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Mental Health

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States, with over 40 million adults affected. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a great resource to learn more about anxiety disorders, their symptoms, and how to go about receiving treatment.

Anxiety Symptoms from NAMI

  • Emotional Symptoms
    • Feelings of dread
    • Feeling tense or jumpy
    • Restlessness or irritability
    • Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
  • Physical Symptoms
    • Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
    • Sweating, tremors, and twitches
    • Headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
    • Upset stomach, frequent urination, or diarrhea

Types of Anxiety Disorders from NAMI

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder produces chronic, exaggerated worrying about everyday life.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder causes intense fear about social interaction, often driven by irrational worries about humiliation.
  • Panic Disorder: This is characterized by panic attacks and sudden feelings of terror sometimes striking repeatedly and without warning.
  • Phobias can cause someone to have powerful reactions of strong fear to certain places, events, or objects.

Causes of Anxiety from NAMI

  • Genetics
  • Environment

Treatment for Anxiety

If you are suffering from anxiety, speak to a mental health professional. They will be able to diagnosis and direct you toward the best recovery strategy.

Depression

Depression is a common and serious mental health disorder. It can affect how you feel, think, and handle activities. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) has provided a guide that covers the symptoms of depression, the risk factors, and even some treatments.

Symptoms of Depression by the NIH

If you have been suffering from some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Feeling restless
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not ease with treatment

Risk Factors of Depression by the NIH

  • Personal or family history of depression
  • Major life changes, trauma, or stress
  • Certain physical illnesses and medication

Treatment of Depression

If you feel that you are suffering from depression, speak to a mental health professional. They will be able to diagnose and direct you toward the best recovery strategy.

Stress Management

Stress and Your Body

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. Small amounts of stress can be motivating, but large amounts can push you beyond your ability to cope. WebMD and the Mayo Clinic provide some great ways to help you manage stress in your life. Some ways to help manage stress are:

  • Exercise
  • Keeping a healthy diet
  • Sleep
  • Relaxation techniques such as:
    • Yoga
    • Meditation
    • Deep Breathing
    • Spending time with friends
    • Be mindful of your behavior by avoiding stressful situations and finding ways to relax
  • Aromatherapy

Learning to Relax

It’s important to find time for yourself. Making time to relax helps to keep your mind and body healthy. Here are some ways to relax given to us by Healthline:

  • Write down your thoughts about your day
  • Make a list about what you’re grateful for
  • Visualize your calm place
  • Connect to nature

Benefits of relaxing from WebMD:

  • Thinking more clearly and making better decisions
  • Power to resist future stressors
  • More positive outlook on life
  • A healthier body, more relaxed muscles, and reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of health issues, such as heart attacks

Risks of Not Relaxing Enough

  • Headaches and pain throughout body
  • Sleep problems
  • Forgetfulness and confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Appetite change
  • Social isolation
  • Increased use of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol
  • Crying spells and feelings of depression
  • Loss of interest in appearance
  • Increased irritability
  • Poor performance at work or in school

Mental Health Resources