Anxiety and Depression
We don’t often make the connection, but anxiety and depression can often go hand in hand. 85 percent of people diagnosed with major depression were also diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. This means that we can have difficulty distinguishing between the two.
We all have anxiety. It’s a part of being human. It’s just to what degree to we have it and how much does it impede our day-to-day lives?
Feeling “amped up,” having nervous energy, fidgety hands and feet, and racing heart are some of the body’s ways of letting us know we’re experiencing anxiety.
Favorite phrase: What if…?
Do you say this to yourself frequently? What if I make a mistake? What if they don’t like me? What if I’m late?
The list goes on and on. Anxiety often comes from future-oriented projecting of our thoughts to a fearful outcome.
Feelings of fear or panic
I usually end up saying to all my clients at some point that we are here because of our fearful and anxious cave-people ancestors. They looked out for all the dangers and lived to procreate. All the cave-people who were partying at the bonfire got eaten. People usually laugh at this point, which is good. That story helps to normalize our human condition.
It can be a bit comforting to know we’re not the only ones, but it is also true that anxiety in our culture is continuing to escalate. We worry we don’t measure up, that we’re not good enough. We worry about social interactions. We worry about job performance, and we have a whole Instagram or Facebook feed full of people’s highlight reels to compare ourselves to. Isn’t it interesting how we never measure up?
Anxiety can keep us from not only taking risks but doing everyday activities we see others do seemingly without effort. This comparing can lead to feelings of shame, of not being good enough, which further feeds the anxiety.
We’ve all had those days when we don’t want to get out of bed, but if it becomes excessive or sleeping more than usual, this could be depression. Lack of energy, loss of appetite or increased appetite can also be symptoms.
Favorite phrase: It doesn’t matter.
Apathy for many things is a hallmark of depression. If you’re not getting enjoyment out of things you used to enjoy or in things that are important for the care of yourself and your family, you may be experiencing depression.
Feelings of hopelessness, despair, and anger
Seeing no hope in yourself or the future can feel true and debilitating all at once. There’s very little energy in our system with depression, so we don’t feel there’s much we can do about things. There’s not much energy to make changes.
Depression, especially in men, can manifest as anger. Are you or someone you love exhibiting more anger than usual? It could be depression.
Whether you struggle with anxiety or depression or both, it doesn’t have to run your life. There are many skills you can learn, so you feel more freedom to explore and enjoy all life has to offer. Medications are not the only answer.