Giving The Greatest Gift: Hope

People suffering with depression and anxiety need to know there is hope–and help–available for them.

Giving The Greatest Gift: Hope

Jane Gatzemeyer, Writer-East

Ever wonder what it’s really like living with severe depression and anxiety? People all around the globe suffer from these two conditions day in and day out.

Now, who isn’t thinking this: Doesn’t everyone get depressed and have anxiety sometimes? The answer is–of course. But, there’s a world of difference between having severe anxiety and depression, and experiencing brief waves of them. When non-sufferers usually think about anxiety, they think about how they get nervous presenting in front of the class or asking out their “crush” on a date. All know exactly how that can feel.

When it comes to severe anxiety, however, these people suffer pretty much constantly. In other words, they are in an all-consuming state of worry perpetually. But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It can get completely debilitating, to the point where it’s hard to concentrate or complete the simplest of tasks throughout the day. On the bright side, there are counselors and certain medications that can help people manage their symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include sweating, feeling restless, trembling, and trouble concentrating. Doctors may prescribe SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). Antidepressants are also recommended for anxiety.

Then there’s depression.  A common depression that most people feel is referred to as Situational Depression. An example of this is feeling depressed for a non-extended amount of time after an incident–a situation–in which sadness is an appropriate response, such as after being the recipient of a rude remark. On the other hand, there’s Major Depression: feeling worthless or guilty everyday without cause, as well as experiencing such things as insomnia, hyper insomnia, a sense of hopelessness or despair, and the like. The symptoms may manifest themselves through a loss of interest, angry outbursts, sleep problems, agitation, restlessness, weight loss, and even thoughts of death.

Much of the time, depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Sometimes, it’s hard to identify who’s suffering from them, as these people put on a fake smile, or smile through the pain. The holidays are especially difficult times for those dealing with depression and anxiety. Thus, it is an even more crucial time to be on the lookout for friends and family who may be silently suffering from these conditions.

They need to know that they are not alone–that there is hope. This may be the greatest gift a person with anxiety or depression could receive this holiday season.

Here’s a national hotline to help a friend or family in need: