Anxiety attacks and depression are two of the most misunderstood disorders in society today. Not only by the general public, but also by the doctors and researchers who must find medications to treat these issues. It would be easier to do if they were only combating one "generalized" issue, however, there are multiple types of each of these disorders and even though some have unique symptoms or traits, others have close similarities that make them extremely difficult to diagnose. I read an article recently that stated it could take up to five years to be able to correctly diagnose bipolar disorder, also known as "manic" depression. Although there are big differences in each of these disorders, there are some common tips that have been known to help some people cope. Here are a few you can use.
#1. Maintain a healthy diet. When your mind is giving you problems it's even more important to put good foods into your body, in order to maintain your energy level and also to help improve your mood. The last thing you need at this time is to be loading up on processed sugars, like candy and soda pop. You might get a sugar rush and be "high" for a short time, but you'll eventually crash and your mood will crash right along with you.
#2. Avoid stimulants. The reasoning is the same as the reason above, but even more so if you suffer from anxiety disorders. Caffeine, sugar, cold medicines, like Sudafed, or any other type of legal stimulant will kick your anxiety into high gear. If you're depressed and trying to use these stimulants for energy you must realize that it's going to eventually wear off and you'll be even lower than before. Worse yet, you may not be able to sleep either. There's nothing like feeling crummy and staring at the ceiling all night.
#3. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Besides the fact that drugs are illegal, they're also the worst thing that you can do for your mental health. If you're smoking marijuana, stop now. Besides the physical dangers, it's also a downer, especially after the THC wears off. I've had some people tell me that it doesn't affect them like that, that they get more of a high or feel "normal" afterword. This may be true for some individuals that are chronic pot smokers, but for the large majority of people I recommend that you leave it alone. Leave it alone anyway, it's against the law.
Methamphetamines is a huge problem these days and has reached near epidemic proportions. Meth will completely rob you of your spirit. If you suffer from anxiety or depression I urge you to stay away from this drug. You may initially get a fantastic high, but, like most other addictive drugs, it will soon take more and more and when you come down your depression and anxiety is multiplied many times over. It's also estimated that only 22% of those that begin using Meth are ever able to quit and stay clean permanently. Please don't do this to yourself.
#4. Exercise every day. Not just a quick "walk in the park", but exercise until you work up a good sweat. You need to really work your body out. This has helped many people manage their symptoms and has nearly eliminated symptoms in others. When you exercise you're building up good endorphins in your brain. You're burning off excess stress and, as an added bonus, you'll also burn off calories! Exercise is just a "win, win" activity. There are no negatives and the benefits are numerous. Get off the couch and get to work right now!
#5. Find someone that understands what you're going through to confide in. This can be a good friend or family member. All of us must occasionally get stuff off our chest. It's calming and releases tension. You may have something on your mind that's been bothering you and made your anxiety flare up. I'm not going to say that it's going to cure your problem, but it surely won't hurt.
I hope that these tips help you, as they've helped others. For some people anxiety attacks and depression are an everyday event, while others have milder cases. Until researchers find that "little magic pill" that we've all been waiting for, it's important that we do all that we can to help ourselves.