by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Anxiety and depression affects millions of men and women worldwide. Though we live in an age of modern medicine, about 42,000 people in the United States commit suicide each year. Why is this? If you’re struggling with depressed mood or are feeling anxious everyday, it’s important to truly understand the mental health condition you’re experiencing and what natural steps you can take to treat it.
What is Depression?
Depression is a chronic and often debilitating mental health condition characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, despondency, hopelessness, irritability, mental confusion, pain, and fatigue. Depression doesn’t just mean you feel “sad” or “blue”; it affects every aspect of your life and can make you feel powerless, helpless, and useless for long periods of time.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person and will often present differently for men than it will for women. For example, men with depression often find themselves feeling irritable, angry, frustrated, anxious, and indecisive. They may struggle with insomnia or sleep too much. Men with depression may also experience bouts of erectile dysfunction and contemplate suicide.
Women, on the other hand, will often withdraw into themselves and experience feelings of guilt, fatigue, and sadness often accompanied by insomnia or periods of sleeping too much. Women with depression often experience aches and pains and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, including sex. Appetite and weight changes are also common.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a blanket term used to describe feelings of nervousness, fear, and anticipation. These feelings are common before a major life event such as a job interview, birth or marriage, but when these feelings are a part of a person’s everyday life, it can be indicative of an anxiety disorder.