Depressed? Anxious? Help is Available – Here’s How to Find It
(AscendHealthy) – When an individual notices certain changes such as feeling hopeless, sad, or not feeling excited about the activities they once used to, they may think they’re struggling with depression. Or, in some cases, they may feel afraid, worried or a bit uneasy. This could mean they’re struggling with anxiety.
Either (or both) could be the case. While it’s normal for people to experience some “ups and downs” or feel concerned about certain things, their doctor can help them determine whether or not there’s an actual condition that is causing these feelings and provide them with a proper treatment plan that can help.
It’s not uncommon either for anxiety and depression to occur simultaneously. Anxiety can make a person depressed, and being depressed can cause a person to become anxious. Fortunately, individuals who are struggling with both conditions can seek help and treatment.
Where to Look for Help
A few areas a person struggling with moderate depression and anxiety can find help include:
Mental Health Advocacy Groups
- The Advocacy Network: These types of groups are made up thousands of people all over the nation who are taking active roles in protecting individuals all over the U.S. who are suffering from mental health issues through legislative advocacy.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI works to enhance the lives of individuals coping with mental health problems. From local city councils, to state legislatures, to the U.S. Capitol, the NAMI Alliance uses actual “lived experience” to contribute to the way the country helps individuals with mental conditions.
Many organizations, like NAMI, offer resources, education, and support groups for people struggling with mental health problems like moderate depression and anxiety.
For instance, the international nonprofit organization, Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is committed to the prevention and treatment of various mental conditions, including moderate depression and anxiety. It offers free support groups (both in-person and virtual) in the U.S., Australia, and Canada. In fact, it has an online support group dedicated to anxiety and depression with over 68,000 members.
Online Therapy Programs
Online therapy is a type of psychotherapy offered over the Internet. Individuals can receive services through avenues, such as:
- Video conferencing
- Over the phone
Over the last decade, the online therapy industry has grown substantially since it fills a real need. In fact, research shows that 70% of individuals don’t have proper access to standard, more traditional therapy in the office. But through online therapy, mental health treatment has become more accessible and affordable.
A couple options include:
Available Treatment Options for Moderate Depression and Anxiety
For those seeking treatment for moderate depression and anxiety, there’s a number of options available. Several include:
Doctors often prescribe medications to treat depression and anxiety. And, since symptoms of both can often occur together, it’s been shown through research that both respond well to serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications.
If taking an SNRI or SSRI doesn’t offer sufficient help, doctors may sometimes combine medication and psychotherapy for individuals experiencing functional limitations or severe symptoms.
There are various forms of psychotherapy that have been shown to be very effective. Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of these forms. It works by replacing unproductive and negative thought patterns with those that are more useful and realistic. Psychotherapy treatment frequently involves a person facing their fears on their road to recovery. Also effective is problem-solving therapy and interpersonal therapy.
With their doctor’s permission, some individuals may benefit by combining certain relaxation techniques with their anxiety and depression treatment. For instance, in addition to their treatment plan, they may want to try:
- Breathing exercises
For instance, studies have shown that mindful meditation can help control anxiety and reduce symptoms of depression in individuals struggling with chronic pain.
Treatment needs to be tailored for the specific diagnosis, like with any illness or condition. Doctors should design a treatment plan for a depression and anxiety disorder diagnosis that will help the individual reduce and manage their symptoms of both their depression and anxiety, typically at the same time.
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