Now, more than ever, it is important to understand how these issues differ and what the symptoms are. With the COVID-19 pandemic upending daily life, many are feeling a lack of control over what is happening around them. There is a constant worry of contracting the virus; fear and anxiety about isolation and quarantine rules; and distress over lost jobs. With all of these concerns, how people react and process their emotions will have an impact on whether they experience anxiety, depression or stress.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear or apprehension of what is to come. It is a normal response to life and is something that comes and goes over time. In the case of an anxiety disorder, these feelings may be intense and debilitating and will prevent you from doing things you enjoy.
Every individual will experience anxiety in their own way. The feelings can range from butterflies in the stomach to a racing heart. There may be a feeling of being out of control as if there was a disconnect between the mind and the body. Panic attacks, painful thoughts and nightmares are also common occurrences with anxiety.
Once diagnosed with anxiety, a proper treatment plan can be developed. For many people with anxiety, medical assistance is not needed. Simple lifestyle changes can help cope with the symptoms. For more severe situations, medication and psychotherapy may be prescribed.
Depression goes beyond occasionally feeling down. It is a mood disorder in which individuals experience feelings of sadness, loss or anger that interfere with daily activities. The symptoms of depression can not only affect someone mentally but physically as well. These symptoms also last for long periods of time.
Common symptoms of depression include:
Managing symptoms of depression can be done with a stand alone treatment or a combination. If medication is prescribed, the most commonly used are antidepressants, anti-anxiety and ketamine. In addition to medication, psychotherapy and alternative therapies are frequently utilized. Living with depression can be difficult, but it is important to stick to a treatment plan to help improve quality of life.
Stress is your body’s reaction to harmful situations. Whether is it a real threat or one that is perceived. Stress unfortunately affects many people and can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. Symptoms of stress include headaches, high blood pressure, chest pains, heart palpitations and loss of sleep to name a few. For most, stress will dissipate when the aggravating stressor is removed. If it does not go away, this may be an indication of an underlying medical condition or could eventually develop in to an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety, depression and stress are normal emotional reactions that everyone experiences throughout life. If you think what you are experiences goes beyond this, do not hesitate to contact a healthcare provider. Your recovery will begin with an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment.
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