Is it just us or does daily life feel more like surviving than thriving lately? We’re battling load-shedding, hiking food prices, and don’t even get us started on the cost of petrol… So, it’s no surprise that more and more of us are battling with our mental health – whether that means diving into a deep depression or having more negative thoughts than usual.
Depression and anxiety are the most common consequences of (or responses to) the chaos around us right now. But what are the symptoms of these and how can we tackle them in an effective, manageable way?
Depression vs Anxiety
It’s good to know the difference between depression and anxiety because they may have similar ‘feelings’, but can be quite different in terms of what causes them, their symptoms, and choosing treatment that works.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that lasts for more than two weeks and is felt for most of the day, almost every day. This mood disorder isn’t caused by medical conditions (such as the dismal feelings associated with an underactive or overactive thyroid, for example).
People that suffer from depression have often experienced major trauma or loss, whether recently or in their childhood.
Symptoms and Signs of Depression
No two people are the same, which means that we all experience stress, sadness, and mood disorders in different ways. But, some of the most common signs of depression include:
- No longer enjoying or even being interested in things that used to engage you or make you happy.
- Fatigue or a loss of physical energy. Some people describe it as living in a constant fog or haze.
- Changes in appetite (eating more or less than usual).
- Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping more or less than usual).
- Inability to focus or even to sift through your thoughts.
- A feeling of sadness and hopelessness.
- Repeated thoughts of death or killing yourself.
- Feelings of guilt.
- Irritability and anger.
- Chronic anxiety.
- Memory problems.
- Headaches or other unexplained pain.
What is Anxiety?
Unlike depression, a bit of anxiety is actually good for us. It keeps us alert to dangers and helps to motivate us to get things done. But anxiety can soon become unhealthy and overwhelming. It is defined as the distress or unease normally felt before a big or important event. But, when it becomes unhealthy, this distress and dread becomes the new norm, which damages our body and mind in a number of ways.
Anxiety may be due to an accident, a personal disaster, chronic illness, a failed relationship, the loss of a loved one, or a stressful situation that isn’t resolving.
Symptoms and Signs of Anxiety
You might be suffering from an anxiety disorder if you experience these symptoms chronically (that is, not just once or twice every so often):
- Irrational fear of the unknown or obsessing over “what ifs”
- Feeling out of control
- Being tired all the time
- Disturbed sleep
- Panic or anxiety attacks
- Constantly worrying
- Feeling irritated and agitated
- Digestive problems and stomach pains
Ways to Ease Depression and Anxiety
If you’re battling anxiety or depression, it’s wise to consult with a healthcare practitioner to come up with a programme for you. Here are some more suggestions that will only benefit your body and mind, and will almost certainly ease the symptoms of your mood disorder significantly:
- Exercise – this is crucial for a healthy body, but even more important for a healthy mind. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise that increases your heart rate every day. You should exercise hard enough that you can’t sing while doing it.
- Sunshine – vitamin D acts more like a hormone than a vitamin and makes an enormous difference to your mood and optimism. Try to get a good 20 minutes of sunshine (mainly on your chest and thighs, if possible) every day.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – it might feel like a welcome relief to have a drink, but the long-term effects are depressive and damaging.
- Meditate – there are so many amazing apps that offer guided walking, sitting, and laying meditations, as well as meditations to help you sleep.
- Play with a pet – stroking a dog or cat for just a few minutes a day can significantly reduce anxiety and boost your mood and disposition.
- Laugh – make an effort to find things to laugh about. Choose a favourite funny channel on YouTube and watch a little every day, or arrange coffee with a friend that can always make you laugh. It’s important to laugh as often as possible, and it can actually trick your brain into feeling calmer and happier.
- Breathing exercises – guided or spontaneous deep breathing exercises are extremely healthy and calming. They lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
- Cold water treatments – diving into cold water or even doing ice facials can have a huge effect on your long-term feelings of anxiety and depression. This article further explains the incredible health benefits of ice.
- Cut sugar – sugar causes inflammation, which has a direct effect on depression and anxiety. Read more about this link here.
- Spend time with friends – choose friends that really love you and have your back, and then invest your time and energy into these ones. Opt to cut ties with those that drain you emotionally; at least until you’re feeling better and stronger.
- Break big jobs into smaller, more manageable ones.
- Eat nutritious meals with plenty of good fats, like avocado oil, fish oil, and butter.
In addition to lifestyle and diet, there are certain supplements that really go a long way in combatting anxiety, depression, and the symptoms of these mood disorders. These include:
- Rewind Toxin Removal System – depression and anxiety can be caused by heavy metals building up in the body. This spray is an incredibly powerful detox for people of any age, flushing harmful toxins and metals from the body.
- Attention Max – this liposomal nasal spray helps you to relax, but also to focus and concentrate better. Often, those suffering with anxiety or depression struggle to hone their thoughts and focus on tasks.
- Organamin – the combination of zinc, magnesium, calcium, and more than 70 other minerals is an excellent resource for those that need help to sleep. It also helps with stomach ulcers (often caused by stress), digestion, and inflammation.
- Various vitamins are integral to treating or easing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, vitamins D, B1, B9 and C are often used (alone or together with prescription meds) to treat anxiety and depression. Have a look at our affordable range of vitamins and minerals to stock up on crucial supplements.
To order your supplements today and begin your journey to overcoming depression or anxiety, have a look at our website, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, most importantly, don’t give up. Here’s some inspiration and encouragement for anyone battling with anxiety or depression right now:
- “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” – F Scott Fitzgerald
- “The wan who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
- “You are not your illness.” – Julian Seifter
- “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” – John Green
- “Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.” – Dodie Smith
- “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” – Amit Ray
- “You can’t be depressed if you are focusing on others. It’s impossible.” – Elizabeth Bourgeret
- “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi
- “Love your future more than your past.” – Joe Dispenza
- “Do not stumble on something behind you.” – Seneca