Feeling sad on a grey day, after a tough day at work, or once in a while for no reason, is totally normal. If you’re feeling anxious before a date or a big job interview, that’s your bodies healthy and natural response to stressful situations. Anxiety and depression, are when these normal symptoms become severe, out of control, and start interfering with patients daily life on an ongoing basis.
Though different conditions, anxiety and depression have similar treatments and can interact by being each others cause. One of the most common symptoms of clinical depression is anxiety. Almost equally as common, depression can be triggered by an anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder or separation anxiety disorder. Symptoms of both conditions are often treated similarly with psychotherapy (cognitive therapy), or psychiatry (medication), though at Cognito we most often recommend combined treatment. In addition to medication, the skills learned through therapy set our patients up with the best chances for success.
Common symptoms of depression vary and can include: low sense of worth, irritability, loss of enjoyment in activities, social isolation, and several physical symptoms such as exhaustion, weight loss or gain, and persistent feelings of sadness. It is important to not let depression go untreated as these symptoms have the tendency to compound making the first steps of seeking help even more difficult.
With 1 in 5 Canadians currently experiencing a diagnosed mental health problem (20% of our population) and anxiety and depression being the most common, the likelihood you know someone who might be experiencing symptoms of either is quite high. In addition to this, unfortunately 40% of Canadians experience similar symptoms and seek no help at all.
Mental health concerns are everywhere, and it’s never been more important to support friends and family because most people can relate to these challenges. Feeling validated and part of a shared community can be one of the most important aspects of patient recovery.
Our Cognito care coaches are experts in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and assign helpful homework exercises based around mindfulness, meditation and journalling that would be excellent soft resources to support someone on their mental health journey.
Above all else, coming from a place of compassion, understanding and no judgement is the best approach to help someone struggling with their mental health. Encouraging treatment can seem pushy, but it may be the best option for recovery. Always continue to check in and support these people in your life, providing information on local mental health resources and being patient. Recovering from mental health symptoms is a long process that works best together.