How can I manage my anxiety and depression so I can feel normal again?

My motivation has gone away. It's hard to get out of bed. I really don't know what to do anymore. I'm miserable. My anxiety and depression have taken over my life.

Daniel Kelley-Petersen
Daniel Kelley-Petersen
Mental Health and Career Counselor

Anxiety and Depression are challenging experiences to live with and to manage on a daily basis. I would say that both are challenges to overcome but solutions to living healthy and well exist. Step 1: Talk about it. With friends, family, partners, counselors, and other trusted people in your life. Step 2: Create a plan with a counselor to learn new skills that help you recognize and manage your symptoms. Step 3: Don't give up. Working on yourself can be difficult and hard at the beginning. Stick with it and you will be able to find exercises, tools, and resources that help you live well.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Shari Pescatore
Shari Pescatore
Psychotherapist, Health and Wellness Coach

It is challenging to maintain motivation at all times, anxiety and depression can set in which can make interacting with others a  struggle, it can lead us to do things that make us not feel good and we become isolated.  This ends up feeding into a cycle that maintains the anxiety/depression loop  and can be really challenging to step out of it.  You are in a place of awareness and this is the first step in making changes that can help you feel better.  It is really one step at a time, a concrete plan, with self-compassion to build the solid ground you need to come out of this. http://www.empoweryou2.com

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Vivian D. Echevarria Guzman, MSC, LPC-S, NCC
Vivian D. Echevarria Guzman, MSC, LPC-S, NCC
Bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor

One of the first steps is to manage anxiety and depression symptoms are to establish a good self-care routine.  Start with the most basic things: Eating balanced meals, sleeping at from 6-8 hours and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.  These will help you to regulate the chemical imbalance that affects your mood, plus exercising gives you time to vent and be distracted from your thoughts.  Once basic self-care is established, I suggest that is a good time to start exploring the source of these feelings, and address them trough therapy.  If you have difficulty initiating self-care routine talk to your therapist about what motivates you and pushes you to do things, you might find the key during the process.  You could also contact your physician or a psychiatrist to discuss medication options if it’s too challenging to begin basic self-care.


¿Cómo puedo manejar mi ansiedad y depresión para sentirme normal otra vez?

Mi motivación se ha ido. Es difícil salir de la cama.  No sé qué hacer.  Soy Miserable.  Mi ansiedad y depresión han tomado el control de mi vida.


Uno de los primeros pasos para manejar la ansiedad y la depresión es establecer una buena rutina de cuidado personal.  Comienza con las cosas más básicas: Comer comidas balanceadas, dormir de 6-8 horas en la noche, y ejercitarte por lo menos 30 minutos al día. Esto te ayudara a regular el desbalance químico que afecta tu estado de ánimo, además de que te da tiempo para desahogarte y distraerte.  Ya que la rutina de cuidado eta establecida, es un buen momento para comenzar a explorar la fuente de tus sentimientos negativos, y explóralos a través de terapia. Si se dificulta comenzar a crear una rutina puedes consultar con tu terapista para identificar motivaciones que te impulsen a comenzar.  También puedes contactar a tu medico primario o psiquiatra para discutir medicamentos que te pueden ayudar a manejar estos síntomas e iniciar cuidado básico. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room. La información provista es para propósito general basado en información mínima, no constituye aviso medico. Esta información tampoco constituye una comunicación directa con un consejero o terapista y no crea una relación entre cliente y terapeuta o desarrolla ningún privilegio. Si tiene pensamientos suicidas o está en crisis puede llamar al 911 o visitar su sala de emergencias mas cercana.
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor

You are so not alone in that.  There's many, many people that struggle with feeling stuck with the combination of depressive and anxious symptoms.  You are right though--it is a miserable thing to go through.

The most important thing I usually start with for clients (upon learning about their particular situation) is behavioral activation, which is just a fancy name for "doing stuff".  Walking is a good place to start because it's not hard on the body and you aren't going from bed to running a marathon.  It's a way to get those feel-good chemicals flowing and to also feel like you are doing something, whether or not there's any motivation there.  Other people go with tasks, such as cleaning or organizing.  Sometimes those more productive things can make us feel good about ourselves, and doing them over and over can build up into confidence that you do have agency in your life.  

Another option is participating in things you think you'd do if depression and anxiety weren't taking over your life.  We tend to believe that we have to feel a certain way to do something exciting or meaningful, but the truth is that sometimes doing things comes first and the feelings we have about them follow.  This may take a while, and it may mean combining other techniques like thought-logging (journaling about when certain thought patterns are triggered) and even medication/counseling.  It all depends on the person.  Engaging in activity may help to lower some of that anxiety also because you're energy has somewhere to be channeled through besides your nervous system.  

Doing things really has a power in and of itself that teaches us what we are capable of. It's hard not to let your feelings and thoughts con you into believing you are incapable or hopeless, but that's what it is: a con.  

What you choose and what works best for you may also depend on the factors of your situation.  Have you been feeling this way for a long time?  Did it come on suddenly and take over within the time-frame of a couple weeks?  Or was there a situation that triggered it all?  Those things are helpful to know because long-term depression/anxiety require a different spin on techniques than something more short-term that may benefit from processing through a difficult event or learning coping skills to push through a depressive episode.  All types can benefit from processing and learning new skills, but predicting patterns and being proactive means knowing those details.

Hope this was a bit helpful!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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