Wouldn’t it be grand if everyday we felt at ease, uplifted, optimistic and joyful? A life full of laughter and skipping and singing sounds delightful! Unfortunately, the ADAA
(Anxiety and Depression Association of America) reports that general anxiety disorder affects 6.8 million adults annually, with women being twice as likely to be affected. 264 million people live with depression, and in 2017 around 17.3 million adults 18 or older in the US experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year. It seems that for many of us there are times when optimism, joy, and ease can be hard to come by. Skipping and singing and laughter are just wistful thoughts.
When life hits an emotional snag, how do you know if it’s just a little slump vs. a disorder? Is it just a little bump in the road or an ongoing problem. If you’ve been feeling off, get back to the basics of nourishing the things that make you feel like your best self. If you’ve been feeling really off maybe it’s depression or anxiety?
These are a few signs and symptoms associated with depression:
- Feelings of hopelessness that won’t go away.
- Even basic hygiene like showering or brushing teeth and hair feel like too much effort.
- Loss of interest in your daily activities, hobbies, sex, social activities. Hard to feel joy or pleasure.
- Sleep changes. Sleeping a lot more or less.
- Feeling anger, agitation, restless, short temper, everyone is getting on your nerves.
- Self loathing, Feeling worthless or guilty, Being really hard on yourself for mistakes and perceived faults.
- Loss of energy, feeling fatigued, sluggish, whole body feels heavy, small tasks feel exhausting.
- Not being able to concentrate, make decisions or remember things.
- Appetite changes- significant weight loss or weight gain.
Here are some signs and symptoms associated with anxiety:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
If you think you have depression, anxiety or a mix of either it’s time to get help. There’s no shame in talking to a mental health professional, or doctor about your health. Until your appointment here is a mental health game plan to help you feeling good again:
- Exercise each day even if it’s just a walk around your neighborhood
- Spend more time outside
- Write in a journal
- Cut back on high sugar foods and carbohydrates
- Add more greens and water to your daily meal plan
- Make time to connect with people who support you and uplift you
- Snuggle a pet or take them for a walk
- Look for ways to feel good instead of focusing on the stressful, negative aspects of your life. Even if your circumstance isn’t changing soon, the thoughts around them can greatly affect how you live your life.
At different times in my life I’ve really had to check in with myself and see if I need to seek further help from a doctor to help my brain get back to feeling good. Please don’t feel shame for seeking help. There’s numerous methods, medications and treatments to help us feel better. Your job is to keep doing your own work and figure out what that is!
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash.