Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Learning what causes or triggers your stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Here are some activities you can try when you start to feel overwhelmed:
- Keep a journal.
- Exercise, and make sure you are eating healthy, regular meals.
- Stick to a sleep routine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Avoid drinking excess caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Reach out to your friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way.
Read more about stress.
Dont Suffer In Silence
Get support, whether from family, friends, your academic advisor, campus counseling center, or a trusted online community. A heart-to-heart talk with someone you trust can help you get rid of toxic feelings and may even give you a fresh perspective.
If these steps dont bring relief, or if you are still unable to cope and feel as if the stress is affecting how you function every day, it could be something more acute and chroniclike depression. Dont let it go unchecked!
Take The Depression Test
Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the “common cold” of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time.
Depression has a high cure rate. Effective treatments exist to help bring people’s lives back under control. Yet tragically many people suffering from this illness go without diagnosis and treatment. This depression test is a tool that may help you recognize the symptoms of depression and decide to get help. Please note that only a licensed professional can diagnose depression.
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How Can We Avoid Stress
Experiencing stress from time to time is normal, but it is important to prevent stress build up that leads to high levels of stress and possibly burnout. Some simple ways to avoid stress include finding effective ways to balance all your responsibilities, getting enough sleep, not taking on too much, eating a healthy diet, and taking part in physical activity.
How To Manage Your Symptoms
In addition to a formal treatment plan from your doctor, these strategies may help you find relief from symptoms. Its important to know, though, that these tips may not work for everyone, and they may not work each time.
The goal of managing depression and anxiety is to create a series of treatment options that can all work together to help, to some degree, whenever you need to use them.
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Take Care Of Your Body
A healthy body can help you manage stress. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep, eat healthy food, stay hydrated and exercise regularly. Go easy on the caffeine. Shorting yourself on sleep, and especially pulling an all-nighter, robs you of energy and your ability to concentrate. A healthy diet improves your ability to learn. Don’t skip breakfast.
You Feel Exhausted All The Time
Feeling stressed really takes a toll on your mind and body. If your body perceives that its in danger, its going to have to work twice as hard to stay alert and keep you safe. It can also be really hard to get quality sleep when youve got so much on your mind!
What to do about it: Mindfulness and meditation can help you get into that deeper relaxed state. Try listening to a guided meditation before you fall asleep.
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But My Stress Makes Me Successful
Life brings stresses that sometimes motivates us. If you are stressed about an exam, or about having to speak on a stage, these are normal kinds of stress that can help you grow as a person and try out new skills and ways of being.
And even bigger stress can sometimes be for the best. If you hate change, but find yourself needing to move house or country, it might be a hard experience but in the long run lead to a life upgrade.
But dont think your stress is good just because its making your money, or because everyone else at work is stressed, or because you think it makes you seem important. Stress can and does kill, whether through heart attacks or by suicide bought on by stress morphing into depression.
Not sure if your stress is helping or hindering? The secret is to really pay attention to your moods and the thoughts in your head.
- Has your stress given you occasional low moods, are are you feeling low more often than not?
- How long have you been feeling low? Is it two weeks or more?
- Do you feel anxious most of the time? Or is some of your day manageable?
- Can you still come home from the stressful situation and relax?
- Are your thoughts increasingly negative? Do you have thoughts of being hopeless and worthless?
A Case Study Of Stress Leading To Depression
Lets look at an example of how stress can careen into full-blown depression. Say someone, well call her Janet, is so stressed by her job promotion she starts putting in extra hours to prove she can handle it. This makes her tired, and she start being snappy with loved ones, feels disconnected from her friends who are able to go out and have fun while she is too stressed, and feels she has no time now to exercise but instead starts overeating as a way to numb her stress.
Her energy levels lower because of her poor self-care. Shes sleeping less as she is worried she isnt doing well in her new position. She has nobody to confide in as shes pushed away her support system . Instead of talking to her manager and explaining she is feeling overwhelmed or hiring a coach to help her, she pushes herself even harder. Low level anxiety begins.
So stress has rolled into a body image issue, low self-esteem, and feeling unloved and lonely. In other words, stress has led to anxiety which has led straight to depression.
