Anxiety and Depression: When you can’t “Get over it” “Suck it up”, or “Let it go”.
How many times have you told someone who was feeling down “Just don’t think about it.” How many times has someone told you, “It will be ok.” This is common advice that we offer one another. I know I hear people tell others things like this all the time. I have said it a time or two before as well, but if you suffer from clinical depression or anxiety you can’t “just let it go” or “get over it.” It’s not that simple.
Why Do I Struggle With This?
A majority of people have felt depressed or anxious at some point in their life. Things like the loss of a love one, a divorce, moving or break-up can lead individuals to feel down, blue, sad, scared or nervous. These feelings are normal to life’s everyday circumstances.
When feelings of depression or anxiety occur more frequently, or the symptoms last longer, or seem to occur without any reason, we become concerned that the person may be suffering from a diagnosable condition. We also are concerned when depression or anxiety began to cause difficulty with normal routine functioning. These individuals could be dealing with depression or an anxiety disorder.
Is it Depression or Anxiety?
Depression: A condition that has lasted more than two weeks with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, disinterest in activities or life in general. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), other symptoms may include:
• A depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning
• Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
• Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
• Insomnia (an inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
• Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day
• Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death)
• A sense of restlessness or being slowed down
• Significant weight loss or weight gain
Anxiety: An emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Anxiety can be a feeling, and/or a physical experience that includes rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, and other symptoms of fear.
Individuals can experience depression and anxiety at the same time or separately.
If you are anxious or depressed, tell someone. Many talk with family, friends or clergy. If your depression or anxiety has moved beyond the everyday sort described above, get professional help today. Talk with a counselor or your doctor. There are many effective treatments available, which could include medication and psychotherapy. In addition to the specific treatment plan designed with your physician or therapist, many find the following helpful in managing or reducing their symptoms:
1. Foster supportive relationships: Family, friends, get involved in social activities, join a support group…
2. Get moving: Exercise, dance, walk…
3. Challenge negative thinking: Think positive!
4. Do things you historically have enjoyed and that have made you feel good: This list can be unlimited!
5. Eat healthy: You are what you eat!
Alvin Mott has a long time interest in depression and anxiety. He is a good friend of CCD Counseling.