Mental Health Matters: An Article on Anxiety and Depression (By Early August) (Photography By Soulfull Visualz)

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When someone tells you that they’re depressed, usually the first question that comes to mind is “what are you depressed about?”. For some people that question has an answer, while others stand clueless because sometimes depression comes with no warning and no explanation. It’s like asking someone “What are you diabetic about?”.

Depression is like a disease that attacks your happiness. It takes such a large toll on one’s mental health that eventually it makes its way to attacking your physical health. Anxiety is one of the most common side effects to depression, and anxiety comes in many different forms such as:

  • Social Anxiety- Fear of being criticised, embarrassed, or humiliated.
  • Panic Attacks – Intense, overwhelming, or uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with physical symptoms.
  • Specific Phobias – Fear of specific objects or situations.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Difficulty relaxing, upsetting dreams,  or flashbacks.

Nearly half of those who are diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety. A lot of people are clueless about what’s going on with themselves when dealing with these disorders, so most turn to isolation which does more harm than help. Some signs to look out for are excess sleep or insomnia, weight loss or weight gain, excess hunger or loss of appetite, and any overall imbalance. Thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, mood swings, and emotional distress are also signs to look for.

Some ways to deal with depression are to:

  • Try to get 8 hours of sleep
  • Expose yourself to a little sunlight daily
  • Practice relaxation
  • Care for a pet

Overall, do more of what makes you feel good. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, there’s a 24 hour hotline for suicide prevention; which is 1(800)273-8255, or visit AFSP.org. There are also ways to seek help for depression online, with websites such as HealthLine.com and convenient phone apps such as “Happify”. Depression is definitely not something to keep quiet about, do not be afraid to speak up about it or to be an open ear to someone in need.