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Life stressors: Depression and Anxiety


Life stressors are common in everybody’s life. There are always moments in life associated with sadness. In some cases, these cases or instances of sadness are very severe, and thus a person is diagnosed with depression. Depression is a great aspe...Read More


~Posted on Feb 2018

Life stressors: Depression and Anxiety

Life stressors are common in everybody’s life. Th...

Life stressors are common in everybody’s life. There are always moments in life associated with sadness. In some cases, these cases or instances of sadness are very severe, and thus a person is diagnosed with depression. Depression is a great aspect of mental health, and it is a very prevalent condition in the society. It is a condition that affects how individuals feelings about themselves and this is very influential of how they act.  Depression is associated with high levels of feelings of sadness which cases the loss of interests in activities that a person once enjoyed.  It results in the physical and emotional problem. These problems affect people’s functionality at work and home. Sometimes it becomes too severe that people with depression become suicidal. Some of its symptoms include sad mood, loss of energy which is also associated with fatigue, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, lack of sleep, lack of concentration, loss of appetite and sometimes suicidal thoughts. On the other hand, anxiety is associated with the feelings of worry and fear, and this is usually very strong to the point that it affects a person’s functionality. Anxiety is usually a normal thing for many people, however; sometimes it becomes too strong that it changes to a disorder. Some of the types of anxiety illnesses include fears, panic conditions, social nervousness and a generalized anxiety disorder. Depression and anxiety are tow mental conditions that relate to one another because they are mental and also affect the functionally of individuals which may affect their lives. This paper thus explores various literature to examine the different perspectives that exist about depression and anxiety.

According to Wolk et al., (2016), depression and anxiety are among the most common forms of illnesses affecting the society as far as primary care is concerned. The two are conditions that are interconnected, and this occurs whereby cases of depression are always associated with anxiety. And those diagnosed with anxiety are associated with depression. This is a factor that shows the dependency of two conditions. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to differentiate between the two conditions because they may occur together. However, there is a great need for the differentiation of two condition to ensure that there are effective diagnosis and treatment. The reason for the need for differentiation is because they are two conditions that cause a high rate of mortality and morbidity in the society.  Since they are conditions that most affect primary care, primary care practitioners are well placed in identifying, a diagnosis and treatment of the condition (Wolk et al., 2016).

In most cases associated with anxiety, patients have been found to have depression. Another fact is that more than eighty percent of people diagnosed with depression are found to have anxiety. Another fact is that both anxiety and depression disorders are associated with a substance abuse disorder. There exists a great treatment gap between rural and non-rural areas with many people with both disorders remaining untreated (Wolk et al., 2016).

Anxiety and depression are different forms one another. Anxiety is associated with having worried thoughts and constant belief that something could go wrong. It is also characterized by having feelings of apprehension of what can happen presently and in the future. Another characteristic is the need for escaping factors that could cause more anxiety. On the other hand, depression is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and sadness. It is also associated with having little beliefs in positive aspects of life (Wolk et al., 2016).

There is always a great need for the differentiation between mania, anxiety, and depression. Depression on its own is sometimes linked with many other conditions. A good example is a bipolar disorder which is an example of a depressive disorder. Bipolar is usually characterized by aspects of mania associated with bursts of energy. This is a factor that can easily be confused with anxiety because the symptoms are the same. But they are completely, and effective management of the conditions depends on the ability to differentiate between the two. Depression and anxiety have great similarities and commonalities associated with the functions of neurotransmitters in the body.  A good example is the function of serotonin whose levels in the body influences both anxiety and depression. Another neurotransmitter is as well as epinephrine have effects on depression and anxiety.  Because of the common functions of these neurotransmitters, symptoms of anxiety and depression sometimes look alike and is very difficult to differentiate from one another (Ross, Hood & Short, 2016). 

Another factor is the shared functions makes one disorder contribute to the other one. A good example is when anxiety leads to depression or vice versa. Another aspect to take into attention is that both depression and anxiety feel natural because of the functions of the neurotransmitters in the body which are part of the natural functions of the body. This is a factor that causes reduced treatment because most people feel that the depression and anxiety are natural characteristics of the body’s functions. The body quickly believes that negative emotions experienced are true and this makes it very difficult for people to accept that they have a problem that needs immediate attention (Ross, Hood & Short, 2016).

Pathways of the disorders

Anxiety disorder is usually a primary condition that offers a pathway for other disorders. It is a condition that occurs when an individual is a child or while as an adolescent. Its onset establishes a condition which then grows to be a disorder that affects the lives of individuals. In most cases, anxiety leads to depression and occur concomitant with one another. The main explanation for comorbid of the two disorders is genetic characteristics of an individual.  Another factor is associated with one disorder leading up to the other. Apart from genetic factors, there exist many hormonal factors that cause pathways for the development of both depression and anxiety. Another factor associated with the aspect of pathways for the disorders is that the first time episode for depression is usually as a result of the existence of a stress event that triggers it (Lukaviciute et al. 2017).

However, as time goes by and with the existence of several events, episodes of depression become spontaneous meaning they do not need the existence of external events to occur.  The symptomatology for both depression and anxiety is usually vague because of the lack of specific aspects. It is for this reason that comorbid depression and anxiety require careful examination of history and investigations of the conditions to ensure that there are correct diagnosis and treatment of each of the condition separately and also as a comorbid.  Another factor is associated with the use of rating scales to identify the severity of the conditions. This is a factor that ensures that both depression and anxiety receive appropriate treatments (Lukaviciute et al. 2017).

