distress. If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition, check with your doctor to see if your depression or anxiety is related to that condition.
Behaviour and Depression
Our behaviours are major contributory factors of our depression.
Relationships: The unhealthy relationship is a common cause of depression. So, an important part of depression treatment is to improve the relationships. The loneliness and the low level of communication can worsen depression. Appropriate relationships and talking about our feelings reduce effect of negative thoughts that create our depression.
Destructive behaviours: Keeping it to yourself! If you’ve had some bad news or a major upset you don’t tell someone close to you, don’t tell them how you feel. Don’t join a support group for depression, don’t turn to trusted friends and family members, don’t try to keep up with social activities, socialize with negative people, complain and cry a lot, don’t set realistic goals, don’t assume a reasonable amount of responsibility, isolate a lot, don’t let your family and friends help you, don’t help someone else by volunteering, don’t accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together, don’t pray, don’t email to an old friend, don’t go to the gym, constantly looking for victims, hostages and vulnerable people as sexual partners, don’t confide in your counsellor, don’t meet new people by taking a study class or joining a club. Don’t do activity such as walking, housework, and other activities that are part of your normal routine. Don’t spend some time in nature, do not go out of the house, don’t garden, don’t paint or do any other hobby, do not play with the pets, listen to sad music, don’t read inspirational books, watch a disturbing movie, don’t exercise anymore-couch potato! Not tackling the cause of your depression, this can make your depression worse. Not eating regularly specifically fresh fruits and vegetables, sleeping too little or too much, not managing your stress, escape/hide from your problems and not very hopeful for the future. Expect moods to improve immediately and not gradually, feel negative about life’s events and generally feel guilty about everything. Feel overly responsible for other people’s feelings, don’t break large tasks into small ones, don’t set some priorities, remain gloomy during challenging and difficult times (sulky) and don’t rebound very quickly from frustration and disappointment.
Taking Responsibility: In order to take responsibility for our behaviours we will have to follow guidelines which does not come naturally to us. Attending counselling sessions and retreats for example is imperative in order to identify with other people’s daily struggles around behaviour change. Regularly seeing a therapist is extremely important to help you with behaviour identification and learning new strategies/techniques to help with essential changes. Attendance at a group therapy sessions in Depression Treatment can help self development as it offers a different outlook on self development. Doing daily exercise is very important for the mind and body as a whole. Not moving and staying in bed does worsen the depression. We need to take responsibility and do regular activities that promote inner peace and good health. Stress Management classes, Meditation/yoga.
For more info on Depression Treatment drop us a line 0824424779. We can help.