Signs of Depression and Anxiety
WHAT IS ANXIETY
Anxiety can be a normal part of life when faced with stressors such as changes in relationships, presenting in front of a crowd, or making decisions. When anxiety is persistent and interferes with daily functioning, it can be a symptom of a mental health diagnosis.
*An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S., or 18%, have an anxiety disorder (source: National Institute of Mental Health).
Some of the signs of anxiety include the following:
Sudden periods of intense fear
Shortness of breath
Feeling of impending doom
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Episodes of depression often follow stressful events such as marital problems or the death of a loved one. The exact causes of depression still are not clear. What we do know is that both genetics and a stressful environment, or life situation, contribute to its cause or sudden onset.
Some of the signs and symptoms according to the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, include the following:
Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
Unexplained aches and pains
Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Different Kinds of Depression
There are many names for the different types of depression. Depression often co-exists with other mental or physical illnesses. Substance abuse, anxiety disorders and eating disorders are particularly common conditions that may be worsened by depression, and it is important that the depression and each co-occurring illness be appropriately diagnosed and treated. Substance use disorders (abuse or dependence) also frequently co-occur with depression.
*It is important to consult with your primary care physician or psychiatrist when anxiety or depression becomes persistent or unmanageable.
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