Did you know that at least 40 million people in the United States older than the age of 18 struggle with mental illness?
This is a staggering statistic and one that should increase awareness about the reality of many peoples’ struggles. It should also encourage those who are experiencing mental health issues to find help, knowing that they’re not alone.
Mental health counseling from a professional center is one way to get help for depression and anxiety.
The Reality Of Mental Health In The United States
Gone are the days where mental health issues are a taboo topic. People struggling with anxiety and depression are encouraged to open up about their challenges rather than shy away with shame.
The more that people have started to be honest about their struggles, the more that society has come to realize just how common issues such as anxiety and depression are in the United States.
There’s no need to face these challenges alone when you have a community of people who understand your position – and know how to help. Despite the fact that anxiety disorders are treatable, only 36.9% of those suffering pursue treatment.
Neglecting an anxiety disorder increases an individual’s likelihood of visiting a doctor by three to five times. In addition, they are six times more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder.
It’s quite usual for those suffering from anxiety to also experience cases of depression, with approximately 50% of those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder also being diagnosed with depression (and vice versa).
The Science Behind Depression And Anxiety
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed when struggling with depression and anxiety. It’s important to understand that a mental health illness can be treated.
Many of the symptoms of depression and anxiety overlap but understanding the differences between the two can help you cope.
Life is full of ups and downs. It is completely normal to experience days where you are overwhelmed or sad. However, when these negative emotions continue for days on end, then you may be experiencing a symptom of depression.
Other symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue and constant exhaustion
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Changes in sleeping patterns – either struggling to sleep or oversleeping
- Anger, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide (and perhaps even suicide attempts)
Although also debilitating, anxiety differs slightly from depression in the sense that it leads to irrational thoughts and fears. Bouts of anxiety can be experienced in various instances in life, but chronic anxiety can be crippling.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Regular feelings of fatigue
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Tense muscles and grinding teeth
- Racing heart
- Sleeping difficulties
- Restlessness and irritability
- Dread and panic
How To Get Help For Depression And Anxiety
There are several ways to help manage depression and anxiety. These begin by making small, personal adjustments in your life, to seeking professional help.
There are certain behaviors that you can implement in your life to help cope with anxiety and depression. First, it’s important to note that depression and anxiety are medical conditions and are not a result of weakness or fault. Once you begin to practice compassion with yourself, then you’ve already taken the first step.
Other practices involve focusing on the activities that you can do for yourself, such as make the bed every morning. Accomplishing these small acts will make you feel accomplished. From here, you can develop healthy routines, introducing an element of structure and a sense of control.
Eat healthy, nutritious meals, and make an effort to exercise as much as you can. Even if it a walk around the block. You can also surround yourself with positive activities, doing things that you enjoy. Whether it’s getting your nails done or listening to your favorite song.
Connect With Positive Community
Spending time with loved ones who have a positive impact on your mentality can be a big help in coping with mental health struggles.
Whether you meet up with a friend for a coffee, go for a walk with your sibling, or join a volunteer group that helps you find a sense of meaning.
Get Professional Help
Implementing small changes in your life is a great place to start. Seeking professional help is another effective way of taking charge of your life. Professionals who are educated in the science of anxiety and depression are able to offer the best treatment practices that have a lasting impact on an individual’s life.
Although self-help steps can introduce moments of positivity, depression, and anxiety can continue to be a powerful presence in your life. In this instance, additional help can be an effective tool of strength.
Fifth Street Counseling Center
At Fifth Street Counseling Center, we understand how crippling mental health struggles can be, as well as how professional help can make a difference. We’ve been serving Broward County since 1991 and have continued to offer our services despite COVID-19’s restrictions.
Our video counseling services have offered support during a time of social distancing. Call us at (954) 797-5222 to find out more.