How to recognize and deal with anxiety and depression

The Real Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety For decades now, science-based evidence has proved that a mind-body connection exists and there is a complex interaction between depression and anxiety and physical pain. 

The relationship can be mutually aggravating: stress from chronic conditions like heart disease and cancer can lead to or worsen major depression and anxiety, just like depression and anxiety can manifest into physical sensations throughout the entire body.

Lower back pain, stomach pain, joint pain, and fatigue are actually the most common physical expressions of depression even when noticeable mental symptoms aren’t present. This happens especially to people who are consciously fearful mental illness and the stigmas attached. Instead, their fears play out into physical manifestations of severe headaches and other types of chronic pain.

According to the US National Library of Medicine and Institutes of Health, persistent aches and pains that seemingly don’t go away can be surefire indicators of the presence of a mood disorder.

Studies show that physical symptoms especially are likely to worsen if the depression isn’t treated. Here are some of the most common physical symptoms associated with depression according to Everyday Health Magazine:

  • Migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive problems: bloating, constipation, irritable bowels
  • Chest pain
  • Back pain

Common symptoms of anxiety and depression are:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends healthful tips and lifestyle adjustments to address possible anxiety and depression.

  • Practice mindfulness and relaxation: Do yoga, listen to music, meditate, or get a massage
  • Eat well-balanced meals: Focus on vegetables and good proteins, restrict excess sugars and processed carbohydrates
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly. Or count to 10 slowly.
  • Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
  • Learn what triggers your anxiety through journaling or documentation. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify?
  • Reach out to friends and family
  • Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.

Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.

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