Anxiety Can Cause Mild To Severe Depression
Anxiety, as a distinct disorder, can affect your social life, your work life, and your ability to find joy in activities. It also puts a great deal of stress on your mind and body.
Anxiety may reduce your involvement in activities that would usually give you pleasure and fulfillment. If this continues over time, it can lead to depression. In fact, depression is often a comorbid diagnosis with anxiety. In many cases, anxiety comes first and contributes to the development of depression.
Anxiety may not necessarily cause long-lasting depression, but the stress on your brain and the feelings of constant fear and fatigue can often lead to a temporary low mood and, thus, crying.
What Does Anxiety Mean
Contrary to fear, which is a response to a well-defined and very real threat, anxiety is a response to a vague or unknown threat. Anxiety manifests itself when we believe that a dangerous or unfortunate event may take place and are expecting it. Everyone experiences anxiety at their own individual degree and intensity. How the anticipated event is perceived will greatly influence the intensity of the anxiety experience.
Lurking Or Oversharing On Social Media
When youre overlurking on social media, youre comparing yourself to others, which causes stress, says Stephanie Mansour, a certified confidence and lifestyle coach for women and CEO of Step It Up with Steph. Youre grading your self-worth and self-esteem based on what you see from other people, not on your own benchmarks for success and happiness.
Oversharing on social media can also make us very vulnerable, making us more likely to get hurt, according to Lang.
You should really have people earn your trust and respect before you open up and share, Lang says.
Avoid this stressor by setting personal boundaries and only allowing yourself a certain amount of time each day to check social media, Lang says.
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To Find Peace Shift Your Attention And Intention
Ruminating about anxiety and anxiety’s cause means that’s where our thoughts are. The more we think about anxiety and what it’s doing to us and how paralyzing it is, the stronger it grows. Like anything , what we attend to is what flourishes. In constantly wondering “why” we are giving our precious attention to anxiety and its strengths.
What if, instead, we were to ignore anxiety’s strengths and pay attention to our character strengths? You’re sitting at work and are suddenly struck by a feeling of intense anxiety. The more you focus on how it feels and the more you focus on wondering why it happened, the stronger and longer it will be. Instead, think of the fact that you are stronger than your anxiety.
Pay attention to what’s been positive in your day thus far. Remember what you’re great at and do something within one of your strengths. Perhaps you pride yourself on your kindness you could take a quick break from what you’re doing and do a small random act of kindness for someone nearby.
Will you still feel anxious? Probably, at least at first, anyway. But because you’ve shifted your attention to your strengths rather than anxiety’s strengths and because you’re doing something intentional to shift your thoughts and actions, you’ll find that anxiety lessens its grip just a bit.
Recognize When You Need More Help
If you are struggling to cope, or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety wont go away, it may be time to talk to a professional. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.
If you are in immediate distress or are thinking about hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Read more about getting help.
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How Much Stress Is Too Much
Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, its important to know your own limit. But just how much stress is too much differs from person to person. Some people seem to be able to roll with lifes punches, while others tend to crumble in the face of small obstacles or frustrations. Some people even thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.
Factors that influence your stress tolerance level include:
Your support network. A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against stress. When you have people you can count on, lifes pressures dont seem as overwhelming. On the flip side, the lonelier and more isolated you are, the greater your risk of succumbing to stress.
Your sense of control. If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, its easier to take stress in stride. On the other hand, if you believe that you have little control over your lifethat youre at the mercy of your environment and circumstancesstress is more likely to knock you off course.
Your attitude and outlook. The way you look at life and its inevitable challenges makes a huge difference in your ability to handle stress. If youre generally hopeful and optimistic, youll be less vulnerable. Stress-hardy people tend to embrace challenges, have a stronger sense of humor, believe in a higher purpose, and accept change as an inevitable part of life.
Effects Of Stress On Your Health
When you are in a stressful situation, your body launches a physical response. Your nervous system springs into action, releasing hormones that prepare you to either fight or take off. It’s called the “fight or flight” response, and it’s why, when you’re in a stressful situation, you may notice that your heartbeat speeds up, your breathing gets faster, your muscles tense, and you start to sweat. This kind of stress is short-term and temporary , and your body usually recovers quickly from it.
