Millions of Americans are suffering from one or more invisible mental illnesses. Both high-functioning depression and high-functioning anxiety are more prevalent than you might think, and the symptoms can take many forms. Anxiety is a more common mental illness, with approximately eighteen percent of adults experiencing it. Some of the symptoms of high-functioning depression include irritability, changes in sleep patterns, and turning to vices such as drugs and alcohol for comfort. Symptoms of high-functioning anxiety can include perfectionism, an inability to relax, and worrying even when things are going well. Both these conditions can be hard to diagnose because the person suffering from them can often keep them hidden. Identifying that a problem exists is an important first step towards treatment.
Identifying Catastrophic Thinking
Catastrophic thinking is when a single negative thought can spiral into thinking of worst-case scenarios. Something simple, like getting stuck in traffic, can turn into thoughts of being late for your job, getting fired, and then losing your home. When this type of thinking occurs, cortisone, which is known as the stress hormone, is produced. The first step to fixing this problem is identifying catastrophic thinking when it starts to happen. It is important to watch your thinking and notice when it shifts from reasonable worries to unrealistic ones. When you do catch yourself engaging in catastrophic thinking, it is important not to judge yourself. This only adds to feelings of inadequacy, which can trigger another round of unrealistic worrying.
Keep reading to discover some easy techniques for dealing with these conditions.
Practicing Relaxation And Mindfulness
One of the best ways to control catastrophic thinking and other symptoms of anxiety is to start practicing relaxation and mindfulness. Just as high levels of anxiety can impact the function of the brain, so can meditation. Through meditation, you can become more mindful of your thought patterns and when they are becoming unhealthy. Other skills that come from meditation include breaking negative thought patterns, improving control of random thoughts, and decreasing the tendency to worry. Meditation as a form of practicing relaxation and mindfulness can also help with depression. It releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is believed to be essential for feelings of happiness.
Reveal another helpful remedy for anxiety and depression now.
Antidepressants & Anti-Anxiety Medication
High-functioning anxiety and depression are treated with the same types of medications as other forms of these conditions. Serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medications are popular choices. Although they work in different ways, both types of medications aim to increase the amount of serotonin in the body. These families of medication do well with the symptoms of both depression and anxiety. One of the reasons that antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can be the same thing is that the symptoms of these conditions often occur at the same time. Although those with high-functioning anxiety and depression often try to hide their condition due to shame, it is important to know that one in ten Americans is on an antidepressant. In fact, it is the most prescribed type of medication in America for those aged eighteen to forty-four.
Next, learn about another simple trick that can help treat anxiety and depression.
Decluttering Your Daily Schedule
Clutter can cause anxiety, whether it is physical clutter or just an overabundance of things on your to-do list. Many individuals do things out of a sense of obligation or fear of anger. Decluttering your daily schedule involves looking at your calendar and identifying things you can stop doing. You may decide you need a break from recreational activities, or you want to quit visiting with friends who make you feel bad about yourself. This will free up time to meditate, rest, and relax. It will also reduce the number of things you have to dread. Once you have eliminated events that are unnecessary and do not bring you joy, begin to work on protecting your time. This involves learning how to tell others no. Although it can be uncomfortable at first, learning to prioritize your own needs and time is essential to being able to deal with high-functioning anxiety and depression.
Explore how this next method can help with depression and anxiety now.
Get Physical Exercise
One of the first steps to dealing with high-functioning anxiety and depression is to make sure your lifestyle is healthy. On top of drinking enough water and eating right, getting enough exercise is vital for your health. There has been significant research showing that regular exercise can improve the symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, these conditions often make it difficult to find the motivation to go work out. It is important to tell yourself that working out will help you feel better, rather than waiting to feel better to work out. Start out small. A common problem is setting goals that are unattainable and then feeling like a failure, which can worsen the depression rather than relieve it. Once you begin, consistency is essential. If you commit to working out three days a week, stick to it. For some people, joining a class or hiring a personal trainer can help with motivation to get physical exercise as well.