Managing anxiety & depression – The signs to look for, ways to manage, and when to reach out for help

Mental health is receiving a new place in the spotlight recently. Anxiety and depression management, in particular, are getting the attention they deserve, especially as the world acknowledges the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has on their mental health.

It is estimated that one million Australian adults have depression each year, and more than two million have anxiety. With how prevalent anxiety and depression are, it is important to recognize the signs of both conditions, how to manage them, and when it is time to reach out for help.

Signs to look for

Both anxiety and depression have characteristic signs to watch out for, although it is important to note that no two people with these conditions may have the same signs.

Anxiety

Anxiety is how the body responds to a threat and is an essential part of our survival instinct. However, while some anxiety is normal, for some people the feelings of anxiousness never go away or appear for situations that don’t truly warrant it.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

–   rapid breathing

–   pounding heart

–   trembling hands

–   feeling scared, worried, or nervous

–   constant worries that something bad will happen

Depression

Similar to anxiety, the basis of depression is something that everyone experiences from time to time. Depression is a feeling of sadness or lack of energy, but in a powerful way and lasting for longer than a typical bout of sadness would normally last.

Some of the symptoms of depression include:

–   feelings of sadness, guilt, restlessness, anger, or hopelessness

–   refraining from activities that used to bring joy

–   less productivity at school or work

–   sleep problems

–   headaches

–   feeling sick

How to manage anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression can significantly impact someone’s life, affecting their concentration, school and work performance, and social life. Those with anxiety may feel as though they have to avoid situations that will cause them stress, and people with depression may have no motivation to leave their house.

Anxiety and depression management is important because it allows those with these conditions to regain control of their life.

Some things you can do to help manage anxiety and depression include:

–   get enough sleep

–   eat well-balanced meals

–   limit alcohol and caffeine

–   take deep breaths

–   exercise daily

–   learn what triggers your anxiety or depression

When to reach out for help

It is important to reach out for help if you are experiencing any of the below signs of severe anxiety or depression:

–   symptoms that are intense, paralyzing, and last for months

–   inability to see to daily responsibilities or care for yourself

–   symptoms accompanied by substance abuse, self-harm, and/or thoughts of suicide

The Australian government also has an anxiety and depression symptom checker, which you can use as a self-evaluation tool. It will help you determine if you should seek medical help.

When in doubt, seek medical help for your anxiety or depression management. Your mental health matters, and no one should have to suffer through feelings of anxiety and depression.

If you are concerned about your mental health, our Doctors are here to help. Call us on 07 5531 3205.

References
[1] https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts
[2] https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker/tool/basic-details