Anxiety and Depression
Depression can be ‘the blues’ which affect everyone from time to time when life gets tough and in this case it is a normal response to a normal situation. However, when whatever caused the blues has come and gone but the feeling of depression remains, then it can become problematic. Chronic or clinical depression is the cause of many other problems, whether they be physical or psychologica.
When someone is depressed, they feel unenergetic to the point of lethargy, hopeless and full of despair.Anxiety, on the other hand, is fear and foreboding of a future which hangs heavy on the horizon. To feel anxious from time to time, especially in response to threat, is perfectly normal but, like depression, if the reason for it has passed by but the feeling remains, then there is a problem. When comorbid, anxiety and depression are more serious conditions than when they are not.
The exact causes of both conditions are still unknown but there are studies which indicate that along with traumatic experiences and genetics, faulty wiring in the brain could also play a part. This leads to abnormal levels of chemical messengers or neurotransmitters, which carry messages around the body to the brain and nerves.
The conditions, whether comorbid or separate, do respond well to treatment but unfortunately, not all sufferers seek help in the first place. This first treatment should be considered before any of the others. Often we forget that what we put into our bodies has a great effect on how we feel not only physically but also mentally.
Alcohol, smoking, caffeine, refined starch and sugars, lack of fruit and vegetables, lack of water all result in a body which is unable to maintain a healthy level of functioning. Our bodies were never designed to cope with substances like alcohol and nicotine and the use of them and other drugs changes the biological make-up of our organisms. A simple action like drinking adequate water during the day can make a great deal of difference in how we feel and are able to cope with problems. Exercise and Relaxation.Daily exercise is another simple change that can be made.
Exercise and relaxation techniques help in the reduction of stress and the production of ‘feel good’ hormones like serotonin. Only 20 minutes of physical exercise is sufficient to release these natural tonics into your body, yet the majority of Westerners do not even do this much. If the conditions have become too acute for the above remedies, which take time to implement, then it is important that professional help be sought
Designed to alter negative thinking and self-talk, it first targets thinking processes and then behavior. For example, it focuses on gradually changing the I can’t do it to I can do it and then goes through the actual doing of it. The process does take time as a lifetime of negative thinking and low self esteem cannot be changed overnight, but the therapy does have a high success rate. Medication.In some instances where immediate intervention must be made to avoid harm, then medication is the most logical choice.
The effect of drugs like benzodiazepines such as Xanax and SSRI’s such as Zoloft or Prozac are felt quickly.A major disadvantage of such medications is that they are addictive and so there is the danger of swapping one problem for another. For this reason, medication should only be a temporary measure so other treatments have a chance to work. In any case, close medical supervision should be the rule.Considering the fact that millions of people suffer from these conditions worldwide, statistics showing that up to 80% of depression and anxiety sufferers get better with treatment is impressive.