But if your stress system stays activated over a long period of time , it can lead to or aggravate more serious health problems. The constant rush of stress hormones can put a lot of wear and tear on your body, causing it to age more quickly and making it more prone to illness.
If you’ve been stressed out for a short period of time, you may start to notice some of these physical signs:
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When Anxiety Strikes Without A Cause
Sometimes, we experience anxiety because of an anxiety trigger. People can be diagnosed with different types of anxiety disorders, each with specific symptoms and causes. Additionally, people can experience situational anxiety where something in particular causes anxiety symptoms to flare. A student might experience test anxiety severe enough to negatively impact performance or a parent’s anxiety might become heightened and nearly debilitating when he/she thinks about the various harm that could come to the child. The anxiety that is triggered by something can be painful, limiting, and downright awful, especially when one can’t avoid anxiety triggers. Equally painful, limiting, and downright awful is when anxiety strikes without a cause whatsoever.
What Is Stress For
Stress, meaning increased tension, leads to an excess of energy. Our body registers that we need to do something and ramps up all of our systems. Stress is there to make sure we can adapt to our circumstances. But the catch is that constant stress eventually exhausts our resources. If we dont take time to recover, we can become physically or mentally unwell.
Sometime the reasons for stress are diffuse and unknown to us
There are phases in life when there isnt an obvious reason for stress, like too high a workload. Sometimes the reasons for stress are diffuse and we may not even be aware of what they are. In light of the current situation, this is often the case, and absolutely understandable.
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Some Common Causes Of Depression
Some factors that contribute to depression include:
- Brain chemistry: The “chemistry” of depression is not well understood, but researchers do know that an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can happen in anyone, even in the absence of an obvious “trigger.
- Non-modifiable risk factors: Some influences, such as brain structure, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposures, are not something a person can control.
- Modifiable risk factors: Risk factors that fall under the category of lifestyle choices are considered modifiable, but the extent to which an individual can do so will depend on their own ability and how much support they have.
Depression can make it much more challenging to address factors that might be contributing to depression, such as substance use or diet. As much as it is a mental illness, depression can also be physical. Symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue can make it difficult for people to take on lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, even if they want to and believe they could help.
To make these changes people need to have the right tools and a good deal of support. To get treatment, a person with depression needs to feel safe talking about how they are feeling.
A person who believes they are depressed for no reason may not feel they deserve to ask for or get help. Thats why its important to focus less on the reason for depression and instead think about the causes.
How Do I Know When My Anxiety Needs Treatment
Any time a mental health issue such as anxiety gets so far out of hand that it disrupts your daily life, its time to get help. Especially if one or more symptoms cause you a lot of distress and worry, you should seek treatment before your symptoms get worse.
Most mental health disorders exist on a spectrum. For some people, symptoms are less severe and respond well to outpatient treatment. But for many others, its going to take intensive treatment to make headways into recovery. Particularly if youve tried outpatient therapy and it hasnt worked, residential treatment could be your best option.
But how do you know when your anxiety is severe and lasting enough to qualify as an actual disorder? Its impossible to pinpoint without a clinician, but you can learn to spot the same signs a clinician would look for.
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Help Is Available For Stress
Stress is a part of life. What matters most is how you handle it. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it is to know your stress symptoms.
If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed by stress, talk to your doctor. Many symptoms of stress can also be signs of other health problems. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and rule out other conditions. If stress is to blame, your doctor can recommend a therapist or counselor to help you better handle your stress.
How Can I Manage My Stress
Use your strengths and skills to make a positive plan to address the stressful events in your life and how youre reacting to stress.
Whether your stress is internal or external, relaxation techniques can help you manage stress and boost your ability to cope. There are many different techniques, and its important you find the ones you connect with. Examples include slow breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and exercise.
Read more here on relaxation techniques for stress relief.
