Did you know depression is a common, but severe condition? It’s also a health problem like heart disease or high blood pressure. There isn’t a single cause for depression but it does affect the way you think and feel. It can also cause long-term sadness.
When you’re depressed it’s easy to lose passion or pleasure in things. You may also have trouble with normal, daily duties. Signs and symptoms can be different for each person. Talk to your doctor if you have one or more of the symptoms listed below for more than two weeks:
- Change in sleep
- Change in eating habit
- Lack of focus
- Loss of energy
- Lack of interest to do things
- Changes in movement (less activity)
- Body aches and pains
- Suicidal thoughts
Anxiety can do much harm
Ever get nervous before a test? Worry about having to present a project at work? Being anxious about a big decision or event is normal. It’s a natural part of life. But if you have an anxiety disorder those stressful feelings do not go away. And if not treated, they can affect every part of your life.
There are distinct types of anxiety disorders that include:
- A Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): feeling great worry most days of the week for routine things. You worry about work, school, health or other common things.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: having a fear of social settings. You often feel judged by others. If you have Social Anxiety Disorder you may often try to avoid events where you might have to speak or perform.
- Panic Disorder: having intense feelings of fear that come about quickly. It can cause an increased heart rate, sweating, chest pain, and shortness of breath. You also may feel that you are about to die. A panic disorder sometimes occurs when not expected. It can also be triggered by stress or fright.
Each disorder can have its own symptoms. They can also vary from person to person. Common symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of coming danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble staying focused
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Constant worry
If you’re having trouble with depression or anxiety, know that there are many treatment options at hand. Health Net’s Managed Health Network (MHN) can help find the option that’s best for you. These choices can include medication, therapy, support groups, or a blend of all three. Getting help early is the key. Both can be harder to treat if you wait. Seek help as soon as you can if you have one or more of the symptoms above. Schedule an appointment with your:
- Health care expert
And, if you are found to have depression or anxiety, make sure you have a follow-up appointment as early as two weeks later. Standard visits and counseling are important. They can have lasting impact during the first three to six months of diagnosis.
For more information, please consider:
- 911 for emergency situations.
- Contacting MHN. Call the number on the back of your ID card for a referral to a mental health expert who can assist you.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website: www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions.