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What Is Depression?

Mild depression

Mild depression is characterized by feeling down or unhappy most of the time for at least two weeks. You may also lack interest in activities you used to enjoy and feel like you can’t accomplish anything.

Moderate to severe depression

Someone suffering from severe depression will have all the above symptoms along with suicidal thoughts and hallucinations or delusions. Additionally, those with severe depression can suffer from these symptoms for years.

Mild to moderate depression

Moderate depression includes similar symptoms to mild depression and other more severe symptoms such as decreased energy, changes in weight or appetite, difficulty sleeping, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt.

What Is Anxiety?

Mild anxiety

To be diagnosed with mild anxiety, you must feel on edge or nervous most of the time for at least six months. You may also experience physical symptoms such as sweating, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath with minimal exertion.

Moderate to severe anxiety

Severe anxiety is when you experience intense anxiety symptoms for six months or longer, and your worry impairs your ability to function at work and your relationships. You also may experience more severe physical symptoms when exposed to specific triggers.

Mild to moderate anxiety

If you’re suffering from moderate anxiety, you may experience more severe feelings of being on edge or being nervous most of the time, having difficulty with sleep because of worrisome thoughts (even if you’re not aware of them), and experiencing similar physical symptoms as those suffering from mild anxiety.

What Causes Depression and Anxiety?

Brain chemistry

Various factors, including brain chemistry, can cause depression and anxiety. When you have depression or anxiety, your brain may not produce enough serotonin (a chemical that helps regulate mood) or norepinephrine (a hormone and neurotransmitter that affects how the body responds to stress).

Early childhood trauma

Traumatic experiences in childhood, such as physical or sexual abuse, can increase your risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders later in life. Trauma negatively affects the brain, increasing the risk of developing mental health conditions.

Hormone levels

Hormone levels can also affect your mental health. For example, thyroid disease or low testosterone (in men) may cause depression and anxiety symptoms. In women, this can be caused by changes in hormone levels during menopause, pregnancy, and after giving birth.

Substance use

Using certain drugs or alcohol can also lead to depression and anxiety. Marijuana, ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine (cigarettes), caffeine (too much coffee) are all examples of substances that may contribute to mental health problems later in life.

Family history

Your family history may also influence your risk for depression and anxiety. If you have a parent or sibling who has either of these disorders, you are more likely to develop them yourself.

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

Feeling fatigued easily

Those dealing with anxiety or depression may not feel like going out or being with others. You may also experience feelings of worthlessness and guilt and a loss of interest in activities that bring you joy.

Racing heart

It is normal for your heart to beat faster when you are exercising. But if your heart rate increases even without exercise, this may be a sign you are suffering from anxiety or depression. Having an increased heart rate for a prolonged period can harm your health.

Difficulty concentrating or recalling information

When someone is depressed or over-anxious, it can be challenging to focus on what’s going on around them. They can also have trouble remembering information or making decisions. This can end up affecting everyday tasks, your job, and your relationships.

Grinding teeth

When experiencing anxiety or depression, it’s common to clench your teeth and grind them. Grinding your teeth can cause a change in how your front tooth bite feels (i.e., if they usually feel smooth, they may start to feel uneven).

Muscle tension

When your body is under a lot of stress and anxiety, it’s common to feel tightness in your neck and shoulders or have muscle aches all over your body. Their muscles may also be constantly tense without an apparent reason.

Difficulty sleeping

Problems with sleep are common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Not only can it be challenging for someone who has these conditions to fall asleep or stay asleep, but they often experience nightmares or wake up feeling tired even after having slept through the night. They also tend not to remember their dreams.

Treatments for Anxiety and Depression


The first thing you can do is to take care of yourself. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep can often reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. You may also find it helpful to practice mindfulness meditation or yoga.


Psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to help you understand and manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Therapy can be an extremely effective treatment for anxiety and depression when combined with medication or self-care.


Taking medications under a doctor’s supervision can often help anxiety and depression. There are a variety of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, which can be very effective in treating these conditions. These drugs may take some time to work, but once they are entirely in your system, they can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Can anxiety and depression be treated together?

It’s a common occurrence to suffer from both anxiety and depression. Suffering from both anxiety and depression can make treatment more difficult, but it is possible to get relief from both conditions with the help of a doctor or therapist.

Anxiety and Depression FAQ


It is best to consult with a physician in regard to anti-depressant or anxiety medication. If you’re looking for another option, some vitamins can help reduce stress levels, such as chamomile tea, valerian root, or magnesium supplements.


Exercise, meditation, and therapy are all great options for coping with anxiety or depression. You can also try journaling, spending time with friends, and reading books.


Yes, some people have found that acupuncture can be an effective treatment option in managing anxiety and depression symptoms.

Contact NOLA Detox and Recovery Center for Help

If you need assistance in dealing with your anxiety and depression, NOLA Detox and Recovery Center is here to help. Our team of professionals can use their years of experience to figure out what treatment method can work best for you. Contact us at (504) 446-1111 or visit our campus today.

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