Depression and anxiety are normal emotions that most people will experience. Anxiety and depression may be caused by a death, a trauma, or an unexpected change. It is important to identify when the symptoms of depression or anxiety are present and why.
Just as there are healthy forms of depression and anxiety, there are also unhealthy forms. When the anxiety or depression lasts for many months to many years, is debilitating or affects one’s day-to-day routine it is time to seek help. In some cases healthy anxiety or depression can evolve into unhealthy caused from an inability to cope or lack of treatment. In other cases unhealthy anxiety or depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the patient’s brain which would need to be assessed and treated by a physician.
Some individual’s may have a mild chemical imbalance that allows them to continue life happy and comfortably; however, these individuals are at a much higher risk of experiencing a major depressive episode over something that may not be considered truly traumatic or serious.
According to a 2012 article written in the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,
“Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. When these feelings last for a short period of time, it may be a case of the blues. But when such feelings last for more than two weeks and when the feelings interfere with daily activities such as taking care of family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, it’s likely a major depressive episode.”
In most cases, healthy depression or anxiety can be treated simply by talking out the emotions with friends, family or a counselor. Other helpful ways to cope include exercising because it releases endorphin’s which are the body’s natural way of feeling good. Not putting any pressure on the situation to improve, but rather taking it day-by-day is also very important.
Concerning unhealthy depression or anxiety, this can spiral into a dangerous situation quickly. It is not unusual for individuals who experience debilitating anxiety or depression to feel lost, hopeless, unsure of his or her purpose in life, and suicidal. Irrational thoughts and behaviors are very present at this stage of depression or anxiety, which is why seeking help is crucial.
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Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2012). Depression. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression