Everyone has anxiety from time to time, but chronic anxiety can interfere with your quality of life. While perhaps most recognized for behavioral changes, anxiety can also have serious consequences on your mental and physical health. Biofeedback focuses on often hidden indicators of prolonged or inordinate stress an anxiety by regulating Autonomic Nervous System and treating anxiety and stress caused by the ongoing activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System .
Depression is cruel and it can affect anyone. The symptoms might begin with some general worries, some guilt and very quickly can slide down a black hole where these thoughts spiral down and take over feeding depression and its severity.
1. Feeling Hopeless
Major depression is a mood disorder that affects the way you feel about life in general. Having a hopeless or helpless outlook on your life is the most common symptom of depression. Other feelings may be worthlessness, self-hate, or inappropriate guilt. Common, recurring thoughts of depression may be vocalized as, “It’s all my fault,” “I’m worthless “or “What’s the point?
2. Loss of Interest
Depression can take the pleasure or enjoyment out of the things you love. A loss of interest or withdrawal from activities that you once looked forward to — sports, hobbies, or going out with friends — is yet another telltale sign of major depression. Another area where you may lose interest is sex. Symptoms of major depression include decreased sex drive and impotence.
3. Fatigue and Sleep Problems
Part of the reason you might stop doing things you enjoy is because you feel very tired. Depression often comes with a lack of energy and an overwhelming feeling of featigue which can be among the most debilitating symptoms of depression. This could lead to excessive sleeping. Depression is also linked with insomnia as one might lead to the other and vice versa. They can also make each other worse. The lack of quality, restful sleep can also lead to anxiety.
If you’ve been feeling down and you just can’t seem to shake it off then it is not just sadness. While depression doesn’t cause anxiety, the two conditions often occur together. Symptoms of anxiety can include:
· restlessness, nervousness, or feeling tense
· dread, panic, fatigue
· rapid breathing
· feeling on edge
· increased sweating
· trembling or muscle twitching
· trouble focusing
· foggy thinking clearly
· obsessing about things you’re worried about
Depression can affect irritability. People suffering from depression may have symptoms of irritability, anger, risky behavior, and/or substance abuse. People are less likely to recognize it is depression causing these symptoms in order to seek treatment for it.
6. Appetite changes
Weight and appetite can fluctuate for people with depression. This experience may be different for each person. Some people will have an increased appetite and gain weight, while others won’t be hungry and will lose weight. One indication of whether dietary changes are related to depression is if they’re intentional or not. If they’re not, it may mean that they’re caused by depression.
7. Thinking of death
In 2013, more than 42,000 people died from suicide in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who die by suicide usually show symptoms first. Often people will talk about it or make a first attempt before succeeding in ending their life. If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
· Call 911 or your local emergency number.
· Stay with the person until help arrives.
· Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
· Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
If you have had some of the previously mentioned symptoms for more than two weeks, you might be suffering from major depression disorder. Recognizing that you’re depressed is essential to getting the right help.
Depression affects millions of people, but there are treatments available, from lifestyle changes to medications. No matter the path of treatment you choose, asking for professional help is the first step to getting back to feeling like yourself again.
Anxiety is a solvable problem, yet you might find it harder to overcome. The reason is that, while you have the ability to overcome it, anxiety “tricks” you into maintaining it rather than removing your fears and symptoms. Most people try to resist anxiety, however most of the anxiety problems come from efforts to resist or remove anxiety.
Most people mean well when they suggest to someone feeling anxious to “calm down!” or advice to “stop worrying about it!” Yet, nothing good comes out of it. If it were that simple people would “calm down” or “stop thinking” about it.
The more you fight your anxiety, the more it grows. It’s like throwing gasoline to the fire. People who struggle with persistent anxiety have tried some type of relief and when it has not worked they might think it is their fault or that there is something wrong with them for not being able to get out of it. But if it’s really true that the harder you try the worse it gets, you probably need to look at the other strategies. Here are some successful methods I use in session with clients struggling from anxiety noticing results:
1. Psycho-Education: To reduce and overcome anxiety, you must understand the symptoms. If you know that adrenaline is a result of the flight or fight system, you won't be as worried and unsure as to what's happening to your body. If you recognize your symptoms you might find it comforting to know it is anxiety that’s causing you to feel or behave a certain way. Learning how your anxiety works is the first step to healing.
2. Diaphragmatic Breathing – All of us breathe (I’d hope) yet most anxious individuals do not use their lungs in a way that is beneficial for them. Diaphragmatic breathing technique is a technique I use in session to help clients come back to a normal state, slightly reducing anxiety and its physical symptoms.
3. Biofeedback – Practicing biofeedback can be not only helpful for anxiety but also measurable for the “skeptical”client. Heart Rate Variability is very important for the entire regulation of the complete system. The autonomic Nervous System is the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic and enables humans to adapt very rapidly to the vast potential for changes that occur in their environment. As you can imagine this does wonder for he anxious body and mind.
4. Guided meditation – I work mostly with high functioning anxious individuals that suffer in silence. Most of them are accomplished in life, attended college, have great jobs, yet they deal with lingering anxiety day in and day out. My work includes guided meditations to increase self-compassion. Meditation itself is used in the sessions to create space and bring to surface negative self-talk, feelings of guilt, shame, not worthy etc…and then counteract these feelings with kindness. This approach is challenging for most yet has helped many clients to be easy on themselves, recognize thought patterns of self-destruction and see themselves in a different light.
Overall, it’s important to learn to identify your triggers and responses and find strategies that work for you. If you have difficulty managing anxiety and it impedes your ability to carry out your day to day activities therapy can help.