Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand, but whether you have one, or both, there are ways to help you live your life without either of them controlling you.
We spoke with Gagandeep Singh, MD, chief medical officer at Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, and he provided some tips to help you manage your symptoms of depression and anxiety:
Follow your doctor’s recommendations. If you have spoken to your doctor or therapist about your symptoms, this is extremely important. Doctors are trained to help you cope with these medical conditions.
Avoid things that may worsen the condition, especially excessive alcohol and drug use. While in the short-term these things may seem to help, they wreak havoc on your brain chemistry and worsen depression and anxiety.
Stay connected with others. Feeling isolated and disconnected can worsen depression.
Find a sense of purpose by providing for others. This can be difficult to achieve with depression and anxiety. By connecting and helping others, you will begin to feel a sense of purpose. Try volunteering!
Challenge your thinking. Depression and anxiety can cause distorted thinking to the point where you find yourself focusing only on the bad things. You should challenge yourself to find good things in every situation, rather than fixating on negative aspects. Think of what good advice you would give to a friend that’s feeling how you’re feeling and tell yourself that same advice.
If spirituality or religion is important to you, connect to your higher power through whatever means works for you.
If you think you may be suffering from depression or anxiety, keep track of your feelings and speak to your doctor about it. If depression or anxiety is leading to the inability to function or causing significant hopelessness, see your doctor.
For more information on symptoms of depression, visit Steps for Seeking Help for Symptoms of Depression.
For more information on suicide warning signs, visit Suicide Facts, Warning Signs and Ways You Can Help Save a Life.
In case of significant suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately or call 1-800-273-8255.
Gagandeep Singh, MD (Chief Medical Officer, Banner Behavioral Health Hospital)