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Painted Brain | The Reality Of Living With Both Anxiety And Depression!
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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The Reality of Living with both Anxiety and Depression!


The reality of living with Anxiety and Depression, is that it’s not easy. However, if you are able to work on identifying your triggers and have coping mechanisms that can help you reduce your anxiety and stress, that can go a long way. If you are suffering from depression and anxiety and would like to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life, this is for you.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

“For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.”

There are many different symptoms of anxiety. According to Mayo Clinic, some symptoms are “Feeling nervous, restless or tense, Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom, Having an increased heart rate, Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation), Sweating, Trembling, Feeling weak or tired.”

If you believe that you are having those symptoms, please consult with your doctor. However, if you are having these symptoms, do you know how to cope with these symptoms? Do you know what you need to do to help you manage your anxious feelings? If not, below are some coping mechanisms that might help decrease your anxiety:

  1. Eat. Make sure that you eat well-balanced meals on a daily basis. Try not to skip meals. Remember, your body needs fuel.
  2.  Take a break. If you feel as if you are starting to have an increase in anxiety, take a time out. Go for a run, practice yoga, listen to music, journal.
  3.  Sleep. Sleep is very important and when feeling anxious, you might need additional sleep to recuperate.
  4. Talk to others. It is important to talk to other people that you are close with, so they can help you. Remember, you are NOT alone.
  5. Breathing. I think often times we forget the importance of taking time to breath. Inhale and exhale slowly and continue to repeat as many times as you need.
  6. Exercise. Exercise is important for you health and can sometimes help you destress.

Of course there are many ways to help you reduce your anxiety, so please don’t limit yourself to just these few coping mechanisms that are suggested. Remember, this is about YOU! You want to make sure that you do what is best for YOU.

According to Better Health Channel:

“Depression affects how people think, feel and act. Depression makes it more difficult to manage from day to day and interferes with study, work and relationships.”

In addition, the National Institute of Mental Health provided a list of signs and symptoms of depression, such as “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”

As mentioned earlier, please consult with your doctor if you haven’t done so already regarding the signs and symptoms. However, Below are some coping mechanisms that might help decrease your depression:

  1. Exercise. Exercising on a regular basis is very helpful to our mental health.
  2.  Sleep. As mentioned previously, sleep is very important. On average, you should be getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
  3. Prioritize. Prioritize what you need to get done on a daily basis and spread out your tasks throughout the week to ensure each day is not hectic and you have time to breathe and regroup each day.
  4.  Strong Support System. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with your loved ones. Know that you are not alone!
  5. Eat Well. Eat a well balanced meal on a daily basis.

As you can tell, some of the coping mechanisms can help decrease both depression and anxiety.

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

“It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder”

Please note that everyone may experience anxiety and depression in different ways and may go through different situations that trigger anxiety and depression. The reality of anxiety and depression is that it can affect your daily activities, your relationships, your job, and so many aspects of your life. However, if you know and understand your symptoms, your triggers, and have coping mechanisms that help your symptoms, then you are one step closer to improving your quality of life. Keep pushing! You got this and so many people are here to help.

Lastly, Remember, you are NOT alone, ever. Please reach out to a friend, family member, counselor, teacher, or anybody you trust and let them know how your  feeling. I promise that it is better to talk to someone, than to keep it all in.

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