Anxiety and depression are familiar conditions to us but are also among the most serious illnesses in the world.
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There are times when we feel anxious and moody. So what? We all go through the same things from time to time, don’t we? Anxiety and depression are normal parts of life. Who has not studied for an exam without having test anxiety, and then scored much higher for it? Anxiety can keep us alert. Depression, on the other hand, can slow us down, giving us time to reflect and recollect ourselves. In other words, anxiety and depression express moods that are familiar to everybody.
But, when anxiety and depression seem to come from nowhere, last for weeks without relief, and get in the way of everyday activities, then we are not talking about ordinary moods anymore; they are now illnesses. Anxiety and depressions are one of the most common mental illnesses in the world today.
People with an anxiety disorder may have several physical symptoms, like trembling, sweating, muscle aches, nausea, fatigue, palpitation, dry mouth, and cold and clammy hands. Emotionally, they are apprehensive and irritable; they have the feeling of impending doom, and they are self-conscious- feeling like being watched and criticized, etc. Obviously, people with anxiety disorder are often left immobilized. Anxiety keeps them house-bound, away from people, not able to do normal and simple for fear of this or that. People experiencing anxiety symptoms should know that it is a common disorder and is very durable.
The anxiety symptoms that you may experience include:
- Increased sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Nausea or stomach discomfort
- Feeling of light-headedness
- A feeling of unreality
- A feeling of being detached from oneself
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying
- A feeling of impending doom
Depression, on the other hand, is a serious medical condition that affects the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, one’s self-concept, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not an indication of personal weakness or a state that can be willed or wished away. A person with the depressive disorder usually can’t pull themselves together and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks to years. The treatment involves medications and/or temporary psychotherapy, which can be more helpful for depression sufferers. The symptoms of depression may include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- Guilty feelings, worthlessness, helplessness
- Decreased energy, fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Trouble sleeping or oversleeping, early morning awakening
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Restlessness and irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment.
Anxiety and depression are two different conditions, but they are the same in the sense of the intensity of how serious these conditions can be. They are among the most common and most treatable mental illnesses in the world.