Anxiety and Depression – An Update

Dear Friends,

I did go to my therapist, and happily it isn’t as big of a problem as I thought.

This Scientific American article explains that,

When people feel stressed, their sympathetic nervous system** typically revs up, releasing energy and preparing the body for action. Then the parasympathetic nervous system steps in, and the body stabilizes to a calmer state. If the parasympathetic nervous system is somehow unable to do its job, a person will remain fired up and may experience the heightened arousal characteristic of a panic attack.

Beyond this, the article explains that both the chemistry and electrical characteristics of the brain change due to anxiety but are reversible through therapy. Then, although the mechanism is not understood, it is clear that on a cellular level anxiety can lead to depression symptoms. I was afraid that my sporadic symptoms of depression would require some extra, extensive treatment, but you know what? I’ve been working hard in therapy to treat my anxiety “chicken”, and am confident that the depression “egg” will fade as well as I decrease my anxiety. When I’m not exhausted by anxiety, my brain will adapt to protect itself from the depression as well.

And that is that for now.

 

** To quickly clarify, the sympathetic nervous system is what gives us the “burst” of adrenaline coursing through our veins when we’re anxious.

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4 Comments

  1. Good to hear. We just started following your blog and maybe you’ve talked about this already, but have you read the book the Mindful Brain by Daniel J. Siegel? I have a friend who says it’s very helpful. It’s on my next to read list.

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey and for the linkback to my article on anxiety and women in the workplace. The more we claim our power and work with our mind-body, the more we can create a ripple effect for others. We all go through some kind of anxiety and/or depression throughout life, it’s part of being human, not a monster to keep in a closet. Keep blogging!

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