Who Is At Risk For Depression And Anxiety
Everyone is at risk of experiencing depression or anxiety at some point in their lives, but studies show that women and adults under the age of 35 are more likely to experience anxiety than other groups. The proportion of adults who experienced any symptoms of depression was highest among those ages 18 to 29.
Getting Help For Depression
If you think you might be depressed, take a depression screening. Print out the results or e-mail them to yourself and then show them to a counselor or doctor.
To get help, start with your student health center or counseling service on campus. Most community colleges provide limited free mental health services and can refer you to local providers for longer-term treatment. You can also talk to your family doctor. Your local Mental Health America affiliate can refer or in some cases provide services as well. To find the nearest MHA affiliate, call 800-969-6642 or go to Find An Affiliate.
Remember, depression and other mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Telling someone you are struggling is the first step toward feeling better. You will need the help of a mental health professional to beat depression. Talk therapy, antidepressant medication or a combination can be very effective.
In crisis? If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.
Mental Markers Of Depression
People with depression may:
- Be hopeless, assuming that nothing positive will happen in the future for themselves, for others, or for the world
- Believe it is not worth trying to think or feel differently, because of this hopelessness
- Feel worthless, as if who they are or what they do is not valuable
- Think about death due to a persistent belief that life is not worth living or that the individual is a burden on others. In cases of moderate to severe depression, more specific suicidal thoughts can be present.
In major depressive disorder , these types of thoughts are persistent most of the day and more days than not for weeks on end. If a person vacillates between a very low and very high mood state, then a diagnosis of bipolar disorder may apply. For any variant of a mood disorder, the low mood state is likely to be characterized by the type of thinking described above.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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Does Medication For Depression And Anxiety Work
A group of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to be helpful for both anxiety and depression.
Anti-anxiety medications have also been shown to reduce anxiety among patients.
Note that you may need to try medication for six to eight weeks before you notice fuller effects.
What About Stress Fear And Anxiety
Weve all heard of the fight or flight response that activates in these conditions. Behind the fight or flight response is a cascade of bodily changes preparing us to deal with some aspect of threat. Thats the key starting point for understanding fear, anxiety, and stresssome version of threat kicks this activation into gear.
Fear comes from a place of real-world danger something in this present moment has the ability to harm you. For example, if youre out on a trail run and you come across a mountain lion, thats a fear response a real-world threat to your safety in the present moment that kicks your body into high alert in preparation to fight or flee this predator.
Anxiety involves the same cascade of hormonal changes as fear but is generated from mental activity. Thinking that you may run into a mountain lion while youre safe at home, tying your shoes, and getting prepared for your run is an example of anxiety.
Last, but certainly not least, is stress which we can break down further into two component parts. Mental stress occurs when expectations and demands exceed the ability to cope with them effectively. We experience mental stress in daily life from work, education, family, relationships, and life responsibilities. Physical stress coincides with physical demands being placed on your body. As an athlete, the training and recovery practices you engage in create a balance between accumulated physical stress and recovery.
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Treatment For Stress Vs Depression
Because there is so much crossover between the symptoms of the two, some of the same treatment approaches for treating stress are effective in easing the symptoms of depression.
In both cases, avoiding alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism is particularly important, and neither one should be used as a way to circumvent or avoid traditional treatment therapy approaches.
Many substances like alcohol are depressants and will only worsen the symptoms of stress or depression.
Another way to look at it is what goes up, must come down. Even though alcohol and drugs may feel good in the short-term, the high is always followed by a crash because when substances leave the body they can disrupt the normal neurochemical functioning of the brain.
Its unfortunate that so many people may find temporary comfort from using drugs or alcohol to dampen the painful side effects of stress or depression. Over time, this strategy will stop working, possibly leaving them struggling with addiction as well.
What Do The Terms Anxiety And Depression Mean
A key difference between anxiety and depression is that one refers to a single illness, and the other to a group of conditions.
