It’s easy to overlook the signs that you may need help with depression and anxiety because they aren’t always obvious. Subtle changes in behaviour or mood are often attributed to a life phase, such as menopause, a busy schedule, or a hectic life raising a family. But depression and anxiety do not need to be a routine part of your daily life.
What Are the Signs of Anxiety and Depression?
Anxiety and depression are often co-occurring. You are more likely to become depressed if you already have an anxiety disorder, and people who are depressed often feel anxious.
While occasional anxiety is a normal part of everyday life, such as a problem at work, some people experience debilitating feelings, like panic attacks that interfere with their daily routine.
Everyone feels blue once in a while, but depression is more than occasional sadness and may require long-term treatment. In 2020 and 2021, 3.4 million Australians visited a health professional for their mental health.
Learn how to identify the signs of depression and anxiety so you can seek the help you need to maintain your mental health and wellbeing and enjoy a fulfilling life.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Apathy & Difficulty Experiencing Joy
If you’ve lost interest in activities and hobbies that used to bring you joy or lack the motivation to do everyday things, you may be experiencing apathy. While apathy can be challenging to diagnose, if you depend on others to plan your activities or feel no emotion when good or bad things happen, you may have this textbook symptom of depression.
Although everyone loses interest in things from time to time, persistent apathy can affect your relationships and professional and social life and is a sign that you need to seek mental health treatment.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Oversleeping or Insomnia
If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning or find that sleep evades you each night, depression or anxiety may disrupt your brain’s natural circadian rhythm.
Hypersomnia and insomnia can be caused by irregularities in your brain’s serotonin production, commonly associated with anxiety and depression. Individuals suffering from depression may exclusively suffer from one or the other of these conditions, or they may switch between them.
Having a compromised sleep schedule makes the rest of your life more challenging. Everything from arriving at your job on time to running errands becomes impacted by your low energy.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Constant Worry & Difficulty Focusing
Some people are born worriers and may even have inherited the characteristic. It is natural to experience periods of worry throughout your life, usually connected to a specific event such as finances, work, or personal relationships.
However, excessive worrying about events or everyday situations that bring on panic attacks, a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth and sweaty palms can make it difficult to focus and accomplish daily tasks.
If your worrying occurs on most days of the week for at least six months, your doctor may diagnose you with generalised anxiety disorder.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Mood Swings & Low Mood
A ‘mood swing’ is a term used to describe the rapid fluctuation between two or more emotional states. There are stages of development, such as puberty or menopause, where mood swings and low moods are considered normal, but they should not persist beyond these periods.
If you are experiencing daily mood swings or low moods for more than two weeks, it may be a symptom of depression.
Signs of Depression and Anxiety: Symptoms That Don’t Respond to Medical Treatment
Have you gone to your doctor to seek treatment for physical feelings of discomfort such as aches and pains, stomach aches, headaches, or muscular tension but found they couldn’t be alleviated?
These symptoms are also associated with anxiety and depression, and there is reason to believe that experiencing depression impacts your sensitivity to physical pain.
Researchers suggest that neurochemical pathways for pain and mood regulation may be linked. This may cause people with depressive symptoms to experience higher pain intensity and people with chronic pain to experience depression.
Another physical symptom of depression that typically doesn’t respond to treatment is brain fog. Brain fog is characterised by confusion, a lack of focus, and memory issues.
Depression can cause a disruption of neural networks in critical brain regions such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and basal ganglia. This disruption can lead to neurotransmitter dysregulation, which causes cognitive dysfunction such as brain fog.
Contact Us to Begin Your Journey to a More Fulfilling Life
True Health Medical provides integrated care to address depression and anxiety simultaneously. At True Health Medical, we create a safe environment for you to discuss your mental health and provide an initial assessment, medical treatment and psychological therapy.
Using our comprehensive care and in partnership with medical specialists and therapists, we bring healing, balance, and empowerment to our patients’ lives.
To book your consultation, please call us on (02) 9358 5221.
Depression and Sleep
An Overview of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Physical Symptoms You Didn’t Realise Depression Could Cause