Anxiety and Depression
By Cristy Werremeyer, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor, Hamilton Center, Inc.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Other people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychological counseling or both. Depression often begins in the teens, 20s or 30s, but it can happen at any age. More women are diagnosed with depression than are men, but this may be due in part because women are more likely to seek treatment.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older. It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one half diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety.
Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life. Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.
Anxiety disorders may be caused by environmental factors, medical factors, genetics, brain chemistry, substance abuse, or a combination of these. It is most commonly triggered by the stress in our lives. It is possible that we make ourselves anxious with “negative self-talk” – a habit of always telling ourselves the worst will happen.
Ways to reduce your risk and methods to control or lessen symptoms of anxiety include reducing caffeine, tea, cola, and chocolate consumption; checking with a doctor or pharmacist before using over-the-counter or herbal remedies to see if they contain chemicals that may contribute to anxiety; exercising regularly; eating healthy foods; keeping a regular sleep pattern; seeking counseling and support after a traumatic or disturbing experience; and avoiding alcohol, cannabis.
Anxiety and depression are both treatable mental health conditions and Hamilton Center can provide this treatment. For questions or to schedule an appointment please call Hamilton Center at 1-800-742-0787 or visit our website at www.hamiltoncenter.com