Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety as we discussed on our last article is the doubtful and vulnerable thoughts about life expectations. The intense worry and hesitance about the targets and goals, with no apparent reason is a characteristic of how it feels to be anxious. The most difficult task for anxious people is explaining what they are feeling, thinking and how their behavioral pattern is like.
Unlike anxiety, depressed individuals do not show fear and doubtful; thoughts about the future but they have a fixated thought of their future becoming disastrous, painful, not worth or unsatisfying. They therefore spiral on thoughts after the other, proceeding to constellation of negative emotional state. Common symptoms include, sleepless nights, lack of interest in what has been enjoyable before, hopelessness, distorted self-image, changed pattern of doing things, easily passive and withdrawn from people, change of sleeping patterns, unexplained physical ache and sometimes feelings of death and suicidal ideations. This state of the mind comforts itself defensively and does not hope for change, they have a certainty that the future will still be disastrous.
Have you imagine what happens in a person’s mind just before committing suicide? It may be hard to empathize, but it is a result of continuous hopeless thoughts with no positive beliefs about life. The downward spiraling of the thoughts, feelings, sensations and behavior builds a barrier of cognitive restructuring and generates a no reason to live thoughts. The seemingly permanent state of affairs in the person’s life welcomes the thoughts of escape from life. The anxious people at this stage of escaping from life develops fear of dying and will unconsciously develop habits to counter fear of what comes next. Therefore anxiety can be the early symptoms of depression where if the mind does not develop mechanisms to deal with fear of uncertainties, a person starts believing that the situation is permanent.
To explain it further, people with anxiety often show fight or fight response including shaking, running, vomiting sweating, nausea diarrhea, disturbed sleep and vigilance. Most of the patients in treatment of chronic illnesses like cancer experience anxious episodes. On the contrary, depressed person appear drained, hopeless, haggard and energy less. Their faces look empty and flat and prefer minor movements and rather spend time alone than with other people. Sleepless night and no appetite is common for them.
Lifeway House encourages the society to be enlightened with mental health and help our loved ones seek professional attention. Anxiety and depression is so common in our contemporary living which leads to secondary effects of one another translating to poor performance and disintegrated quality of life. We offer assessments and interventions at Lifeway House and we help you work through your challenges. Contact us.
Aaron Ngeno Psychologist.