Frequently, we hear people utter the phrases “I am feeling so depressed” or “I am so anxious about this”. It has become so common place to use these phrases that we tend to forget that depression and anxiety are psychological illnesses that many struggle with everyday. We have become so desensitized towards these two severe illnesses, when we should be seeking to help those that have been afflicted by these debilitating diseases, which cause them to be plagued daily by great anguish.
What is Depression and Anxiety?
Yes, everyone one of us has experienced depression and anxiety at some point in our lives, the fact is, that our experience is temporary as it may improve with the passage of time from the situation that caused it. With individuals diagnosed as being depressive or suffering from anxiety this state of being persist unless they are treated and in some cases, it can be fatal. An individual who is suffering from clinical depression has a “pervasive feeling of sadness” brought on after experiencing loss or a stressful event. This is coupled with the thoughts of every event ending in catastrophe or calamity. If a break up has you in bed for days, imagine feeling that way constantly, do you think that you could truly function as these individuals? Actually, in some cases they do not even know what brought on the sadness or these impending feelings of doom.
Individuals with anxiety face a no better faith, as they are constantly in an “unpleasant emotional state” which has physical manifestations, such as: bad stomach, dizziness, fainting and tightening of the chest. They have to continuously manage phobias and fears, feelings of apprehension, guilt and that everything will end in a disaster. Could you imagine this being your everyday reality? Always wondering when you will have an attack? For most of us we overcome depression and anxiety naturally; however there are those that find it difficult to get back on track.
Overcome Depression and Anxiety
So how are they able to overcome depression and anxiety? The good news is that persons suffering from depression and anxiety can get the requisite help that they need to overcome it. The bad news is that many of these individuals resist any form of help, initially, because they do not acknowledge the problem or they are scared or embarrassed making treatment difficult.
The type of treatment completely depends on how chronic the symptoms being displayed are. Those that are diagnosed as major may have to be institutionalized and go through evasive therapy, behavioral training and anti-depressants coupled with physical activities. Persons with mild to moderate depression will have different treatment options from those that are manic or major depressives; the same is for anxiety disorders. With anxiety patients that display some types of phobias, they may be placed in a position where they have to confront their fears. Just the thought of this for many of us would have us bawling our eyes out, as we are overcome with a sense of dread.
Those with mild to moderate cases of these maladaptive disorders can overcome them and derive great benefit from:
- Changing the way that they perceive situations by questioning whether their feelings are rational. This is done by the person probing the negative thoughts and feelings, or by thinking of something positive instead.
- Acknowledging the event that caused the depression and the anxious thoughts and feelings that precede an anxiety attack. This is critical to overcome depression and anxiety. In one instance, you need to find the root of the problem and in the other, you need to face it and learn to react rationally to your immediate surroundings.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are least likely to become depressed than sedentary people. Similarly, eating well balanced meals with a supplement, such as Omega-3 can help to reduce depression symptoms.
- Relaxation techniques such as breathing, visualization, yoga and meditation can help give clarity of thought and help place focus of the mind on more positive areas.
The road to overcome depression and anxiety is not an easy one; it is rigged with pitfalls and relapses. However, if the advice here is practiced then this can go a long way in keeping the person on the right path to recovery. A strong support system of family and friends is necessary. They will constantly need prodding and being reminded of positive things and thoughts. Speak to them, without judgement, be reassuring, help to build their self-esteem and make frequent visits and calls to show them that they are important, are truly needed and are worthwhile.