Feelings of sadness and hopelessness can take a toll on your overall health and wellness. It affects your job, relationships, and your lifestyle. Everyone feels blue sometimes–but not like this and not for this long. Often times sadness, depression, and anxiety are triggered by life events (financial, relationship, and family problems), its symptoms are hard to determine because they typically overlap. Below are descriptions of anxiety, depression and mood disorders to help determine which condition you may be experiencing.
Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone will experience in their lifetime. Approximately 19 million adults living in America suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. Typically, people will encounter feelings of anxiety from a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. There are many types of anxiety including panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, certain phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. It is still not known what exactly causes anxiety; however, researchers are looking at a combination of factors including chemicals in the brain and environmental stress.
An anxiety disorder is very serious—it can be constantly overwhelming and debilitating. Common symptoms people suffering from an anxiety disorder include:
- Ritualistic behaviors
- Feelings of panic, fear, uneasiness
- Obsessive thoughts that are uncontrollable
- Muscle tension
- Inability to stay still or be calm
Much progress has been made in the treatment of people suffering with an anxiety disorder which include: cognitive-behavioral therapy, dietary and lifestyle changes, relaxation therapy, and massage therapy. Although treatment depends on what type of anxiety you may be suffering from—Champion Naturopathic Health uses a combination of these therapies along with homeopathy and herbal medicines to treat these conditions.
Feelings of hopelessness, never-ending sadness, and helplessness that lasts for multiple days to weeks and keeps you from living a healthy life may be more than just simple sadness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 14.8 million American adults suffer from major depression. There are different types of depression you could be experiencing which include major depression, chronic depression (dysthymia), bipolar depression, seasonal depression (SAD), psychotic depression, postpartum depression, or substance-induced mood disorder (SIMD). Depression can stem from work, home, or social issues.
Although depression can be debilitating, it is a treatable medical condition. Common signs of depression are either depressed mood or loss of interests in typically enjoyable activities which occurs every day or almost every day for a minimum of two weeks. Common symptoms of depression include:
- Troubles concentrating
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or hopelessness
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping patterns
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Aches/pains, cramps, headaches, GI problems that persist even after treatment
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Immediately seeking treatment from your health care provider for depression is the best way to counter your symptoms. Your health care provider will have the ability to provide treatment options.
Mood disorders are milder versions of depression and bipolar disorder. One of the main forms of mood disorder is called dysthymic disorder. Although dysthymic disorder is a less extreme version of depression, it still creates low, dark moods that interrupt your life almost every day for two years or more.
Around 5 percent of the general populations affected by dysthymic disorder, but it is not fully understood by doctors and researchers. Some factors that commonly contribute to dysthymic disorder include genetics, chemical changes in the brain, chronic stress, poor coping strategies, or a combination of other mood disorders. Common symptoms of mood disorders include:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Problems sleeping
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Low self-esteem
- Hard time concentrating or making decisions
Dysthymic disorder can increase your risk for physical diseases and conditions, so it is important to seek treatment. If dysthymic disorder is left untreated, it could develop into severe depression which may increase your risk for attempting suicide.
Contact our office today if you have any questions about anxiety, depression, or mood disorders.