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Depression And Gender: Is It Different In Men And Women
When it comes to depression, there is a distinct gender gap. Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Hormonal and other biological factors play a role in this disparity. After all, only women can have premenstrual or postpartum depression. The same is true of antepartum depression which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates affects one in seven women.
But women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, note Harvard Health experts. The reasons for this are cause for speculation. Some researchers believe that environmental factors, such as the different and expectations that society places on women, are an important factor. Others theorize that men and women actually have depression at similar rates, but that women are more likely to talk about their feelings and seek help.
Different Types Of Depression
Your doctor may diagnose you with depression and say that its mild, moderate or severe depending on your symptoms and how severe they are. Or you may be diagnosed with a specific type of depression, such as:
- dysthymia mild depression that lasts for several years
- seasonal affective disorder depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern
- postnatal depression depression that many parents experience after having a baby. Some people experience antenatal depression during pregnancy.
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How Can I Identify Stress Triggers
For some people, it may help to try to identify what causes you to have a reaction.
Record or keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them . Include a brief description of each situation, answering questions such as:
- Where were you?
- How did you feel?
Taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.
Next, review your journal. You might find obvious causes of stress, such as the threat of losing your job or obstacles with a particular project. You might also notice subtle but persistent causes of stress, such as a long commute, pace of work, many interruptions, or an uncomfortable workspace.
Irritability And Angry Outbursts
Typically, symptoms must last at least two weeks for depression to be diagnosed, so take this into consideration throughout the depression quiz then ask for an assessment from a mental health professional for further information and treatment, Furthermore, medical conditions such as vitamin deficiency can be mistaken for symptoms of depression so it is important to fully consider all possible causes as you take any depression quiz or inventory. Mental health can impact your energy levels, how tired you are, your stress, sleeping habits, mood, thoughts, and so much more. Keep reading to find out more about what treatment might be right for you.
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Mental And Emotional Signs
Stress can also affect how you think and feel, making it tough to get through your normal responsibilities and make rational decisions. In some cases, this kind of stress can impact behavior in other ways, and some people turn to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful substances to cope with their feelings.
Excessive stress may also affect your appetite, causing you to eat more or less than usual, and it may affect or eliminate your motivation to exercise and stay fit. Additionally, the feelings you get when youâre stressed may make you feel like withdrawing from friends and family and isolating yourself.
Some of the psychological and emotional signs that youâre stressed out include:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Racing thoughts or constant worry
- Problems with your memory or concentration
- Making bad decisions
Whats The Difference Between Grief And Depression
Given that the primary symptom associated with depression is sadness, it can be easy to think of grief or bereavement as depression. But grief is a natural response to specific experiences, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. While you might feel regret or remorse, and you might withdraw from usual activities if you are experiencing grief, youre unlikely to feel the overwhelming sense of worthlessness, thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and other symptoms of depression. Another important difference is that in grief, painful feelings usually come in waves and are often mixed with positive memories.
In some cases, however, grief and depression do coexist, or grief can trigger depression, according to experts writing in the journal American Family Physician. Having a mental health professional help you distinguish between them can ensure you get the support you need.
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Should You Worry About Antidepressant Withdrawal
No, but its easy to see why some people might think so, because of a medical condition called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome , which can occur if you abruptly stop taking medication rather than tapering off as is generally advised. ADS is marked by a wide range of responses, including but not limited to flu-like symptoms, insomnia, worsening mood, and stomach distress, according to a March 11, 2019, report in Psychiatric Times.
Current estimates are that about 20 percent of patients whove taken an antidepressant for at least a month will experience ADS symptoms if they abruptly stop their medication instead of lowering their dose gradually. Tapering under the care of a doctor can prevent ADS by allowing the brain to adjust to changes in neurotransmitter levels.
More to the point, while you should slowly stop your antidepressant with the help of your doctor, antidepressants do not cause dependence and withdrawal like other substances. Unlike substances that are known to cause addiction, such as alcohol, , and , people don’t crave antidepressants. You dont get high from them, and they arent intentionally or compulsively overused. Serious reactions like the seizures and agitation that can follow sudden withdrawal from addictive substances are unheard of when these antidepressants are tapered gradually, note the authors of the Psychiatric Times report.
