Anxiety/Depression can impact physical and mental health. There are short- and long-term effects on both the mind and body.
While many people know about the effects of anxiety on mental health, fewer people are aware of the physical side effects, which can include digestive issues and an increased risk of infection. Anxiety can also change the function of the cardiovascular, urinary, and respiratory systems.
People with anxiety can experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms. The most common include: feeling nervous, tense, or fearful, restlessness, panic attacks, in severe cases a rapid heart rate, fast breathing, or hyperventilation, sweating, shaking, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, nausea, digestive issues, feeling too cold or too hot, chest pain.
Some anxiety disorders have additional symptoms. For example, OCD also causes: obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors that aim to reduce the anxiety caused by the thoughts, periods of temporary relief, which follow the compulsive behaviors.
Physical symptoms and behavioral changes caused by depression include: decreased energy, chronic fatigue, or feeling sluggish frequently, difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or recalling, pain, aches, cramps, or gastrointestinal problems without any clear cause, changes in appetite or weight, difficulty sleeping, waking early, or oversleeping.
Emotional symptoms of depression include: loss of interest or no longer finding pleasure in activities or hobbies, persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness, feeling hopeless or pessimistic, anger, irritability, or restlessness, feeling guilty or experiencing feelings of worthlessness or helplessness, thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts.
Causes and risk factors
The medical community has yet to identify the cause of anxiety/depression, but several factors may contribute to its development. Causes and risk factors may include:
1.traumatic life experiences
3.medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or chronic pain conditions
5.sex, as females are more likely to experience anxiety than males substance abuse
6.ongoing stress about work, finances, or home life
7.having other mental health disorders
To make a diagnosis, a doctor will evaluate symptoms and check for any underlying medical conditions that may be triggering the anxiety. Diagnosis will depend on the type of anxiety disorder a person appears to have.
Depression and anxiety can occur at the same time. In fact, it’s been estimated that 45 percent of people with one mental health condition meet the criteria for two or more disorders. Although each condition has its own causes, they may share similar symptoms and treatments.
The goal of managing depression and anxiety is to create a series of treatment options that can all work together to help, to some degree, whenever you need to use them.
1.Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling — and know that it’s not your fault.
2.In the moment, regaining a bit of control or power can help you cope with overwhelming symptoms. Accomplish a task you can manage, such as neatly re-stacking books or sorting your recycling. Do something to help give yourself a sense of accomplishment and power.
3.Routine is sometimes helpful for people with anxiety and depression. This provides structure and a sense of control. It also allows you to create space in your day for self-care techniques that can help you control symptoms.
4.Do your best to stick to a sleep schedule
5.When you’re feeling depressed or anxious, you may reach for comforting foods like pasta and sweets to alleviate some of the tension. However, these foods provide little nutrition. Try to help nourish your body with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
6.Research suggests exercise can be an effective treatment for depression because it’s a natural mood booster and releases feel-good hormones.
7.Do something that you know brings you comfort, such as watching a favorite movie or flipping through a magazine.
8.Reach out to someone you’re comfortable talking to and talk about whatever you feel like, whether that’s how you’re feeling.
Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:
1.problems with sleep
2.unexplained emotional changes
3.sudden loss of interest
4.feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
If you’re not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. It’s important to be open and honest so they can fully understand what’s happening and get a clear picture of what you’ve been feeling.
There’s no single test that can diagnose depression or anxiety. Instead, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and a depression or anxiety screening test. For this, they’ll ask you a series of questions that help them get a better insight into what you’ve been experiencing.
If the results aren’t clear or if your doctor suspects the symptoms may be the result of another condition, they may order tests to rule out underlying issues. Blood tests can check your thyroid, vitamin, and hormone levels. In some cases, general practitioners will refer you to a mental health expert, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, if they don’t feel equipped to properly manage your symptoms and conditions or if they suspect you’re experiencing more than one condition.You don’t have to live with unusual feelings, thoughts, or other symptoms of either depression or anxiety. Talk with your doctor if these feelings or changes last longer than a week or two. Early treatment is the best way to manage the conditions and find treatments that are effective in the long-term.