The Impacts of Comorbid, Anxiety and Depression

When handled as an individual disorder, diagnosis and treatment are easy as compared to when they are comorbid. This is because when together there is a high chance of more impairment. Concurrence which is usually a common characteristic is associated with a poor prognosis. Poor prognosis is usually as a result of inappropriate diagnosis of the conditions when they occur concurrently. The poor prognosis leads to great impacts on the functionally of an individual because of ineffective treatment.In past cases, especially during the management of the conditions, the severity of the symptoms of anxiety are usually left because they correlate with those of depression.

 Instead of offering a specific diagnosis of anxiety healthcare practitioners cater to the needs of depression and this result in the persistence of anxiety which can remain for decades without proper treatment and other forms of management. This is a factor that is also seen where many people do not go for treatments for both disorders and focus on only one and this causes an inefficient use of treatments. This makes treatment for comorbid anxiety and depression lack adequate benefits to people suffering (Lukaviciute et al. 2017).

Anxiety and depression when combined cause more severe effects on the social, physical, emotional and psychological implications on individuals. They increase the chances of suicide which is the ultimate symptom of severity. Together they offer great resistance to different forms of treatment. This is because they are more severe hence more powerful. It is for this reason that these conditions have to be isolated and treated specifically with more focus on effective diagnosis and treatment. This is because when they occur concurrently because of more problems than when in isolation from one another (Xiaohui et al., 2017).

Depression and anxiety are usually factors associated with behavior. In adolescents, there exists high-risk behavior that results in the development of depression and anxiety. Research shows that there is an associated and the relationship between risky behaviors and mental conditions. Anxiety and depression are considered conditions and factors that can be used to predict the existence of risky behaviors among adolescents. Some of these risky behaviors include engaging in activities with peers that involves smoking, drinking alcohol and high chances of use of other drugs. Other risky behaviors identified include suicidal thinking (Abasi et al., 2017).

As explained above, it is a very important factor in delineating between depression and anxiety because of the need for specializing interventions for the two. Identification of risky behaviors among adolescents can be used to predict the existence of anxiety and depression. They both have different characteristics which ought to be well understood. There exist specific clinical criteria used for the recognition of anxiety and depression. These criteria are important for distinguishing between the different disorders and also exclude the symptoms of comorbid depression and anxiety.  Despite such specific aspects of recognition, criteria used for diagnosis are not the same as the clinical presentations (Xiaohui et al., 2017).

This thus necessitates examination for more than one time. If features of anxiety are identified, then a health care practitioner needs to explore other features of the other possible conditions such as depression. This a great mechanism employed to ensure that diagnosis and treatment are thorough especially when there is a high chance comorbidity. Treatments for different conditions differ and thus require specialized examination, diagnosis, and treatment (Abasi et al., 2017).

Behavior, Depression, and Anxiety

Too many people consider medications alone are not sufficient to treat depression and anxiety.  These disorders are usually influenced by personal choices and events. This means that they can easily control through the change of various factors.  Change in behavior, though, as well as lifestyles are considered as some of the most effective ways of treating depression and anxiety.  They are associated with the identification of what triggers these disorder and finding effective mechanisms of managing them (Abasi et al., 2017).

Lakhiar, et al. (2017) explores how lifestyle changes involve aspects of healthy living and other factors. They include various steps associated with the manner in which people live. They include regular exercising, having an adequate and regular sleep, getting fresh air and having a balanced diet, finding a daily purpose and reduce substance abuse. These are all factors associated with positive developments of the social, mental and emotional well-being of individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. A good program is needed to ensure that a person adheres to a healthy lifestyle. Joining the gym and socializing allows an individual to stay connected with the world which is important in staying fit, eating healthy and developing positive relationships that ensure that an individual grows physically, socially and emotionally (Bhujade, 2017).

Poor health results in health deterioration that causes more stress. Having limited and irregular sleep causes a lot of irritability which causes anxiety and ultimately depression. Lifestyle changes are paramount in ensuring that individuals, change form behaviors that trigger depression and anxiety. It reduces time spent on engaging in risky behavior and allows an individual to engage in more productive activities that make the healthy, social and emotionally fit. Depression and anxiety make an individual inert. It is for this reason that lifestyle changes are important to ensure that an individual remains active (Lakhiar, et al. 2017).

Conclusion

Depression and anxiety are, therefore, disorders that are very prevalent in society. They are unique mental conditions. They are conditions that affect everyone and are sometimes called normal aspects of life. In most cases, people consider them as natural conditions, and it is for this reason that many people fail to get treatments. However, depression and nervousness are among the foremost reasons of deaths for adolescents and young adults. They are disorders that lead to suicides and other thoughts of death. In most cases, disorders occur as comorbid whereby they exist together as one, and this is usually a risky situation because of inefficient and ineffective diagnosis and treatment. Anxiety and depression are two different aspects of different symptoms. However, sometimes they overlap and cause misdiagnosis which causes anxiety and depression prevalent mental disorder. Another factor is that the disorders are high interrelated because one sometimes leads to the other. More than eighty percent of patients diagnosed with anxiety also have symptoms or end up developing depression. They are conditions that require effective assessment, diagnosis, and treatments. Behavior is a great factor that influences the development of anxiety and depression. Risky behaviors, especially for adolescents, are important for the prediction of anxiety and depression. Some of the important measures of reducing anxiety and depression include adopting a healthy lifestyle associated with regular exercise, eating healthy, having an adequate and regular sleep, developing positive thoughts and engaging in positive social interactions (Lakhiar et al. 2017).

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