Up and Down
May 23, 2021
Hey Everyone! I’m Dr. Jasmine Bookert aka Dr. Jazz. This blog covers an important and serious aspect of medicine, which is mental health. Specifically, anxiety and depression. But before we get into the blog let me say that this blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is for educational and informational purposes. If you have medical concerns or need medical advice, please consult your physician for appropriate evaluation and treatment. So, now back to this post.
Anxiety & Its Symptoms
Most people experience anxiety at some point in their life. Anxiety is a natural response to various situations, such as public speaking, job interview, surgery, or taking a test. I know I was always anxious before tests in medical school. I’m the same way when flying or when I have to have a dental procedure done. The dentist anxiety is a new one for me! But otherwise, I don’t have excessive worry throughout my day. It is very situational. Anxiety becomes an issue when it is no longer occasional and affects your normal daily activities. General anxiety disorder is when you have excessive anxiety for at least 6 months. Let’s review anxiety symptoms.
People with anxiety may suffer from a panic disorder, or have panic attacks. During a panic attack people may having racing or pounding heartbeat, shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, sweating, and a sense of doom. These are the patients I mostly see in the emergency department. Sometimes these patients require medication and sometimes these patients just need reassurance. In the outpatient setting psychotherapy is a main treatment for anxiety. Basically, talking to a therapist. An example is cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people change their behavior, thinking, and reactions to anxiety provoking situations. Medication may be needed such as benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, or other types of medications. Medication is directed specifically for that patient and what is needed to help with anxiety.
Depression & Its Symptoms
Now let’s discuss depression. Major depressive disorder is serious. There are different types of depression. Many people are familiar with postpartum depression- which is major depression during pregnancy or after delivery. It can make it difficult for these mothers to take care of the baby or do normal daily activities. There is also persistent depressive disorder, and so many other types of depression. It is important to be evaluated so that a professional can determine what type of depression you may be experiencing.
*Loss of Interest in activities
* Hopelessness, Guilt, Worthlessness
*Suicidal thoughts or attempts
This list does not encompass all symptoms. And all patients with depression don’t have all these symptoms. It is very important to recognize when depression has become life threatening. These patients may need inpatient treatment. Mainstays of treatment are antidepressants and psychotherapy. Some patients with severe depression that is refractory to other treatments may need ECT or electroconvulsive disorder. As with anxiety, the type of treatment is determined by a professional.
An important part of mental health can be self-care. It is important to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, get an adequate amount of sleep, and decrease unnecessary stimulants. Exercise (yoga, walking) and relaxation techniques (breathing exercises, meditation) can help patients with anxiety and depression. Self-care is often forgotten but is an important part of improving symptoms. So, if you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety or depression or any form of mental health, please reach out to a mental health professional. There are many resources and hotlines available such as:
www.mhanational.org or 800-273-TALK
www.samhsa.gov or 800-662-HELP
I hope this post gives you guys a better understanding of mental health, specifically anxiety and depression. During this pandemic both disorders have risen to become even more of a crisis. Let’s help one another. Be aware and be proactive. If you want to give some feedback on the blog or if you have suggestions for a new topic to discuss, drop me an email. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow my social media pages for my podcast on Instagram and Facebook, @thebreakdownwithdrdiagnosis. There you can find the link to my podcast website and subscribe to the podcast. I would love for you to check in with me and my guests regularly to get the breakdown on a new diagnosis every episode. And remember, go check out the telemedicine company, Dr. Diagnosis. Please follow Dr. Diagnosis on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, @diagnosemenow. And even if you don’t need to see a provider at Dr. Diagnosis, please check out the website at www.diagnosemenow.com. We have plenty of resources and links about COVID-19, influenza, mental health, and other topics. Until next time, stay safe and keep you and your loved ones healthy. See you soon!