Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Real Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

I recently received an email from someone asking how they know for sure that they are suffering from depression and/or anxiety. I sent him some informative links and offered to answer any questions he may have.

After I read through the clinical symptoms of depression and anxiety, I thought that maybe it would help others if I offered my own insight on these symptoms as well as listing the clinical depression symptoms. Clinical symptoms are very straight to the point, while the person who is going through it may have a completely different way of describing it.

Depression Symptoms

First I want to acknowledge that we all go through rough times. We all have sad feelings once in a while especially after something traumatic has happened like the end of a relationship or a death in the family. It's completely normal to feel sad for a while -- even a few weeks at a time. That may be a depressive episode, but that doesn't mean that you are suffering from severe depression. That's just a part of life. Severe depression doesn't go away, it's always there in the darkness of your mind.

My Personal Experience
I've felt depression for pretty much as long as I can remember. I was bullied a lot as a child, so I always felt like I wasn't good enough. I was too fat. I wasn't pretty enough. No one would want me. No one could love me. I'm worthless. As I got older, these feelings never subsided. I had my good days where I laughed and felt happiness, but there were more bad days than good days.

I always felt like I wasn't good enough. I cried often for no apparent reason. There were times when I just couldn't stop crying almost to the point of feeling like I couldn't breathe. I wasn't happy. I had the life I wanted of a marriage and beautiful babies, but I still wasn't happy. I still felt like I hated life and that I wasn't worth anything. The only thing that kept me going were my kids. I had to be strong for them. I had to take care of them. Some days though, all I could do was sit and cry.

Once I got help and put on an anti-depressant, my whole world changed for the better. You can read about that here.

Clinical Symptoms of Depression

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness
  • Anxiety, agitation
  • Problems with sleep (insomnia or sleeping too much)
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
  • Lack of energy, fatigue
  • Slowed thinking
  • Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • Unexplained physical pain

For people suffering from depression, these symptoms are severe enough to cause interruptions in daily activities, and you can't simply "snap out of it".

If you are suffering from depression and have real thoughts about suicide or injuring yourself, don't suffer in silence! Get help before it's too late. SUICIDE PREVENTION LINE: 800-273-TALK. There is help!!

Symptoms of Anxiety

MyPersonal Experience
 Let me say first that I don't suffer from severe anxiety -- meaning, I know that some people have it way worse than I do. I have social anxiety which causes me to be anti-social. I become very nervous and sometimes agitated around people I don't know. I'm extremely shy and quiet, feeling like I don't know what to say or do, or that I am going to say something stupid and embarrass myself. I make up excuses to get out of going to something when I know there were be a lot of people I don't know. I am much happier staying home in my own little protective bubble.

I have anxiety attacks induced by my ex-husband. Maybe it's PTSD, I'm not sure, but this has caused me to block him from contacting me. I began noticing that whenever he would text me in an attempt to threaten me or manipulate me, I would go into panic mode. I would feel super nervous and "antsy". I would shake. I couldn't concentrate on anything. Even after ending the conversation, it would take a while for my body to calm down and get back to normal.

Clinical Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Having a feeling of impending doom on a regular basis
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trembling
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Increased heartrate
  • Feeling nervous or tense
  • Hyperventilating
  • Excessively worrying about upcoming activities or events
  • Avoiding things that trigger these feelings

Talk do a doctor if these problems are interfering with your life and/or you feel like you are unable to control these symptoms. Together, the two of you can hopefully come up with a plan to make your life more enjoyable and less stressful.

I can say from my own personal experience that asking for help was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was trudging through my life hating everything. I hated myself and I hated my life. It was once I got help that I had the ability to feel happiness and contentment. Don't get me wrong, it's still a struggle and I have my bad days, but life is so much better.

Once you are able to understand your depression and/or anxiety, you can learn how to deal with the symptoms and begin to find things that will help lessen the symptoms. Sometimes simple activities such as writing your thoughts down or listening to music can change your mood for the better. You can learn what your triggers are and try to stop them before things get out of control. If need be, you can try medication to help level out your moods and control your symptoms.

Don't make the mistake of trying to be the tough guy who doesn't need help from anyone. Not only are you hurting yourself, you are hurting others who care about you.

Share this with others who may find this information helpful. We should not be afraid to talk about mental health problems like depression and anxiety anymore. It is a legitimate problem that many people are suffering from, but too afraid to talk about or admit.

**clinical symptoms of depression and anxiety via
Depression Free, Naturally (book)


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