Managing Depression and Anxiety

What is Depression? Depression as more than just a low mood, it is actually a serious illness. Of course we all feel sad, low or moody from time to time. That is part of being a human being. Some of us experience these feelings intensely for long periods of time and often for no good reason. People with Depression find it hard to function in everyday life and are possibly reluctant to engage in activities that they once enjoyed. It is actually one of the most common mental health problems. They believe 1 in about 5 people will experience Depression at one stage in their life.

What are some of the symptoms of Depression and Anxiety? Everybody has a blue day from time to time. That is not the issue. Firstly, Depression is over a longer period of time. It is usually for at least 2 weeks. Symptoms include

(1) Having a depressed mood for most of the day

(2) Less interest in the activities that you are doing

(3) Weight loss or gain

(4) Insomnia

(5) Slowed or fastened movements

(6) Tiredness or loss of energy

(7) Feeling worthless

(8) Difficulty concentrating

(9) Thoughts of death or suicide

What is Anxiety? We all feel anxious from time to time but some people feel these feeling soo strongly and frequently that it can affect their everyday life. People often confuse Anxiety Disorders with Stress. Stress is a normal reaction to a situation. For example, work deadlines, sitting exams, speaking in front of people etc. However for some people these thoughts are ongoing after the event has passed.

What are some symptoms that can separate Depression from being Anxious?

Think back in the past month, have you felt

(1) Restless or on edge at one point in time?

(2) Felt easily tired?

(3) Had difficulty concentrating?

(4) Felt irritable?

(5) Had muscle pain?

(6) Had trouble sleeping?

The general rule is that if you said yes to 3 or more of these statements, it is quite possible that you are suffering from Anxiety

What can we do if you feel or think that you are suffering from Depression or Anxiety? I have some tips now. Tips to overcome Anxiety and Depression;

(1) Physical exercise is a huge thing for people. It releases feel good endorphins and the general rule is to do it 2-3 times per week for a least 30 minutes at a time.

(2) Relaxation exercises – there are plenty of good relaxation tapes out there. Also, controlling your breathing, through taking deep breaths will help.

(3) Eating well – that is a good one.

(4) Sleeping well – having 7-8 hours/ night sleep. Not over sleeping. A lot of people with Depression tend to oversleep.

(5) Maintain a healthy social life. The people who are happiest (according to the research) have a active social life.

(6) Minimise TV – I know I do this from time to time. You get home and you turn on the TV, even when there is noting really on. On average when people watch TV they are in a mildly depressed mood as they watch it. If you do want to watch TV, fine! Watch your programs but don’t watch TV for the sake of it.

(7) Having Hobbies is really worthwhile. For me, my hobby is playing the guitar and singing.

(8) To live in the moment as much as possible. One sure way to feel bad about yourself, is to over analyse your life and think about all the things that could go wrong. Mindfulness is the key. Being in the moment.