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The Difference Between Anxiety and Depression (and When to Seek Help)

Even with progress made in combating mental health stigma, it can still be difficult for people to get help They are needed when it comes to depression and anxiety. part of it Because mental health literacy is lacking in the United States. 2021 survey Analyzed this topic in the first year of COVIDThe -19 Pandemic found that knowledge about mental health among adults in America is poor, making individuals unable to readily identify mental health symptoms and appropriate treatment options.

However, you don’t have to read a study in a scientific journal to know that our society suffers from mental health literacy. scroll through social media You can also watch shows on your favorite streaming platform. For example, some people say they’re “depressed” because they had a bad day, but depression is much more serious than that.

“Depression is generally poorly understood and the temporary feeling of low mood caused by a bad day is often exaggerated and considered ‘depression’. ” Psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Janaway Said on mail. “From a psychiatric point of view, depression is a distinct category that includes a near-constant sense of depression, low energy, interest, and many other things. eating, sleeping, socializing, etc.Above all, Ing and the loss of hope. “

Overall, depression and anxiety can be difficult to understand.Such, it can be a challenge to know what a person is If experiencing is just part of life or you need professional help. According to Janaway, analyzing a person’s experiences and behavior is one of his keys.

“In my own practice, my rules (and I don’t have many) teeth, ‘MeIf the person is seeking help, or if that person or others are in danger, we can call things a concern. it won’t work.Emotions are part of the human experience, but it is their degree and severity that indicates whether action is required. “

Here’s what you should know about symptoms and treatment. Anxiety and Depression Affects 25.4% of American Adults Age 18+ 2019.

What is anxiety?

I’ve fought to improve myself, mental health almost ten yearssometimes hard to find Words that describe exactly what I was feeling — and tHe’s not unique to my experience. Jonathan Stair is a clinical psychologist and adjunct assistant professor. University of Calgary, explained The word “anxiety” is a loaded term because of words Man used in a different way.For example, “anxiety” can be colloquially used in the language we use every daydaytime stressors, but its meaning is clinically different.In a nutshell, steer Anxiety is a prediction of future threats.

Anxiety manifests itself in people through anxious thoughts and bodily sensations, such as sweating palms and beating hearts. It can also affect how people behave when they are feeling anxious. Some people may try to escape, freeze, or avoid the situation. Before you assume that everyone in the world must suffer from clinical levels of anxiety, it’s important to remember that anxiety is normal to some extent.

“It’s important to understand that you experience anxiety. A normal and evolutionarily adapted response that we have developed to protect ourselves from danger. Depending on the circumstances in your life, you should feel insecure,” Steer said.“The problem is that for some people, anxiety can be overly persistent, debilitating, and disproportionate to the actual threat. You may be experiencing an anxiety disorder that can lead to

Psychiatrist Janaway added that hormonal or chemical changes in the body can also cause anxiety. Therefore, psychiatrists always ask for blood tests to rule out physical causes first..

“You can’t cure an excited thyroid with therapy,” he said..

What is Depression?

Like anxiety, “depression” is an umbrella term, Stea points out. But, as mentioned above, clinical depression is more than just feeling sad for a short period of time.

“For example, following an identifiable stressor such as loss of work or relationships, which may include the usual and expected sadness or loss of interest or joy, may refer to a mental disorder, and a person may experience these symptoms. with clinically significant symptoms: distress, impairment, and loss of function,” he said..

Additionally, Steer emphasized that depression is complex, as symptoms of depression can manifest in the context of a variety of psychiatric disorders. bipolar disorder Also substance-induced depressive disorderamong others.

Janaway too He explained that depression is a pattern of emotional, physical, and social changes that occur in response to loss.and that can It manifests as a side effect of physical or chemical changes in the body caused by disease, genetic risk, or medication.

“Most depressive episodes can only be explained by a combination of all these factors, and reducing it to ‘one cause’ does not help.

Additionally, people with severe depression may disconnect from reality or project their experiences onto the outside world. This can form false beliefs and feelings that are very difficult to live with.Suicide is also a depression risk that psychiatrists take very seriously.

