Become Educated: Depression & Anxiety

Depression

definition – a group of conditions associated with the elevation or lowering of a person’s mood; a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest

Symptoms:

  1. feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  2. angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration
  3. loss of interest
  4. sleep disturbances
  5. tiredness, lack of energy
  6. reduced appetite or increased cravings
  7. anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  8. slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
  9. feelings of worthlessness or guilt, self-blame
  10. trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  11. frequent thoughts of death or suicide
  12. unexplained phsyical problems, like back pain or headaches

*This list comes from Mayo Clinic.

Types:

  1. Clinical Depression – characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest
  2. Persistent Depressive Disorder – mild but long-term
  3. Bipolar Depression – associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs
  4. Bipolar II Disorder – characterized by depressive and hypomanic episodes
  5. Postpartum Depression – occurs after going through childbirth
  6. Psychotic Depression – includes symptoms of psychosis, hallucinations, and delusions

*This list comes from Mayo Clinic.


Anxiety

definition – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome; intense and persistent worry or fear

Traits:

  1. feeling nervous, restless, or tense
  2. having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
  3. having an increased heart rate
  4. breathing rapidly
  5. sweating
  6. trembling
  7. feeling weak or tired
  8. trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry

Types:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder – characterized by exaggerated worry and tension
  2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts or repetitive behaviours; examples including hand washing or cleaning
  3. Panic Disorder – characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by phsyical symptoms like chest pain or heart palpitations
  4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – develops after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal; can be triggered by new traumatic events
  5. Social Phobia – characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations

*This list comes from HHS.gov.


Things to know:

  1. It’s not something we can simply get over.
  2. Crowds can easily trigger an episode.
  3. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense even to us.
  4. It can make us feel alone even when we know we are loved.
  5. There’s still a lot of stigma around the topic.
  6. It can make the best day quickly turn dark.
  7. It can affect our appetite.
  8. It can cause sleepless nights.
  9. It can cause sleepy days, where even 12 hours doesn’t feel like enough.
  10. It can make us be quiet and reserved.
  11. We may cry for no reason.
  12. We often need extra reassurance that we’re doing a good job, that we’re loved.

Author’s Note:

I’ve had my own struggles with the darkness brought on by depression and anxiety. I’m grateful for the support system I have, from family and friends to an incredible medical staff. Finding the right people can make a huge difference.

This time of the year can be especially difficult for some. Not everyone has a place to go to for the holidays. Not everyone has a family to share with.

Be kind. Be open. And be compassionate.

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