- Depression is really one illness. It has lots of different symptoms . And it may feel very different to different people. But the term depression refers to a single condition.
- Anxiety is a term that can have a few different meanings. We all feel anxious sometimes and anxiety can be used simply to describe that feeling. But when we use anxiety in a medical sense, it actually describes a group of conditions.
Anxiety includes some less common conditions. These include phobias and panic disorders. But the most common is generalised anxiety disorder . Generalised anxiety disorder may affect between four and five in every 100 people in the UK. Well focus on generalised anxiety in this article.
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Treatment Approaches For Depression
Like stress, each person will find which techniques work better than others for their individual situation when dealing with depression.
But unlike stress, depression is a clinical mental health condition that can cause problems with daily life and may have lasting implications that require professional help or formalized treatment.
Is Anxiety Or Depression The Same
Feeling anxious or depressed continuously for no apparent reason means you may have a mental-behavioral disorder. Either depression or stress can lead to anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Its not unusual to suffer from both conditions simultaneously. Studies on mental and behavioral health show that more than half of those diagnosed with depression also exhibit an anxiety disorder.
Both depression and anxiety are serious but treatable illnesses. Medically, both conditions require the same medications to ease the symptoms. Common symptoms of both conditions are:
- Nervousness and problems concentrating
- Feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks and personal interactions
If these feelings persist longer than two weeks and interfere with your daily activities, there is a significant chance that you are most likely experiencing depression.
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Why Are Anxiety And Depression Often Co
Based on several studies, anxiety and depression are often co-occurring and work as a cycle. Seemingly, these two disorders anxiety and depression have a very close yet complicated relationship. The chance of acquiring depression becomes much higher when an anxiety disorder already exists. Nearly half of those with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety. One symptom can easily trigger the other, with anxiety usually preceding depression.
Don’t 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 don’t 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 chronic–like depression. Don’t let it go unchecked!
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How Are Stress And Depression Different
stress tends to resolve if life events change vsdepression can last up to years
stress tends to have an obvious trigger vs depression can hit out of nowhere
stress is related to life events vs depression can happen even if life seems fine
stress is related to current events vsdepression can be linked to unresolved past events
stress can cause depression or anxiety disorders if left untreated vs depression can cause suicidal thoughts if left untreated
stress leads to adrenaline highs followed by crashes vs depression leads to fatigue
stress is socially acceptable and even encouraged vs depression still, sadly, bears social stigma
stress at very high levels has risk of heart attack vs depression at high levels has risk of suicide
low stress can be okay and keep you motivated vs low depression can still be debilitating
Facing Addiction In America: The Surgeon General’s Report On Alcohol Drugs And Health
This executive summary of the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health addresses alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription drug misuse in the United States. Chapters of the report cover neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, health systems integration, and recommendations for the future.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
Like stress, depression is incredibly common. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that just over 16 million adults are affected by depression in a given year.
Besides being quite common for all age groups, depression is the leading cause of disability for people between the ages of 15 to 44 in the United States.
Whether its the result of untreated childhood trauma, unresolved self-esteem issues, genetics, a chemical imbalance in the brain, or chronic stress, depression can be seriously debilitating.
Unlike stress, which is generally accumulated, depression can strike when everything is seemingly going great.
How To Differentiate Anxiety Depression And Stress
While some may experience these mental conditions at different levels, anxiety, depression, and stress are normal. Although they all fall into mental health, they are nothing to be confused about. You might experience several symptoms and it is important to understand what they mean and what they can be categorized into. You might even be dealing with more than one of these conditions at the same time. Whatever the case is, its best to learn as much as you can about any negative symptoms in order to know how to treat any anxiety, depression, or stress you may have. We discuss the differences.