Can have both anxiety and depression at the same time

Understanding the difference between anxiety and depression can be confusing for some, Stea said. “Mental health literacy is a skill that is learned and practiced over time, understanding mental disorders and their treatments, learning how to achieve and maintain positive mental health, learning how to get help, learning how to get help, and dealing with stigma. means to reduce“

When Both Stea and Janaway pointed out that a person can experience anxiety and depression at the same time.

“of course, If you fear the future If you feel depressed and helpless, They will not feel comfortable moving forward in life. It makes sense from the story of how the person got into that situation,” Janaway said..

but he One disorder usually predominates in an individual, so doctors treat that disorder first. Janaway emphasized that there is good evidence that drug therapy and treatment in combination or each alone are effective.Physicians should work with their patients to determine the correct approach.

when to ask for help

As noted by both Stea and Janaway, worry and grief are part of the human experience. It can be difficult for individuals who struggle to know when and when to seek help. “I encourage people to seek help when mental health issues start to interfere with their lives,” says Stea. Said“In other words, when mental health concerns begin to overwhelm and debilitating and impair a person’s ability to function, it’s definitely worth reaching out.

Janaway agreed, emphasizing that people should ask useful when experiencing (sadness, worry, etc.) or action ((This may include no food, no outings, no talking) be on one’s mind. Individuals should also consider whether others care about them.

“This could mean that people are worried about your safety or that things are taking too long. “It’s not normal for you,” the psychiatrist explained. “For example, feeling depressed after a breakup or making plans to end your life is not a common experience.”

Anxiety and Depression Treatment

Treatments for anxiety and depression appear similar in some ways and different in others. For example, Stea points to a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). talk therapy Teach patients how to change negative patterns to improve their mood. He added that there are areas

Regarding drugs, Janaway sharp Contrary to popular belief, psychiatry is not all about medicine and biology, but “to address the biological, psychological, and social problems associated with ‘disorders,’ ‘symptoms,’ or ‘problems.’ It’s based on the efforts of ,” he explained. There are many evidence-based approaches to treating both anxiety and depression, but specific types of medications and treatments may differ. It all depends.

Steer emphasis that Both mental health providers and patients should play an active role in treatment planning.

“A treatment plan must be developed in collaboration with the patient and will depend on many factors, including medical history, history of psychotherapy, and specific mental illness.People are seeking treatment for health-related reasons,” Stea said.

The relationship between anxiety, depression, and suicide

Talking about suicide can be difficult, but it’s important if you want to understand the risks anxiety and depression pose to your loved ones.PPeople with depression and anxiety are at higher risk of suicide, and mental health professionals don’t mess around with this area. They work to “help people protect themselves,” Janaway said.

“There are many motives for suicide,” he said. “SSometimes it is about escaping pain, seen as the “only option” (which is never really the case), or it is a fantasy designed to empower one with a sense of control over one’s destiny. If there is, it may even form a function. Revenge or punishment against others. ” he Whatever the individual’s motives, “you have to ask yourself if this is what the person ‘normally does’ and 100% of the time the answer is no.”

Steer also said The causes of suicide are many and very complex. Experiencing mental health concerns can be one variable, but in many Other important societal causes associated with suicide also increase the risk of suicide, including child abuse, racism, and poverty.

How to Support a Loved One Struggling with Anxiety or Depression

Talking to loved ones who may be struggling with anxiety or depression is one way to help them.You can also ask what help they need or recommend they see a doctor.

“If you are very concerned about their safety, seek emergency help, go to the emergency department, or call your local emergency services. Don’t feel like it doesn’t matter,’ stressed Janaway. It’s often hidden, so if you’re worried about it, take it seriously.

Additionally, it’s important to seek help from an experienced and qualified mental health professional.you probably aren’t with a professional Wellness experts on social media too No A professional to turn to in times of mental distress.

“It’s important to reach out to genuine mental health professionals, not armchairs and peripherals,” says Stea. “It may sound harsh, but its severity matches the potential harm“

The Difference Between Anxiety and Depression (and When to Seek Help)

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