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Wellness

How To Avoid The Worst Case Scenarios Of Depression, Anxiety, And Panic Attacks

It can be very discouraging to experience negative moods or symptoms that the medical community refers to ‘dysfunctional’. Yet, the reality is that we may be more mentally healthy than we think we are. It is our responsibility to know where we fit into the scale of functioning, which includes all the facets that make or break a full-fledged life, from personality to cognition and physical health.

One of the most frustrating aspects of living with depression and anxiety is not knowing if we are in a ‘normal’ place in terms of our functioning. As a mental health advocate, I have personally seen friends, family and co-workers fall into depression and/or anxiety. Some of these cases have required hospitalization. I recently read this excellent essay on what it looks like to be in a healthy “healthy” situation. I encourage you to research yourself, as well. There’s a lot to it, so make sure you spend some time reading and listening to others’ experiences.

As a mental health professional, I’m often faced with an “everyday reality” that we do not understand. Even if my job doesn’t revolve around my depression and anxiety, in reality I still have a huge responsibility. I must be aware of how my depression and anxiety can negatively influence my cognitive abilities. It’s the difference of whether my mind still works.

When you see your partner or significant other struggle with depression and/or anxiety, I understand. Depression and anxiety both go hand and hand, and in all situations can be life-threatening. In this case, your loved one is dealing with severe symptoms from a condition that often starts at a younger age and goes unnoticed for much longer.

I’ve learned to see depression and anxiety as the result of deep-seated negative emotions and coping mechanisms. We are born with these emotions that we have no control over, as well as the beliefs and actions that lead to our depression; these are in fact the reasons we feel the way we do. We are often conditioned to believe that there are no consequences for our behaviors.

Your loved one may have had a history that was very stressful, and that may result in chronic mental health issues later in life. There may be physical health issues in the family, or there was always a possibility for a difficult childhood. All these things may increase the risk for developing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety later on in life.

As a health care professional, it’s incumbent upon you to know the truth. If you suspect or know for a fact that your loved one has depression and anxiety, work with them to find a solution and/or see if medical help is available. Even if they choose not to involve professionals, there are many things you can do. 

If one’s spouse has depression or anxiety, they are not alone and need to know about it. If they do not seek help, they are not mentally healthy. We must understand that depression and anxiety are not normal, they are unhealthy and must be treated accordingly.

Many people have suffered through depression and/or anxiety with complete disregard to the reality surrounding their experience. As a mental health professional, you might be tempted to tell your loved friend or family member that the way they are feeling is normal. But a healthy body and mind are two very different things. Your loved one might have more physical issues than mental issues, so it’s very important that you begin an explanation and explain the difference so they can know that their situation is not normal.

As a mental health professional, it’s your responsibility to know the truth, and it is your job to help your loved one overcome their depressive symptoms. If they insist on talking to a professional, you can offer a few suggestions on possible interventions, such as meditation, relaxation, therapy, or medication. Remember that every illness has different treatment options that can work to alleviate a single problem.

Your love for them and your support for them should never go without being acknowledged. It can be a long, hard journey to a healthy outlook on your partner’s condition.