A friend or family member can also be a great source of support, but at times you may feel that you need help from a professional. Consider talking with a counsellor, psychologist or social worker to work with you to identify the source of your stress and build strategies to better manage it.
Psychologists and other therapists use a range of approaches to help manage stress and anxiety. One evidence-based approach is a technique known as cognitive behavior therapy which is based on the idea that how you think and act affects how you feel.
Watch this video from This Way Up about ways to cope during stressful or difficult times.
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Stress Effects On The Body
Stress affects all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.
Stress effects on the body.
Our bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses, but when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body.
When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stressthe bodys way of guarding against injury and pain.
With sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up all at once, and then release their tension when the stress passes. causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness. When muscles are taut and tense for long periods of time, this may trigger other reactions of the body and even promote stress-related disorders.
For example, both tension-type headache and migraine headache are associated with chronic muscle tension in the area of the shoulders, neck and head. Musculoskeletal pain in the low back and upper extremities has also been linked to stress, especially job stress.
Relaxation techniques and other stress-relieving activities and therapies have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension, decrease the incidence of certain stress-related disorders, such as headache, and increase a sense of well-being. For those who develop chronic pain conditions, stress-relieving activities have been shown to improve mood and daily function.
Job Loss And Unemployment Stress
Losing a job is one of lifes most stressful experiences. Its normal to feel angry, hurt, or depressed, grieve for all that youve lost, or feel anxious about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change all at once, which can rock your sense of purpose and self-esteem. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to come out of this difficult period stronger, more resilient, and with a renewed sense of purpose.
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Start Feeling Less Anxious
We all have problems with feeling anxious for no reason from time to time. The critical thing to remember is that it doesnt have to be that way, and there is always something you can do to relieve unpleasant panic sensations. Hopefully, this article has provided you with a handy run-down of all the fundamental causes and practical solutions to your anxiety problems. If you need more, check out our anxiety quotes that can help you feel a little calmer.
Social Media Use Exposes You To Negativity Regularly
Social media is an incredible tool thats brought people from all over the world together. Unfortunately, its also been engineered to exploit certain psychological tics of your brain to get you to scroll more, in much the same way that they used psychologists to make casino games more addictive.
Not only that, but social media exposes you to a constant fear of missing out. Youre regularly looking at the highlight reels of your friends and family happy smiles, vacations, living their best life. Few people are posting about how unhappy they are. And even when they do, how many people really pay attention to that?
Thats not even touching on the constant bad news being spread and stupid garbage that people regularly share.
As useful and powerful as social media can be, it can also be addictive and stress-inducing. Reducing your consumption or quitting altogether will quite likely reduce your stress levels and improve your mental health.
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You Have Unrealistic Expectations
Setting goals and wanting more out of life is not a bad thing. Goal setting and striving for a better life can be great motivators for your personal success.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. When our expectations are unrealistic, we can be left feeling disappointed or experience feelings of failure. We can set ourselves up to stress for no reason.
We set expectations for everything we do, how an interview might go, how you want your home to look, how your body should look. We decide prematurely what the holidays should be like, what you should have done by the afternoon, or how a conversation with your mother might go.
All-day long, we set expectations. And what happens when we hold everything and everyone to an unobtainable standard is that we feel stressed out. Sometimes, without even knowing it.
But high expectations are often a form of trying to
control both outcomes and other people, and can lead to
considerable stress and mood swings.
If you are experiencing high levels of stress and are trying to figure out why, take a look at the expectations you are creating around the people and tasks in your life. Its vital that you honestly approach the unrealistic expectations you have set in your life.
Recognise When Stress Is A Problem
Its important to connect the physical and emotional signs youre experiencing to the pressures you are faced with. Dont ignore physical warning signs such as tense muscles, tiredness, headaches or migraines.
Think about whats causing your stress. Sort them into issues with a practical solution, things that will get better with time and things you can’t do anything about. Take control by taking small steps towards the things you can improve.
Make a plan to address the things that you can. This might involve setting yourself realistic expectations and prioritising essential commitments. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help and say no to things you cant take on.
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