What is Anxiety & Depression?
It is common to feel anxious in unfamiliar situations or temporarily worry about something like an assignment or an upcoming test. For someone with an generalized anxiety disorder, however, the anxious feelings do not go away; instead, they interfere with daily activities and can get worse over time. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States and affect an estimated 40 million people!
The persistence of negative feelings that impact daily functioning can also be found in people diagnosed with another mood disorder: depression. For those experiencing depression, these feelings of helpless- or hopelessness extend beyond a couple of weeks and cause fatigue, sadness or irritability and a general loss of interest in activities. Today, young adults age 18-25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people age 50 or older.
Anxiety and depression are caused by an imbalance in the brain hormone serotonin and often occur together, called “comorbidity.” Although you may think of anxiety as a higher energy state than depression, each condition impacts the other, e.g., continued anxiety can make a person feel depressed, and being depressed for a prolonged period of time can cause anxiety.
What does Anxiety feel like?
- Excessive worry
- Feeling agitated
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
- Many fears
- Isolation or avoiding social interaction
- Panic attacks
What does depression feel like?
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Losing interest in activities that were once fun or enjoyable
- Loss of sleep or trouble sleeping
- Uncontrollable emotions
- Irritability or feeling “on edge”
- Suicidal thoughts
- Changes in appetite or weight