Anxiety and depression are actually two completely different conditions. However where you find one, you will typically find the other. Recent studies have shown that up to 85% of people suffering from depression were also found to be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. In addition to this, 35% also suffered from panic disorder. Unfortunately if you suffer from both anxiety and depression, your condition may be far more severe and the treatment process can take a lot longer. In essence you are suffering from two disorders.
It is often a natural reaction to life to feel down or have “the blues” however once these feelings become intolerable and a part of your daily life, you are said to be suffering from depression. Depression is basically a chronic condition and can soon become a problem. In actual fact, recent statistics provided by the World Health Organization state that approximately 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. 20 million people in America alone are affected by this disorder. One of the more shocking statistics was that in excess of 1 million four and five-year-olds have also been diagnosed with clinical depression.
Many anxiety and depression sufferers choose not to seek help although both are highly treatable conditions and have a fantastic success rate. There are actually various treatments available for both conditions and therefore it is simply a matter of finding a specific treatment that will work for an individual. You could actually say that the treatment process is individually tailored to what a specific person requires.
The first place to look when treating mental disorders such as anxiety and depression is your diet and lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that people who have a poor diet will suffer from anxiety or depression however it is a well-known fact that the majority of depressed people lack certain vitamins and minerals. This lack of nutrition will affect the body’s ability to make and process neurotransmitters. A neurotransmitter is basically a chemical messenger that will dictate exactly how your brain and body should react to a certain situation.
Another form of lifestyle that may lead to chronic depression and anxiety is substance abuse. The body has not been designed to cope with certain substances such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and other drugs. Therefore if you readily overuse these substances, certain bodily functions may either be suppressed or activated at the wrong time. A prime example of this is people who suffer from panic attacks after a heavy night’s drinking.
Other lifestyle choices can also lead to anxiety disorders and depression. These include a lack of sleep, late nights, and a lack of exercise. We are fully aware that you only require 20 to 30 minutes of exercise in order to release hormones such as serotonin and endorphins which are in actual fact nature’s very own anti-depressants. These are ”feel-good” chemicals that are typically released into the body during and after exercise. If you can ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and some daily exercise, add this to a balanced and mood boosting diet, your brain will be in a far better condition to deal with any psychological problems.
One of the most popular ways to deal with anxiety and depression is through cognitive behavioral therapy. This in its simplest form is talking to someone and changing the way that you acquire knowledge, the way that you perceive things and the way in which your mind calculates and reasons. Often this form of anxiety and depression treatment utilizes psychodynamic therapy. This is where you may have a conscious, or indeed, subconscious unresolved issue. These unresolved issues will typically originate from your childhood.
Another way to treat anxiety and depression is through prescribed medication. However this form of treatment can often divide the beliefs that people have. Many believe that these conditions are partially caused by chemical imbalances, and drugs are the best way to correct this. However many people believe that simple psychotherapy and lifestyle changes will suffice. There are those, of course, who believe that a middle ground should be taken between these two treatments. It is also extremely important to consider that many anxiety and depression drugs can be fairly addictive and may even produce certain side-effects. Many medications are known to produce lethargy and may leave you feeling tired and fatigued.
Although the treatment of anxiety and depression is considered a challenge, the success rate is very encouraging. It will obviously be far harder, and takes longer, to treat both conditions however once the correct therapy and therapist is found, the only factor that can be a cause for concern is how willing the patient is to see this process through. The process will be extremely tough, but no doubt far easier than living with anxiety and depression.