When it comes to experiencing anxiety, depression or both, you’re not alone. According to a recent mental health study by Statistics Canada, one in five Canadians have screened positive for general anxiety disorder, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. And the pandemic has only compounded the problem. 

Depression affects different people in different ways, but most people experience some combination of the following symptoms:

  • Prolonged sadness or feelings of emptiness
  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Anger and irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Burnout
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Appetite changes

Dr Gabor Mate: (YouTube) When the Body Says No (also a book)

You can learn to manage symptoms and find joy again. We’ll help you find the tools to win the battle with depression.

Anxiety and Depression

A sense of constant worry and dread, feelings of guilt and inadequacy, inability to concentrate or make decisions, and insomnia or oversleeping are all signs of anxiety and depression that shouldn’t be ignored. Read on to learn more about these two conditions, including how to recognize the signs, what you can do about them, and how to treat them effectively

What Is Anxiety?  How Does Anxiety relate to Depression?

Simply put, anxiety is a state of mind in which a person experiences an abnormally high level of worry about something. Anxiety disorders are categorized into generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and specific phobias. According to mental health experts, many individuals who experience prolonged periods of depression also have a co-occurring anxiety disorder.

The Mayo Clinic, states that although anxiety and depression are different conditions, they commonly occur together.  ”They also have similar treatments. Feeling down or having the blues now and then is normal. And everyone feels anxious from time to time — it’s a normal response to stressful situations. But severe or ongoing feelings of depression and anxiety can be a sign of an underlying mental health disorder.     

How Does Anxiety Affect The Body?

When we experience anxiety, there are physical reactions in our body that create uncomfortable sensations. It’s important to learn what some of these symptoms are so you can recognize when you might be experiencing a bout of anxiety or depression.

How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety?

 If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it can be difficult to determine whether your symptoms are due to something else, like a physical ailment. But there are some common signs of anxiety that many people experience—and they may just be caused by a disorder. Talk to your therapist or doctor if you feel like you’re experiencing any of these anxiety-related symptoms.

Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Anxiety is a common disorder that can be treated through medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. However, there is also evidence that lifestyle changes such as exercise and relaxation training (e.g., meditation) may be effective on their own or in conjunction with medications in relieving symptoms of anxiety disorders. Many people experience symptoms at some point in their lives that cause them distress but do not necessarily meet criteria for an anxiety disorder.

How to Treat Panic Disorder

If you suffer from panic disorder, anxiety attacks are likely a part of your life. This means you probably feel anxious more often than not. But just because you’re used to feeling out of control doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. One treatment for panic disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helps retrain your mind to think differently so that anxiety triggers can be avoided or managed in healthy ways.  Talk to a therapist to learn other treatments for anxiety.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression signs and symptoms vary from person to person. They can include:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness.
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Changes in appetite — reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that aren’t your responsibility
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent mention of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Dr. Gabor Mate: (YouTube) When the Body Says No (also a book)

Depression and Suicide Risk

If you’re concerned about suicide, it is important to get immediate help as soon as you notice any warning signs of suicide. The following are signs that someone may be suicidal: Threatening to hurt or kill themselves; giving away prized possessions; increased use of alcohol/drugs; appearing increasingly hopeless, irritable, angry, withdrawn; and talking or writing about death.

Alcohol and Substance Abuse in People with Mental Health Disorders

If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, you should know that these conditions can accompany other health problems such as substance abuse. Alcohol and drug use are most likely to occur in people who have a family history of addiction; they can also be used as an attempt to self-medicate.


For more information read anxiety and depression.

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