Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression

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The World Health Organization states that approximately 280 million people in the world have depression (3.8% of the population) and globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from depression. Depression is slightly higher in adults older than 60 years of age, at 5.7%.

Depression is a major contributor to suicide deaths, and over 700,000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15 to 29 year olds.

Common Mental Disorders

Common mental disorders refer to two main diagnostic categories :

A worldwide survey showed that 41.6% of the population reported having both major depression and anxiety disorder within the same 12 month span in any given year.

Depression can and does affect people of all ages and all walks of life. The risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use.

Statistics (USA)

It is estimated that half of the American adult population will experience a mental illness such as depression or anxiety at some point in their lives (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC) and almost 31% of the adult population will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. In any given year, 19% of the adult population would experience an anxiety disorder (Harvard National Comorbidity Survey – 2005).

About 16 million adults (7% of the adult population) had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year (National Institute of Mental Health) and is the leading cause of disability for people ages 15 to 44.

Symptoms and Thought Processes

Here are some of the symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. Some of these symptoms may co-mingle and are similar in both disorders :

Overwhelming feelings of worry, nervousness, fear and/or irritability that persists for weeks and disrupts ability to function.Lingering low, sad, empty or hopeless mood.
May feel more irritable than sad.
Feelings that lasts longer than 2 weeks and do not improve even after positive events or positive changes have taken place.
Rumination : Persistant negative thoughts which are stuck in a repetitive loop. Unable to stop thinking about all the things worrying you, even when you know you cannot do anything about them.Rumination : Persistant negative thoughts of hopelessness, pessimism and doom, which are stuck in a repetitive loop and continuously enforced by other darker more negative thoughts which continues to pile up on a daily basis.

Paranoia : Stuck in a cycle where you explore, over and over, all the possible ways a situation could go wrong.

Neurobiology : Adrenal system and neural pathways is on overdrive as increased anticipation as to what could go wrong next resulting in a fight, flight or freeze mode.

Apathy and Numbness : Loss of interest or enjoyment in usual activities and hobbies that once brought joy.

Anger : May exhibit restlessness, irritability, frustration, rage and wrath when thought process is being interrupted. Often, individuals experiencing depression, lash out in anger, especially when they feel that instead of helping them, you are the cause of more problems.

Experienced a major life event, such as illness, death, loss of a loved one, job, house, etc. and can even include impending loss (pre-mature anticipation of grief and loss which has not happen yet).Experienced continuous cycles and one or more sequential major life events in combination, such as illness, death, loss of a loved one, job, house, etc. The grief and loss experienced has happened and can include incidences of abuse and other mental health injury from external sources.
Feeling hopeless and helpless, when making important decisions, that can feel like a huge insurmountable task, which can affect others in the process. May experience intense anxiety when faced with making important decisions or having to make life shifts or changes that has an effect on other people’s lives. Usually end up not making any decisions, for fear of being blamed and appearing as the ‘bad guy/ girl’ in the process.

Physical symptoms can include feeling lack of energy or sense of feeling slowed down. Individuals can also experience the following:

Chronic fatigue/ sleep problems
Changes in appetite and weight
Difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering information
Unexplained aches and pains or gastrointestinal concerns

Being aware of the need to make changes, lifestyle shifts, or trying something new that will provide anxiety relief, but feeling stuck (usually in thought) as to how to overcome the hurdles, which seems impossible or an insurmountable feat (in their minds). Usually needs help, support, or assistance in overcoming their own limiting self-belief and to anchor in more confidence, self-esteem and courage to cross-over to the ‘other-side’.Thoughts are usually centered around themes of guilt or worthlessness (not good enough) which can lead to thoughts of suicide, death or dying.
Individuals may fixate on guilt, going over and over past events and blaming themselves for things they have no control over, including feelings of depression. Individuals also feel isolated as they do not have energy to spend time with friends and are overwhelmed with shame, which leads to further isolation.
Being aware of the need for conviction, to act, or put things into motion in order to affect the changes and bring a resolve to the anxiety. However, feeling stuck in getting into action or movement, to mobilize those changes.Caught in a downward spiral that does not seem to improve no matter what they do. Sleep or increased alcohol or substance use seems like a solution to their problems where they can tune out from rumination and escape from the world.
Being aware of the need to become more present, and to strife for increased proportions of independency through daily practices and habits to overcome limiting self-belief and fear. However, feeling intense fear and anxiety about getting started and may feel isolated in their problems.Stuck in the past with a sense of dread, doom or panic. The future seems bleak, with no way out, no resolution, and a constant feeling of ache and pain that just would not go away. Nothing will ever restore the situation. Things will never be the same or feel the same way, ever again. No one understands.
Loneliness in anxiety can be a self-realizing form of entrapment which compounds the fear factor in anxiety resulting in fearful isolation in anxiety. In addition to feeling fearful, hopeless and helpless, the anxious individual can also feel extremely isolated and lonely.May be hidden from plain sight. Many individuals suffer silently and escape through various forms such as alcoholism, workaholism, and extreme socialization (having many friends around). As they have not fully healed from the mental and emotional injury, they are vulnerable to harmful triggers which may arise through any unmet expectations or secondary harm through rejection and abandonment. Re-traumatization can further drive individuals to acts of self-harm or suicide. Many survivors can benefit from a close and trusted support network during their recovery process.

Helpful Tips

You do not have to continue feeling this way

Your daily life need not be a constant struggle that seems like a never-ending nightmare

<Get Back On Track by Booking A Session with JL Counselling and Hypnotherapy Singapore>

Lifestyle/ Nonpharmacological Practices

Depression and anxiety can be improved with support from a mental health professional

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