how to get rid of anxiety

What do I have Anxiety or Depression & How to Tell the Difference?

Depression and Anxiety are two different medical conditions, yet their symptoms, causes, and treatments can often overlap. People struggle sometimes to determine the difference between these two conditions. This is because many people with anxiety also develop depression and vice versa. Approximately 50% of people diagnosed with depression with also be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. However, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis in order to treat the correct conditions.

Many people with depression may experience what is known as “anxious distress” in addition to their low mood causing them to feel tense, restless, and have trouble concentrating because they worry so much. They are afraid that something bad is going to happen or that they might lose control of themselves. Below is a list of symptoms of depression:

 

Symptoms of Major Depression

·         depressed mood

·         lack of interest in enjoyable activities

·         increase or decrease in appetite

·         insomnia or hypersomnia

·         slowing of movement

·         lack of energy

·         feelings of guilt or worthlessness

·         trouble concentrating

·         suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

For a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, a person needs to have experienced five or more of these symptoms for at least two weeks. People experiencing some of these symptoms might also be diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or a depressive disorder due to another condition. They may also meet the criteria for bipolar disorder if they also experience symptoms of mania.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

·         excessive worry

·         restlessness

·         being easily fatigued

·         trouble concentrating

·         irritability

·         sleep disturbance

·         muscle tension.

people-1492052__340.jpg

If you’ve experienced these symptoms most days for more than six months, and they cause distress in your daily life, then you may receive a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. Other types of anxiety disorders include separation anxiety, panic disorder, or phobias, among others.

If you compare the two lists of symptoms, you can see that there is some overlap. Sleep problems, trouble concentrating, and fatigue are all symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Irritability may also manifest in forms of anxiety or depression (in place of low mood).

There are however, some distinguishing features. People with depression move slowly, and their reactions can seem flattened or dulled. People with anxiety tend to be more keyed up, as they struggle to manage their racing thoughts. Another distinguishing feature is the presence of fear about the future in people with anxiety. Depressed people who do not have anxiety are less likely to be fraught with worry about future events, as they are often resigned to believing that things will continue to be bad. In other words, they may predict the future based on how they feel in the moment.

It is important to remember to let a doctor or mental health professional evaluate you to see if your symptoms meet the criteria for a depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder.

 

How to Manage and Treat Anxiety?

Anxiety is defined by the dual characteristics of physiologic hyperarousal and excessive emotional fear. Biofeedback has demonstrated value for hyperarousal reduction and offers a non-pharmacological approach to direct symptom reduction tailored to the individual’s psycho-physiological profile.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is one type of biofeedback. It uses finger or earlobe with sensors to measure the functioning of the heart by diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing activates Vagal nerve, which descends from the brain in the carotid sheath all the way to you diaphragm. The vagal nerve slows your heart rate. A stress response to anything such as a difficult conversation, traffic, or studying changes your heart rate independently of the breathing-related variation to irregular changes. In contrast, when we breathe even, natural, and smooth, you get smooth heart rate waves which are associated with health and peak performance.

heartmind.jpg

breath

Self-regulation is the primary goal of Biofeedback

When a person inhales, heart rate increases. When a person exhales, heart rate decreases. This is referred to as “heart rate variability.” Higher rate variability is associated with favorable holistic health. Clients are taught smooth diaphragmatic breathing, psychological mindfulness, and adaptive responsiveness.

Biofeedback.png

One of the main advantages of using biofeedback for anxiety is managing it without medication or its side effects. It eliminate health problems that are stress- related or that have psychosomatic components. Biofeedback teaches awareness, relaxation skills and ways to manage anxiety & recognize, reduce, and control stress responses by returning the body to a healthier physiological state.

How to Deal with Anxiety and Relationship Problems

couple-1149645__340.jpg

There is a wealth of information about anxiety and how it impacts emotional, psychological, and physical health. Anxiety can cause the person to feel overwhelmed, panicked, and a general sense of unease. These symptoms can affect not only your well-being but it can take over many other areas of your life such as work, family members, friends, and your intimate relationship. Are you feeling stressed on your relationship or contemplating ending it? If so, anxiety may be playing a role on putting your relationship at risk.

 

1.     Anxiety destroys trust and connection

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, worried about your recent argument, or trying to “fix” things as soon as possible you might not have time to notice on what is happening in the now. The fear and worries can cause you to be less attuned to your needs and your partner’s needs. The inability to be present in the moment can muddle your insight and awareness on how to take care of yourself and the relationship. When we ruminate about problems in a state of chaos we feed the anxiety.

dovetail-3495224__340.jpg

Shift your focus on being instead of doing. It is difficult to listen to your thoughts & physical signs when you are not slowed down. Pause, think, and feel, instead of assuming and letting your anxious thoughts take over. Help yourself find the evidence before you jump into conclusions. Once you’re in a calmer place, you can start to share openly with your partner on what happens to you when you’re feeling worried. Be intentional about building trust and connection by reaching out to your partner: be vulnerable, help your partner understand what anxiety feels and looks like. Instead of attacking or withdrawing strive to deepen your connection with your partner.

 

2.     Anxiety fogs your brain

Asking someone to share what they are feeling in a state panic, is easier said than done. Anxious people find it extremely difficult to give themselves or partner attention or space that is needed. In the heightened state of anxiety, some might try to avoid it while others believe “fixing the problem” immediately.

Taking a short break can be beneficial for you and your relationship. Resisting your feelings can feed and intensify anxiety, therefore acknowledging them can ease some of the tension you might experience. Approach a conversation with partner with kindness, and discuss some of the thoughts or fears that drain your energy.

3. Anxiety is the enemy of self-compassion

chain-3481377__340.jpg

Because anxiety brings an overactive fear response, ruminating about it may leave you with very little time to practice self-care. Some anxiety is healthy for everyone. However, if your anxiety causes you to reject/avoid things that are beneficial for you, it can create more suffering for you and your relationship. Could it be that the anxiety is real but not true?

Quite your mind to hear your own wisdom. Anxiety rubs people of joy. Practicing being with your uncomfortable thoughts, pausing, and listening to your anxiety might be just what you need to remove those invisible chains your anxiety creates. The deepest gift we can give ourselves is the quality of non-doing presence. So…. notice your anxiety, and come back to it with a lot of kindness. Intentionally turn your attention to whatever opens your heart by looking for what you love and practice. Practice being present for yourself and your partner and then practice some more and remember- where attention goes energy flows.