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Depression

What is it?

Depression is a mood disorder with symptoms lasting at least two weeks.  Symptoms can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. You may feel

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism

  • Irritability

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

  • Decreased energy or fatigue

  • Moving or talking more slowly

  • Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

  • Appetite and/or weight changes

  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Depression is one of the most common disorders in the U.S and can be a result of various factors (biological, genetic, environmental, or psychological). While it can occur any any age, it often happens in adulthood. It can occur with other illnesses (diabetes or heart disease for example). Risk factors can include

  • Personal for family history of depression

  • Major life changes, trauma, or stress

  • Certain physical illnesses and medication

 

Depression

You are not alone

264

More than 264 million people suffer from depression

16.2

16.2 million adults have at least one depressive episode in a given year.

1 of 5

1 out of 5 adults experience mental illness

 
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Anxiety

What is it?

According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes such as increased blood pressure. 

Anxiety can present itself in different ways. People can experience Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Phobia-related disorders. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder display excessive worry most days for at least 6 months. they may: 

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge

  • Being easily fatigued

  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank

  • Being irritable

  • Having muscle tension

  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry

  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

People with Panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. During a panic attack, people can experience:

  • Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heartrate

  • Sweating

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking

  • Feelings of impending doom

  • Feelings of being out of control

Some examples of phobia related disorders are specific phobias, social anxiety, agoraphobia, and separation anxiety disorder. 

 

Anxiety Disorders

are the most common mental illness

40

Anxiety affects 40 million adults age 18 or older

36.9%

Only 36.9% of people suffering receive treatment

One-third

One-third of affected adults experience symptoms in childhood

 
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Self Care

What it is and how it helps

Self care is taking time to take care of "us". It means taking time to take care of our minds, body, and spirit. It has been proven to help address anxiety and depression as well as help sleep, reduce stress, improve energy and increase happiness. 


 Self care includes activities that reduce stress and promote our well being. Self care can be anything you enjoy- reading a book, playing video games, taking a walk, listening to music, making art, doing yoga, or watching tv. The important part is that you schedule time to take care of yourself in a way that works for you. “Self-care is anything that you do for yourself that feels nourishing,” says Marni Amsellem, PhD, a licensed psychologist based in Trumbull, Connecticut. 



 

Small Ways to Practice Self-Care in Difficult Times

Headspace has a great video on self care. The description they wrote says: Practicing self-care and self-love. In these difficult times, maintaining our habits can feel indulgent, all but impossible, but showing up for yourself is that much more important. Try to eat healthy, get some sleep, and find a little joy in the circumstances. Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. These short animations are filled with advice to help you process difficult emotions and support mental health through these challenging times.

 
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Gratitude

Gratitude can increase long term happiness by 10 percent and decrease depression by more than 30 percent. Gratitude can improve physical health for less aches and pains. It can improve your sleep. And it can even improve your relationships.


In my own life, gratitude has taken the form of gratitude journals and positivity. I take time everyday to write down things that I am thankful for while trying to be detailed in my thoughts. These things can be something as simple as being thankful for the cup of coffee I had that morning or as big as event with my kids. 

To start your own gratitude journal start by picking a journal and choose a method. It doesn't have to be written down-you can even do it visually.  Start with the benefits and start small. But, get specific. 

 

The Science of Grattitude

Tremendousness describe the video on he Science of Gratitude as: Research shows that an “attitude of gratitude” can measurably improve your overall well-being. Finding little ways to express your appreciation and be more thankful can... well, watch the video to find out!

 
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Positivity

Another tool that can help is positive thinking and positive self talk. It may affect your outlook, attitude towards yourself, and may even affect your health. Some studies show that optimism and pessimism can affect your health and well being. It is a key part of stress management. 

This doesn't mean to ignore the bad. This just means to change the way you approach it. It means, next time you address it in a more positive and productive way. This may start with self talk, or the unspoken thoughts that run through your head. 

To focus on positive thinking: identify areas to change, check yourself, be open to humor, and follow a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, surround yourself with positive people and practice positive self talk. 

This can have some great health benefits: 

  • Increased life span

  • Lower rates of depression

  • Lower levels of distress

  • Greater resistance to the common cold

  • Better psychological and physical well-being

  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease

  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

To learn more from the Mayo Clinics article click read more. 

 

Positive Self-Talk

A great video from Psych Hub discusses positive self talk. They describe the video: What is positive self-talk? Our internal dialogues, or “self-talk,” can shape our beliefs and influence our emotions and behavior, and provides assurance and motivation. Positive self-talk is a healthy way to cope with anxiety.

 

Take Action

Now it's time to take action.  What things do you enjoy? How does self-care present itself in your life? When you come in for your next massage, make sure you share with me. I'd love to learn from you!