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What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present
Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:
- Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
- Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
- Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
- Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
- Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
- Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
- Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
- Feeling often tired and cranky
- Inability to relax and live in the moment
- Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2
Some Of The More Common Symptoms Of Depression Include:
- Overwhelming feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Sustained and extreme sadness
- Mood swings from irritability to rage
- Changes in sleep patterns leading to oversleeping or insomnia
- Unhealthy eating habits that contribute to weight loss or weight gain
- Avoiding friends, family or colleagues
- A loss of interest in activities once enjoyed or cherished
- Suicidal thoughts or ideations
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Anxiety And Depression Differences:
While excessive stress is the reason for anxiety and depression, it typically disappears when the relevant stressors disappear. However, chronic stress often escalates into worry or depression, which is why its important to eliminate or reduce stress at the initial stage.
Both anxiety and depression are outcomes of chronic stress. However, anxiety is generally considered a high-energy state, whereas depression a low-energy state. In short, a depressed individual often experiences a lot of anxiety, possibly even to the extent of having mild to severe panic attacks.
What Are The Treatments For Depression
Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.
- Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapyalso called therapy or counseling.7,8 Most therapy lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts feelings and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases understanding your past can help but finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and prepare you for challenges in the future.With therapy, youll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better.Some common goals of therapy include:
- Getting healthier
- Making sense of past painful events
- Identifying things that worsen your depression
- Having better relationships with family and friends
- Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
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What Do Stress And Depression Have In Common
- both are individual
- they affect your energy levels
- they affect your moods
- you might feel less interested in socialising with friends and family
- they both can feel overwhelming
- you might not be able to concentrate
- both affect the bodys stress response mechanism
- both have been found to affect the brain in similar ways
Stress and depression are also similar in the ways they can be dealt with effectively. While there is no one size fits all way for either to improve, or a quick cure, both respond well to treatment. Both, for starters, can be helped by self-care . Both respond well to talking therapies, and there is increasing evidence that mindfulnessis also helpful for sufferers of either or both.
Physical Signs Of Anxiety
The physical state of anxiety can be conceptualized overall as that of heightened arousal. Specific characteristics include:
- Difficulty concentrating due to state of agitation or racing thoughts
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep due to racing thoughts or other physical symptoms
Depression is primarily characterized by changes in usual physical processes from baseline, such as:
- Difficulty with concentration, focus, and memory due to ruminative thought processes or other physical symptoms
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite or a significant increase in appetite
- Moving or talking more slowly than usual
- Physical achiness without cause
- Sleeping much more or much less than is typical due to ruminative thought processes or low energy
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How Stress Depression And Anxiety Are Interrelated
Nearly half of those experiencing depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety. Such people often feel anxious and worried. Any of the symptoms can easily trigger the other, with anxiety often preceding depression. People with acute depression, post-traumatic stress disorder , and other mental and behavioral health problems are prone to developing depression.
Common symptoms include:
- Sweating and dry mouth
Why Anxiety And Depression Are Linked
Are anxiety and depression the same? No, but they share many similarities and connections.
Anxiety and depression often occur together. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 50 percent of people with depression also have an anxiety disorder. Co-occurrence is prevalent because anxiety frequently causes depressed states and major depressive disorder can result in anxiousness.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Burnout
According to a Mental Health America survey with FlexJobs, 75% of U.S. workers have experienced burnout at some point. About 40% of those people experienced burnout as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While burnout is usually talked about in relation to your job or professional responsibilities, burnout can happen with any aspect of your life. Some burnout risk factors to look out for include:
Lacking control over what happens in your life or at your job
Having unclear job expectations and little support
Being in a toxic work or family enviornment
Taking on caregiving or parenting roles without enough support
Using continuous energy and focus without a break
Feeling isolated or unsupported most of the time
Working too much at the expense of your personal life
Missing out on time with your friends and family
Experiencing constant stress from food, housing, or income insecurity
Everyone is susceptible to burnout and will usually experience it at some point in their life. However, marginalized people, especially people of color, often experience burnout at higher rates due to systemic injustices.
For example, Black, Asian American, Arab American, Native American, and Latinx social justice activists surveyed in a small study attributed burnout to their racial justice work. In particular, nearly 75% of study participants said they felt burned out due to racism.