World Health Day is celebrated worldwide on 7 April every year under the leadership of World Health Organization, to promote healthier living habits and add good health into the lives of people all over the world. A particular theme around a specific health topic is chosen to run the celebration, The theme of 2017 World Health Day campaign is Depression.
Whether you are rich, poor, educated or uneducated- stress, anxiety or depression symptoms can affect you. Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one time or another. Some people can cope with more, some less. Some people struggle to deal with it, others master it and even use it positively.
DEPRESSION refers to an experience where you feel down most of the time which is called “low mood” and you also tend to lose interest in things you usually enjoy. You may also have changes in your sleep & appetite, feel guilty, de-motivated and generally withdraw from others.
STRESS is usually characterized by a sense of feeling overwhelmed. This feeling may be due to your coping capacity being over-stretched or having been under pressure for too long. Some stress can help us to perform our day to day functions, too much stress leaves us “distressed” and often exhausted.
ANXIETY is a sense of fear or dread that something terrible is going to happen. Anxiety can be general or specific to a place, social situation or thing (phobia).
The difference between them is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.Whether in good times or bad, most people say that stress interferes at least moderately with their lives. Chronic stress can affect your health, causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep.
In moderate degree, Stress and anxiety can help you rise to meet challenges. It keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV. But beyond your comfort zone, both, stress and anxiety stop being helpful and can start causing major damage to your mind and body. Depression can lead to a feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, loss of interest, change in appetite, and loss of concentration, negativity, irritability and aggressiveness.
How do you tell the difference between stress and depression? Both can affect you in similar ways, but there are key differences. Symptoms of depression can be much more intense. They last at least two weeks. Depression causes powerful mood changes, such as painful sadness and despair. You may feel exhausted and unable to act.
The following techniques will help you manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It will help you reduce their harmful effects, and prevent these psychiatric disorders from spiraling out of control again in the future.
Connect with others. Loneliness and isolation set the stage for psychiatric disorders. Decrease your vulnerability by reaching out to others. Make it a point to see friends, join a self-help or support group, or share your worries and concerns with a trusted loved one.
Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can exacerbate depressive and stressful thoughts and feelings, so try to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep a night. If you struggle with sleep, adopting smart sleep habits can make a big difference.
Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days.
Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce the symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.
Be smart about caffeine and alcohol. If you struggle with psychiatric disorders, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake or cutting it out completely. Same with alcohol that can make the condition worse. Along with, eat a healthy diet.
Train your brain to stay calm.Worrying is a mental habit you can learn how to break. Strategies such as creating a worry period, challenging anxious thoughts, and learning to accept uncertainty can significantly reduce anxiety and fear.
While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have increased to the extent that they’re causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, it is important to seek professional help. Treatment includes:
Therapy can help you better understand your disorder and help motivate you to take the necessary action to prevent symptoms from coming back.
Medication may be imperative if you’re feeling suicidal or violent. But while it can help relieve symptoms of depression in some people, it isn’t a cure and is not usually a long-term solution. Medication also comes with side effects and other drawbacks so it’s important to learn all the facts to make an informed decision.
Stress, anxiety and depression are interlinked and work in tandem with each other for example the more intense anxiety gets, the more depression rears can take hold and have a counter-productive presence in our lives.
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