Major Or Clinical Depression
Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.
- Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
- Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.
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Where Can I Get More Help And Information
The following advice is as accurate and as comprehensive as possible but it is only general advice and should not be used as a substitute for the individual advice you might receive from consulting your own doctor.
Like this? Now read:
Depression Test: Am I Depressed
Welcome to our site. Before you go on, we want to tell you that we get the blues too and they suck. But as much as they suck, they can be great teachers and trust me, once we get through them, well be stronger.
A few words about depression
Experiencing depression is a little like finding ourselves in a hole. If the hole is shallow enough, we may be able to climb out by ourselves. We might need a few climbing skills. We call these skills the Habits of Happy People. You can take our free mini-course on these Habits, or track your progress by taking the Skills-based Happiness Quiz.
If the hole is too deep and we dont have the confidence to climb out by ourselves, we may need a ladder and/or we may need someone to climb down and try to pull us out . Nevertheless, theres always an exit route. The only question is, how do you want to get there.
The great news is that we are finding more and more ways to soften or blunt depression and anxiety. For example, regular exercise , especially in natural surroundings, works very well for some people. Sharing your feelings with a friend can work wonders. And scientists have recently discovered that some probiotic bacteria, which live in your gut but are now endangered species thanks to junk food, may have an antidepressant effect, but it is still early days. Ask your doctor about taking probiotics which contain L. Rhamnosus and B. Longum.
About the test
The science behind the test
Before you take the test
Gather your resolve
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Addressing Your Mental Health By Identifying The Signs Of Anxiety And Depression
What is stress, and what happens when we arent able to cope well with stress? Stress can present itself after being fired from a job, going through a divorce or losing a loved one. Even getting married, transitioning to a new job or having a baby can cause stress.
Many people look to define stress as either good or bad, when in reality its neither. Stress is an event we view as out of our control and typically occurs outside our daily routines. How we react shapes our ability to cope with these and other similar events in the future. When individuals struggle to cope with stressful situations, depression and anxiety become more noticeable.
According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults every year.
The most common anxiety disorders include excessive fear or anxiety of:
- Specific phobias
- Natural environment heights, storms, water
- Blood-injection injury needles, invasive medical procedures
- Locations airplanes, elevators, enclosed places
Its common for those struggling with anxiety disorders to also struggle with depression or vice versa. Close to 10 percent of the worlds population suffers from anxiety and depression. However, while anxiety and depressive disorders are highly treatable, only a small percent of affected individuals receive treatment.
Appetite Changes And Weight Gain
Changes in appetite are common during times of stress.
When you feel stressed out, you may find yourself with no appetite at all or overeating without noticing.
One small 2006 study of 272 female college students found that 81 percent reported that they experienced changes in appetite when they were stressed out, with 62 percent stating they had an increase in appetite .
Changes in appetite may also cause fluctuations in weight during stressful periods. For example, a study involving 1,355 people in the United States found that stress was associated with weight gain in adults already living with extra weight .
A third study from 2017 found that individuals with higher cortisol and insulin levels and higher levels of chronic stress were more likely to gain weight in the future . However, the study was limited in the scope of research in that participants were predominantly white females.
While these studies show an association between stress and changes in appetite or weight, more studies are needed to understand other possible factors are involved and how stress impacts different people.
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When To Seek Professional Help
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent enough, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including:
Therapy. Consulting a therapist can provide you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles and motivate you to take the action necessary. Therapy can also offer you the skills and insight to prevent the problem from coming back.
Atypical Depression: Whats in a Name? Article on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of atypical depression.
Depression and Other Illnesses An overview of the mental and physical illnesses that often co-exist with depression, and how this impacts treatment.
Depression support & suicide prevention help
India: Call the Vandrevala Foundation Helpline at 1860 2662 345 or 1800 2333 330
Suicide prevention help
In the U.S.: Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
UK and Ireland: Call Samaritans UK at 116 123
Australia: Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14