Anxiety and depression are the most common types of mental illness in the United States. According to many studies, these conditions are on the rise, affecting millions of people of almost every race, gender, age and social status. While there are many factors that could contribute to these conclusions, at the end of the day, Americans are facing a serious epidemic of mental health issues.
Chances are, you or someone you are close to is struggling with one of these conditions. Fortunately, there is much that can be done to help prevent, treat and recover from anxiety and depression. Here are five things you can do to cope when you face worry, fear and sadness.
See a Therapist at Least Once a Month
Negative stereotypes about therapy, counseling and psychiatric care are diminishing as more and more people are witnessing the irrefutable benefits of seeing a mental health professional. If you’re struggling with your emotions and they are affecting your everyday life, talk to someone who can help you sort through what you’re experiencing. Even if you don’t struggle with anxiety or depression on a somewhat regular basis, seeing a therapist just once a month can help you keep a healthy perspective on life’s challenges.
Change Your Diet and Improve Your Vitamin Regime
What you put in your body is directly connected to your physical and mental health! A poor diet could bring on mental illness symptoms or worsen them. It’s important to stay away from too many processed foods and stick with healthier choices prepared at home. Increase your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and protein and decrease carbs and refined sugars. Make sure you’re supplementing with high-quality vitamins that provide plenty of vitamin D, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Kick Vices That Could Lead to Addiction
Drugs and alcohol are not healthy or helpful coping mechanisms when it comes to battling depression or anxiety. In fact, many people struggling with addiction receive a Dual Diagnosis, meaning that they suffer from mental illness and dependency on drugs and/or alcoholism. These struggles often go hand in hand, so limit your alcohol consumption (or cut it entirely) and use the knowledge that you may be prone to addiction to help you stay away from recreational or self-medicating drug usage.
Invest in Yourself
Isolation makes any hardship feel insurmountable. Make sure you’re spending time with other people, even if it’s just one close friend. In addition, reaching out to others who need support can help put your own struggles into perspective. Finding ways to volunteer or care for others can help you deal with your own problems more effectively and could be a vital part of your Recovery.
Invest in Other People
Isolation makes any hardship feel insurmountable. Make sure you’re spending time with other people, even if it’s just one close friend. In addition, reaching out to other people who need support can help put your own struggles into perspective. Finding ways to volunteer or care for others can help you deal with your own problems more effectively and could be a vital part of your Recovery.
When it comes to mental illness, there is a manageable path to prevention and treatment. Take care of your body and mind to help take charge of your mental health.