Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, apprehension, and/or dread about a real or imagined future event. It is tied to a sense that these unpleasant events are at least partially unpredictable and uncontrollable, and therefore accompanied by an uncomfortable level of uncertainty.
Shyness is a feeling of timidity, apprehension, or discomfort in at least some social situations. This term is often used to describe a personality disposition or temporary event, and less frequently in reference to a mental health concern.
Social anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, dread, or apprehension about social interaction and presentation. Frequently, the primary concern fueling social anxiety is a concern that one will be (or is being) judged negatively by other people, regardless of whether this is actually the case. The experience of occasional, mild social anxiety is quite common, as is the experience of anxiety in general. Social anxiety can range from a relatively benign, infrequent level of severity to being a major hindrance in everyday life. It can lead to loneliness and depression.
Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia are mental health diagnoses used to describe a level of social anxiety that is so distressing, excessive, and/or pervasive that it is significantly interfering with an individual’s quality of life. The feared or avoided situations in Social Phobia can be very narrow and specific, or may extend to the majority of one’s interactions with others.
Selective mutism is similar to what happens when someone does not respond verbally during a conversation. Others waiting for a response may become uncomfortable and not know what to do. When someone does not respond there is a “storm” of sorts going on inside their heads making it impossible to respond. The young man in this video explains what it is like to experiences selective mutism. Selective Mutism (personal account)
Why is it important to pay attention to your anxiety? Anxiety is not only uncomfortable it is exhausting! It can manifest (look and feel like) as resistance, low motivation or other behaviors that can prevent you from fully living your life. Without realizing it anxiety can reshape our lives and determine our futures. Anxiety can wreck relationships because left unchecked the rationalizations and behaviors that it generates can become so problematic, we actually drive the people we want close to us, further away. Detecting anxiety, recognizing its affects on our thoughts and behaviors can transform one’s life. Treating anxiety disorders often require regular therapy and sometimes medication to interrupt the cycle.
Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or more. Children may have different symptoms than adults.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Low mood or irritable mood most of the time
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- A big change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slow or fast movements
- Lack of activity and avoiding usual activities
- Changes in schoolwork
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Repeated thoughts of death or suicide
- Lack of pleasure in activities you usually enjoy, including sex
Bipolar disorder is a type of depression. It is often referred to as a mood disorder that occurs when depression alternates with mania (a state of heightened energy and optimism). Depression is the dominant symptom. Most people with a mood disorder do not fit the popular stereotypes. Like all other conditions there is a continuum that extends from severe to mild.
Why is it important to pay attention to your depression?
Depression can have damaging affects on our brains. The more often we are depressed the more susceptible we are to depression in the future. Do not wait to get appropriate medical and psychological help. Depression causes negative and pessimistic thoughts about ourselves, others and life in general. Pessimistic thoughts keep us from enjoying our lives and cope with every day stressors.