Depression and anxiety are often two sides of the same coin. Depression can make you feel sad and hopeless, which in turn can make you anxious. Anxiety can make you worried or even afraid, both feelings that can cause depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, almost a half of people diagnosed with depression also suffer from an anxiety disorder. While coping with depression and anxiety is certainly not easy, here are just a few steps you can take to put yourself on the road to recovery.
Talk to a Therapist
Even though it may sometimes not feel like it, talking things out can make a huge difference to your mental state. Therapists are trained to help you deal with problems and put things in perspective. Some available types of therapies include cognitive therapy, which teaches patients to tweak their thoughts and behaviors, interpersonal therapy that focuses on communication, and problem-solving therapy, which equips patients with the skills to deal with their symptoms.
If you are not sure how to find a therapist in your area, ask your physician for a referral or contact the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
In some cases, a doctor may decide that a patient requires to take an antidepressant to help them get on top of their condition. Antidepressants such as SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRI (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) are used to treat both anxiety and depression.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication and remember that antidepressants can take weeks or even months to build up in your system and start working. Alternatively, taking supplements such as CBD oil, St. John’s wort or Ginseng is a more natural way of dealing with the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Physical activity releases endorphins, a chemical that is a proven mood-booster. Exercise also reduces stress, improves sleep, and boosts self-esteem and confidence. Exercising outdoors, such as biking, running or walking, also increases your levels of vitamin D (inadequate levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression).
Be sure to wear a hat or slap on some sunscreen before each exercise session to protect your skin. For maximum results, exercise at least three to five times per week. If you need extra motivation, join the local gym or fitness classes.
Just a few minutes of meditation a day can do wonders for your mood. Not only that, meditation can help you manage stress, sleep better, control anxiety, enhance self-awareness and even reduce age-related memory loss.
There are different types of meditation including breathing awareness meditation, body scan or progressive mediation and loving-kindness meditation. If you are not sure where to start, why not invest in a book on the subject or join local meditation classes.