There are cultural and societal values that suggest depression is a weakness or character flaw. However, depression is actually a serious medical condition that can affect one’s mood, body, and thoughts. Its negative impact is much more than a sign of personal weakness or just “feeling down” or momentarily “having the blues.”
In many cases, it can be difficult to determine a single cause for depression and often there can be multiple causes that complicate the problem. Seeking help is important, and depression is treatable. Without treatment, however, depression can lead to dysfunction in daily living, disorganized thinking, and other health related issues, such as substance abuse, ulcers, and the inability to cope with anger.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that every human experiences in their lives. Many people feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision.
Anxiety disorders, however, are different. Anxiety disorders affect our whole being. They impact how we feel, how we behave and can have very real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling whereas severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating.
An anxiety disorder is often triggered by stress occurring within a person's life. Some people are more vulnerable to anxiety than others, but even those who become extremely anxious can learn how to balance the anxiety with their daily activities.
Depression and anxiety can be exhausting and debilitating. Depression can lead to hopelessness and suicide, and anxiety can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. However, there are some common ways to respond to these life-changing concerns: