Depression and anxiety are some of the most common conditions people will come to therapy to get support with. Both conditions may be exacerbated by day-to-day stressors from major life areas such as school, work, friends, intimate relationships, dating, and family life. Depression and anxiety can be a normal part of the human experience. Duration of symptoms and level of disruption it causes to your life may be factors in deciding to seek support, as it may be an indication of a mental health condition that requires treatment.
Although depression and anxiety can look similar in some ways, they are also very different in others. As such, it’s essential to learn about the signs and symptoms of both mental health conditions. This knowledge will help you cope with them if they happen to you or a loved one.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Some of the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:
- Excessive anxiety and worry occurring for most days over at least 6 months about several events or activities (such as work or school performance).
- Difficulties managing your worry.
- xperiencing anxiety and worry that is associated with three (or more) of the following symptoms: restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge; being easily fatigued; difficulty concentrating or mind going blank; irritability; muscle tension; and sleep disturbance.
Symptoms must cause significant distress or interfere with major life area that is unrelated to physiological causes or other mental health condition. Please consult a mental health professional like a Calgary Psychologist to receive a formal diagnosis.
Major Depression Disorder
Some of the symptoms of major depression disorder include:
Five or more of the following symptoms lasting for a duration of two weeks and represent a change from previous functioning:
- Depressed mood for most of the day and nearly every day of a two-week span.
- Diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
- Moving slower than usual or seeming restless, and it is apparent to others.
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate and indecisiveness.
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide ideation/behaviours.
Dealing with depression and anxiety can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are a few tips that might help:
As a Calgary Psychologist, we have helped many individuals suffering from depression and anxiety with actionable steps to make a meaningful change.
Sometimes, you need a little push to feel like you can do anything. One of the most powerful tools for dealing with depression and anxiety is building up a supportive network of people who will help you overcome your challenges and celebrate your successes. From family and friends to co-workers and acquaintances, feeling supported can be a critical component of your healing process. Your support network is well positioned to support you in reconnecting with your goals so that you can get back to things that matter to you.
If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, it’s important to reduce your stress as much as possible. Of course, that’s easier said than done. These tips can help:
- Focus on one task at a time and plan ahead.
- Break your tasks down into smaller pieces.
- Give yourself time to take a break.
- Keep up with your self-care routine.
- Get enough sleep.
Sleep quality is a crucial factor in dealing with anxiety and depression, and there are many things you can do to ensure you’re getting the rest you need. Here’s how to improve your sleep hygiene:
- Keep a regular schedule.
- Stop consuming caffeine after 12 pm.
- Avoid using electronic devices at least 1 hour before bed.
- Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes.
- Avoid consuming heavy meals and alcohol before bed.
Did you know that many people dealing with anxiety or depression may not reach out for support?
This is in part related to the fact that the part of our nervous system related to social engagement is often switched off when we are locked in a state of anxiety or depression. Here are some essential tips for talking to someone you care about who is struggling with symptoms of anxiety or depression.
- Acknowledge and validate how the person’s thoughts and feelings about their experiences.
- Avoid jumping to problem solving mode to try and “fix” what they are going through.
- Normalize the person’s experience if you can and remind the person you are there for them no matter what.
- Check in with the person about what they need. If they have difficulty identifying what they need, offer support in helping them figure it out. Be respectful if they decline your support.
- Encourage them to talk to a medical professional, in a kind and non-stigmatizing way. If they ask for support, help them to select a Calgary Psychologist or to make an appointment with the person’s family doctor.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Calgary
Cognitive Behavioural Therapies have been found to be highly effective for treating anxiety and depression. If you are searching for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Calgary residents can depend on Choice Point Psychological Services. We offer both CBT and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is known as a 4th wave style of CBT that integrates mindfulness. Psychologist Services in Calgary clients have relied on us to assist with discovering the root causes of their anxiety and depression with a focused and comprehensive approach. Contact our team today at 587-362-0640.