Fear, joy, worry, and anger are just a few of the many human emotions we feel. All are normal and healthy — unless they dominate your mood and prevent you from experiencing other emotions. Two of the most common mood disorders involve depression and anxiety.
But how can you tell when your moods cross normal and concerning? At MyNP Professionals in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, Rosalyn McFarland, DNP, and Clarissa Lawrence, DNP, get this question often. That’s why we’ve put together this overview of depression and anxiety, so you can recognize the signs that it’s time to seek medical care.
Is it just stress, or is it an anxiety disorder?
Stress is a part of everyday life. Feeling anxious about a job interview or an argument with a loved one can put you on edge. But if those feelings hang on and tend to dominate your mood, you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder.
And you’re not alone. About 40 million Americans are suffering right along with you, making it the most common mental health condition in the United States. Anxiety disorders can stem from traumatic life events, genetic issues, brain chemistry imbalances, and individual personality traits.
Here’s how to spot the signs that your anxiety requires some professional help:
- Extreme nervousness
- Panic attacks (rapid breathing and heart rate, sweating, and nausea)
- Sleep problems
- A sense of doom
- Avoidance of certain social situations
- Difficulting focus on anything other than your worry
Another clue is when those who know you well mention a change in your personality and comment that you’re making too much out of your concerns.
Phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are also anxiety disorders. If any of the symptoms we’ve listed sound familiar, you may have an anxiety disorder. The good news is that these disorders are highly treatable.
The team at MyNP Professionals has extensive experience in helping patients overcome their anxiety. Treatment plans are personalized and can entail lifestyle changes, therapy, and medication.
Sadness vs. depression — How to tell the difference
Plenty is going on in our world today that can make you sad, and sometimes current events and world news can affect our moods. But personal circumstances have an even more significant impact, like broken relationships or losing a loved one. After major events like these, it’s normal to go through a period of grief.
But like anxiety, sadness should never envelop you and dominate your moods and actions. Unfortunately, more than 17 million adults and almost 2 million children suffer from depression.
Here are some signs you’re more than just sad:
- You doubt your self-worth
- You’ve lost interest in doing the things you once loved
- You’re not sleeping well
- You have little to no energy
- Your sadness is persistent and unrelenting
- You can’t smile or laugh
In extreme cases, depression can also make you feel like harming yourself. These are all signs that you should seek help for your depression.
Treatment plans are always individualized and may include one or more of the following:
- Lifestyle changes
If you’re struggling with signs of depression or anxiety, don’t ignore it or hide it. Many people deal with the same problem, and help is available. Call our Brown Deer office at 414-269-4206 or book an appointment online. consultation.