Depression & Anxiety
Two of the most common mental health issues or mood disorders in the United States are anxiety and depression. While each of these has completely separate characteristics, they usually go hand-in-hand and have potentially similar causes. Like everything related to health, anxiety, and depression are almost always caused by an underlying health condition and/or inflammation, poor gut health, and lifestyle factors.
More and more people are having anxiety attacks (and sometimes panic attacks) and are being tested for signs of depression at their annual checkups.
And, while more people are being diagnosed with these mood disorders, it’s becoming painfully apparent that conventional medicine practices aren’t alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and may even be making these mental health conditions worse.
As integrative medical providers in Oak Brook, IL we assess our members as a whole, rather than just having them check a box for symptoms to diagnose their level of depression and/or anxiety.
We know that both anxiety and depression can be caused by numerous factors, all of which could include, social and environmental factors, genetics, gut health, and underlying medical factors like heart disease, diabetes, thyroid conditions, etc. Furthermore, these conditions can be brought about from changes in seasons, major life events, the loss of a loved one, and more. Our patient-centered visits allow us to explore every avenue to tailor a holistic treatment plan that will be the most beneficial to your mental and overall health.
Read on to learn more about the signs of depression and anxiety and how an integrative medicine approach can help to reinvigorate your life.
Signs of Depression & Anxiety
Self-diagnosing anxiety or depression can bring about anxiety all on its own. Before you take an internet quiz to determine whether you have signs of depression or anxiety symptoms, speak with a medical professional equipped to help you navigate these mood disorders. With this in mind, if you are displaying any of the following symptoms of anxiety or depression, schedule an appointment with one of our integrative medicine providers in Oak Brook, IL:
Signs of Depression
- Hopeless outlook
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Issues sleeping
- Increased fatigue
- Physical pain such as chronic pain conditions, backache, or headache
- Digestive issues
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low sex drive
- Changes in appetite
- Weight gain or loss
- Uncontrollable emotions
- Suicidal thoughts
Signs of Anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Tense muscles; physical pain
- Digestive problems
- Trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep
- Avoiding social situations
- Panic attacks
- Irrational fears
As you can see the list of symptoms for both anxiety and depression is vast and oddly similar. In fact, many people who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety and vice versa.
Also, it’s interesting to note that a sign of depression and anxiety, digestive problems/issues, is also a cause of these sometimes debilitating mental conditions. If you are displaying any one of these signs, schedule a consultation with one of our holistic health providers to discuss what options are available to get you the help you need. As you can see the list of symptoms for both anxiety and depression is vast and oddly similar. In fact, many people who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety and vice versa.
Also, it’s interesting to note that a sign of depression and anxiety, digestive problems/issues, is also a cause of these sometimes debilitating mental conditions. If you are displaying any one of these signs, schedule a consultation with one of our holistic health providers to discuss what options are available to get you the help you need.
Treating Depression & Anxiety: The Integrative Medicine Approach
Integrative medicine is designed to treat a person as a whole, rather than just a series of symptoms. Our approach focuses on finding the underlying or ROOT cause of the issue and working towards independent total health and wellness. At its core, any health issue is the cause of some type of imbalance within the body that can be due to a combination of physiological, biological, and environmental factors.
Our holistic treatment takes into account the complex nature of both anxiety and depression, with our main focus on the mind-body connection.
Along with natural therapies, and exercise, to treat depression and anxiety, we also will make gut health the focal point of treatment. With over 90% of our serotonin being produced in the gut (our feel-good hormone), as well as a myriad of other components, the gut has been shown to profoundly influence our mental health. You can learn more about the gut/mind connection, here.
In addition to working towards bringing your gut health into balance with dietary changes, you can expect the following therapies to be part of a holistic treatment “prescription” for depression and anxiety:
- Exercise – Exercise, or moving the body in general for at least 30 minutes a day has been proven to decrease stress levels and improve mood, subsequently reducing depression and anxiety. Some forms of exercise such as yoga can use the breath to link the body and mind which can help to energize and/or help calm you down, depending on the type of yoga you are doing. If depression or anxiety is part of your life, consider adding in three days of exercise for 30 minutes a day at first. Our holistic health providers can help you find the most effective types of exercise for you to improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
- Improve Your Sleep Hygiene – Sleep hygiene (your sleeping habits) are an integral part of a holistic therapy plan for treating anxiety and depression. Lack of sleep can increase negative thoughts and induce unnecessary stress on both the brain and body. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Some ways to improve your sleep include, going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even weekends), only taking short power naps (15-20 minutes) in the early afternoon if needed, and spending time outdoors, are just some ways to improve sleep quality.
- Massage – Massage has been shown to promote relaxation and decrease stress and tension. During a massage, the body releases serotonin and dopamine, which can help with depression, decrease pain, and improve sleep. Even self-massage can help to release these feel-good hormones and further the mind-body connection which can leave you feeling more balanced and grounded.
Contact Vitality Family Health today to learn more about our holistic approach and how we can help you achieve wellness and optimal health.