Depression and anxiety can impact individuals of any age.
People with depression frequently also suffer from anxiety as they tend to go hand in hand.
The causes of depression and anxiety appear to be very complex. While there may be a biochemical cause, meaning that certain chemicals—neurotransmitters—in the brain may be low, it is not clear if the low level of the neurotransmitter is the primary cause of the depression, or simply a marker for the cause of depression. In addition to biochemical causes, there are also genetic, psychological, emotional, environmental, social, and spiritual factors that can influence depression and anxiety.
Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder. It is a disabling condition that adversely affects a person’s family, friends, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health and wellbeing.
Depression is often characterized by low mood, low self-esteem, and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. Symptoms may include: Sleep disorders (too much or too little), Shifts in appetite and weight (too much or too little), irritability or anxiety, chronic physical symptoms, including body aches, headaches, fatigue and loss of energy, feelings of persistent sadness, guilt, hopelessness, or loss of self-worth, thinking difficulties, such as memory loss, challenges concentrating, or making decisions, Thoughts of death or suicide.
Women suffer from depression at approximately twice the rate of men. Only 50 percent of people actively seek conventional treatment, even though more than 80 percent of cases can find alleviation of their symptoms through treatment. Depression is serious. It causes unnecessary suffering and is a risk factor for suicide. Approximately 3.4 percent of people with major depression commit suicide, and up to 60 percent of all people who commit suicide have depression or another mood disorder.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder. Almost one out of four people experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms that create an unpleasant feeling that is typically described as uneasiness, fear, or worry. The worry is frequently accompanied by physical symptoms, especially fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, and hot flashes.
While generalized anxiety disorder is the most common, there are other anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression, Anxiety and the above disorders can and are effectively treated with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy otherwise known as CBT.