Coping with Anxiety; The Society’s Nonchalance to Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are typically different health conditions. However, they usually coincide. Naturally, the effects of depression can glide up on you so slowly that you may not realize what you’re dealing with.
Depression is classified as a mental illness that can cause substance abuse in different ways. In most cases, depression and substance abuse often co-occur and thus causing substance addiction. Also, the relationship between depression and substance abuse is bi-directional. This means that if you abuse substances, then you are more likely to suffer from depression, and vice versa.
Source, Leslie Chan.
Additionally, being depressed can make you drink or abuse drugs to lift your mood or to escape from feelings of misery or guilt. However, depressant substances like alcohol can increase feelings of fatigue or sadness. Conversely, you can experience depression the moment the effects of drugs wear off or as you struggle to cope with how the addiction has affected your life.
However, the Nigerian attitude towards mental illness has become a cause of concern for most researchers around the world. Most Nigerians have misbeliefs and misconceptions about mental conditions, thus stigmatize people with mental illness.
So, this has pushed most Nigerians experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety disorder to result in drastic decisions like suicide rather than seek proper medical help. You don’t even want to tell your closest friend what’s going on in your head or how you feel. Parents don’t even have the time to understand that their children may be suffering from mental issues like depression or anxiety.
Well, despite the several evidential anxiety and depression treatments available, most people suffering from depression don’t get the necessary help and treatment to manage it. Most times, people suffering from a mental disorder or illness often experience feelings of discrimination, stigma, and shame.
Furthermore, the majority of Nigerians lack proper awareness about mental health and its available services. With the abysmal absence of mental health services in the country, especially in rural areas, the financial crisis poses an extra barrier to accessing health services.
These barriers have long-lasting consequences, as depressed patients who are untreated are more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts, and suicide. Depression is also linked to morbidity, poor child health outcomes, and mortality.
Those suffering from anxiety and depression don’t even want to admit it even with clear symptoms. Most may even result in substance abuse as an escape from anxiety or depression. However, all of these are factors adding to our plights as a country with little or no knowledge about mental illness, its causes and characteristics.
Understanding Anxiety, Depression, and its Side Effect.
Feeling down or having the occasional blues is normal. Generally, everyone feels anxious from time to time — it’s a normal response to stressful situations. However, persistent or severe feelings of anxiety and depression can be a sign of an underlying mental health disorder.
Anxiety can occur as a sign of major depression. Also, it’s common to have depression that’s caused by a continuous anxiety disorder. Some examples include separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder. Several people have a diagnosis of both major depression and an anxiety disorder.
Typically, anxiety is a part of life. For instance, you may have felt anxiety before addressing a group or in a job interview.
In the short term, anxiety increases your heart rate and breathing, concentrating blood flow to your brain, where you need it. However, this physical response is preparing you ahead of an intense situation.
If it gets too extreme, however, you may start to feel nauseous and lightheaded. An excessive or persistent state of anxiety can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health.
Well, everyone feels pain at some point. Still, for someone suffering from anxiety or depression, pain can become incredibly intense and hard to beat.
Here are a few side effects of being carefree with anxiety and depression;
Anxiety and depression is a major public health problem, and at a prevalence level among Nigerians. Both are capable of causing both physical and psychological symptoms and can be very distressing.
Long-term anxiety promotes the risk of physical diseases and other mental health conditions, such as depression.
However, anxiety and depression can respond very well to treatment. Most people who receive treatment recover well and lead a good life. The sooner we act together as a Nigerian to educate ourselves about anxiety and depression, the better our mental health section grows.