10 Steps to Overcoming Anxiety and Depression

Mental health is still a taboo in our society. Due to the stigma attached, despite so many advancements, it is still a topic to be discussed in closed rooms. According to DSM-5 diagnosis of mental disorders, anxiety and depression are the two most common and prevalent illnesses around the globe.
Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, experiencing a trauma and more – mental health is affected differently at different stages of life and should be addressed properly. It is important to treat the condition with proper professional help and not only rely upon anxiety and depression online test.

Types of Anxiety and Depression

Following are the types of anxiety and depression.

The most common Types of Anxiety are:

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder – A person feels anxious on most days.
2. Social Anxiety – A person has an intense fear of being criticized, humiliated and insulted even on normal days.
3. Specific Phobias – A person has fears regarding certain objects and situations and can go to lengths for avoiding them.
4. Panic Attacks – A person has panic attacks which has intense anxiety and physical symptoms of fear and crippling feelings.

The most common Types of Depression are:

1. Major Depression – Also called as clinical depression, uni-polar depression, depressive disorder or just depression. It can be classified as mild, moderate and severe and has further three types: melancholic, psychotic, antenatal and postnatal.
2. Bipolar Disorder – A person experiences episodes of depression and mania with in between phases of normal mood.
3. Cyclothymic Disorder – It is a chronic form of bipolar disorder in which a person experiences chronic fluctuating moods over at least two years with periods of hypomania and depression with in between episodes of normal state.
4. Dysthymic Disorder – The symptoms are similar to major depression but less severe as compared to it.
5. Seasonal Affective Disorder – A mood disorder that has a seasonal pattern.

Assessment:

The phq-9 is a depression module, which is used to score each of the DSM-IV criteria as 0 (not at all) to 3 (nearly every day). It has been validated for use in primary care. It is not a screening test for depression but it is used to monitor the severity of it.

The patient health questionnaire – 9 is a great tool in dealing with mental health patients.

PHQ-9 Download

The scoring table used for monitoring.

PHQ-9 Score Depression Severity Proposed Treatment Actions
0-4 None-Minimal None
5 – 9 Mild Watchful waiting; repeat PHQ-9 at follow-up
10 – 14 Moderate Treatment plan, considering counseling, follow-up and/or pharmacotherapy
15 – 19 Moderately Severe Active treatment with pharmacotherapy and/or psychotherapy
20 – 27 Severe Immediate initiation of pharmacotherapy and, if severe impairment or poor response to therapy, expedited referral to a mental health specialist for psychotherapy and/or collaborative management
 * From Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Psychiatric Annals 2002;32:509-521

How to Overcome Anxiety and Depression?

It is always advised to get professional help for mental illness. Anxiety and depression without medication can never be cured. However, along with that, by making a few changes in lifestyle one can speed up the recovery.

Following are the 10 ways to overcoming anxiety and depression.

1. Be Active

 Exercise provides one with many benefits. It is not only beneficial for heart but also helps the mind. Increase in physical activity helps in releasing hormones that improve the mood swings and help with the stress and depressive thoughts.

2. Stay with Positive People

 

 A strong support system matters the most. Anxiety and depression without medication is not treated. However, along with the medication, it is important, to have a strong support system. Surround yourself with positive people and those who bring out the best in you.

3. Get Enough Rest

 According to DSM-5 diagnosis of mental disorders parameter, anxiety and depression can be aggravated by lack of sleep. It is important to rest more and this is the simplest yet most effective way to deal with mental disorders. Staying away from noise, loud music and loud voices and ensuring to take optimum rest helps in therapy. Always try to have a good night’s sleep.

4. Get Proper Vitamins

 Vitamin B is important for good emotional health. Its deficiency has been reported to trigger depression. One needs to get enough of it – either through supplements or foods such as fruits and vegetables.

5. Get out More

 It is not advised to confine own self to a room or stay in isolation. Joining a support group helps as well. Get out more and try to talk to like minded people especially those who can have a positive impact on you.

6. Let the Sun Shine on You

 Exposing yourself to sunshine is important. Sun stimulates the production of serotonin, the mood stabilizing hormone. Have a walk outdoors or eat your lunch in the garden.

7. Meditate

 Those even with mild symptoms proven by taking anxiety and depression online test are advised to invest in meditation. That is how important it is. One of the most trusted options for overcoming mental health issues is meditation – be it in the form of yoga, stretching, or just sitting silent, relaxed and stress free.

8. Volunteer

 Volunteering in any charity project or similar activities actually helps a lot. It is always said that when you do something to help the less fortunate it gives you a form of caregivers high. This comes from the production on endorphins. In return, you feel better.

9. Get a Pet

 Pets are great friends and the best stress releasing activity. Researches support that people with pets have low chances of getting affected by mental health issues.

10. Get Therapy

 Consulting a psychologist is strictly advised. It is important to have someone who can listen to you. It is even better when the listener is a professional who has specialized in this. Therapy is of many kinds. Cognitive behavior therapy is the most practiced one and has helped many people.

Conclusion

Treating mental health issues and overcoming anxiety and depression requires multidimensional approach. A team of professionals to help along with self ensured lifestyle changes is the best way to deal with it. Anxiety and depression without medication cannot be treated, however, along with that, a little alteration in routine, habits and lifestyle can make the journey towards recover easier and faster. Types of anxiety and depression are many. However with proper approach, they can be treated.

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