Unfortunately, DEPRESSION and ANXIETY are very common. There are many people who are suffering from feeling sad for a lot of their life. There are many reasons. Some people have grown up in very difficult circumstances, might have suffered either physical or mental abuse as children. Sometimes the wounds that they suffered in childhood continue to haunt and discolor their life experiences throughout their adulthood.
Some individuals may be going through too many challenging life events too fast. Whether its losing your job, a divorce, death of a loved or a major illness, all of these types of events can challenge even the strongest and most resilient of us. Some people feel particularly upset and alone at the Holiday season, or during special times such as family birthdays or anniversaries.
So how do you know if you are depressed and or anxious?
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE IN DEPRESSION
WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE IN ANXIETY
People will have trouble sleeping, usually they cant fall asleep, and when they wake up they feel that they are not rested, no matter how long theyve actually been in bed. Thats the usual scenario. Some people actually sleep too much, and would prefer not to get out of bed at all.
LACK OF INTEREST
Depression Radio Interview 1 Depression Radio Interview 2 Depression Radio Interview 3 Depression Radio Interview 4
People lose interest in the activities, hobbies and friends that they enjoyed before. They just stop experiencing the colour and variety of life.
People feel too guilty, like everythings their fault. They keep replaying the same negative encounters, the same bad videos, over and over again in their own mind. They are always trying to second-guess themselves. If only I had done this, if only I had done thatthen things wouldnt be so bad. This guilt can be very consuming.
People will feel constantly tired, fatigued, listless. They just dont have the get-up-and-go that they used to; they feel down and just want to be left alone.
People feel that they cannot concentrate, that they cannot focus, on the task at hand. They might be reading, for example, and find that theyve reached the end of the page, but have understood little of whats written. They find it difficult to come up with words, forget names too easily, and find themselves wondering what they were just in the middle of doing.
Most depressed people lose their appetite. They dont feel like eating; they have to force themselves to have nutrition. Foods that they like before and enjoyed, that they found tasty, have just lost their appeal.
Along with feeling down and depressed, people will also alternate with feelings of anxiety, nervousness. They are excessively worried about what will happen tomorrow, how things will play out, will they be able to get through their circumstances all right. They can get frequently upset, agitated, angry. Sometimes that anger may be directed at others, at the outside world; but it can frequently be directed at oneself.
The worst case scenario is when a patient feels that life has become too much, that its just not worth living, that they actually attempt to end it. This scenario is, of course, a medical emergency.
DEPRESSION and ANXIETY QUIZ
To Give you a firmer idea of DEPRESSION and ANXIETY, I have developed a self-rating scale. As you fill out the questions, it will help you to score yourself to learn if you depressed and anxious at the Mild, Moderate, or Severe levels.
The questions are answered on a scale, a self-rating, of 0 to 5. Consider this sample statement: I take good care of my health. If you feel that this applies to you completely, choose 5/always.
If you feel that this does not apply to you at all, choose 0/zero. For those in the middle, choose 1, 2, 3 or 4, again depending on which side of this question you see yourself.
Now for the scale itself:
I have trouble sleeping.
I wake up in the early morning.
I feel tired even after sleeping.
My appetite is down. I have lost interest in things--my hobbies, even sex. I have lost my ability to enjoy myself.
I dwell on my past mistakes and feel guilty.
I am restless and agitated.
I think things are my fault. I have little energy and get tired easily.
I can't handle the stress in my life.
I am quiet and silent.
I have trouble concentrating and thinking clearly.
I feel unhealthy and sick.
I have constant aches and pains.
I feel sad and hopeless.
I feel scared and anxious.
I cry easily.
I feel my life is useless.
I think about suicide.
The score rating is as follows:
0 to 40 means you are NOT depressed or anxious
40 to 60 means MILD Depression and/or Anxiety.
60 to 80 means MODERATE Depression and/or Anxiety.
80 to 100 means SEVERE Depression and/or Anxiety.
More than 90 is considered a Medical EMERGENCY.
Dealing with DEPRESSION and ANXIETY is an involved process. It usually involves a good mixture of TALK THERAPY and/or DRUG THERAPY. Its important to discuss with a doctor what combination is best for you.
While medications can certainly help, they are NOT meant to replace a supportive environment and a good therapeutic rapport with your doctor. The medications can particularly help people get over rough spots, as they help to rebalance BRAIN CHEMISTRY. But talking with a professional, caring, live human being is irreplaceable.
What is also notable is that, unfortunately, too many people allow themselves to live in a depressed or anxious state for a long time, sometime for years, sometimes for their whole lives. They dont realize that help is available or dont access it. But a caring health professional can help a great deal.
EXPERIENCE THE FULL COLOUR AND VARIETY OF LIVE. DONT LET DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY ROB YOU OF YOUR HAPPINESS.
Dr. Shafiq Qaadri is a Toronto family physician and Continuing Medical Education lecturer. www.doctorQ.ca