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Anxiety & Depression

Naturopathic care is an excellent addition to your care plan if you are challenged by generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, low moods, or mild-moderate major depression.

Anxiety

What you need to know about anxiety

Some worry or nervousness is normal and can be beneficial. However, anxiety becomes a problem when it disrupts our lives, affecting our behaviours, thoughts, emotions and physical health. It is often said that anxiety is negative thinking that’s focused on the future.

Anxiety is a feeling of intense discomfort, which drives people to avoid triggers. Every time we avoid an anxiety-producing situation, the anxiety will be even worse the next time around. The brain starts to learn the response: “When I avoid this trigger, I feel better.” It thinks “I guess I should try to avoid it next time too.”

Anxiety predisposes us to catastrophic thinking. The anxious mind tends to obsess about the past and dwell on regrets.

People with anxiety often present with somatic symptoms, depression, chronic pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, and/or chronic fatigue.

Risk Factors

  • Family history of anxiety
  • Time of life (higher incidence in adolescents/youth and the elderly)
  • Stressful periods (life events)
  • Postpartum period
  • Chronic physical illness including chronic pain conditions
  • Substance use disorders
  • Parental behaviour (e.g., a tendency to be overprotective, less affectionate, and more controlling) appears to be associated with the development of anxiety disorders

Do I have anxiety?

  • Are you a worrier by nature?
  • Do people who know you see you as a worrier?
  • Are your worries so hard to control that they take over your life?
  • Do you find yourself worrying a lot about bad things that might happen in the future?
  • Do you worry a lot about day to day activities or getting things done?
  • Does the worry prevent you from sleeping or interfere with your day to dayfunctioning?
  • When you are worrying do you experience muscle tension, tiredness, headaches or stomach upset?

 

Depression

Depression is the #1 cause of disability worldwide. Depression is negative thinking about the past. Symptoms of depression include persistent sadness, low energy and difficulty functioning normally.

Risk Factors for Major Depressive Disorder

• long term pain or chronic illness (e.g., diabetes, arthritis)
• cardiovascular disease
• family history of mood disorder
• pregnancy or postpartum
• long-term sleep problems
• substance use disorders
• female gender
• tobacco dependence

Do I have depression?

People who are depressed feel unmotivated and find themselves falling into unhelpful behaviours such as:

◦ Crying, lying in bed during the day, not able to get up in the morning
◦ Withdrawing from and avoiding friends and others
◦ Dropping out of recreational activities
◦ Missing work or school
◦ Neglecting responsibilities or personal appearance
◦ Becoming restless and agitated

 

How can I start to treat my anxiety & depression naturally?

Developing a mindfulness practice is an excellent way to start managing your mood.

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non- judgmentally.”  Jon Kabat-Zinn

Being mindful means paying attention to the present moment, exactly as it is. It is challenging to be anxious if you’re completely focused on the present moment.

You can read more about mindfulness at the Mindful website –> here.

I really like the free guided meditations available online from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

Book Recommendations

I often recommend these books to my patients who are struggling with mental health challenges.

 

Naturopathic Treatment for Mood Issues

Naturopathic treatment for mood conditions can involve any combination of dietary recommendations, lifestyle practices, herbs, supplements and acupuncture depending on your unique symptom presentation.

You are invited to book a 15 min complementary consult with Dr. Bozinovski ND., MSc. We will talk about where you’re at, where you want to go, and how naturopathic care can help get you there. Call 416 214 0100 to book your appointment or use the link below.

 

If you require immediate support, you can reach Toronto Distress Centres at this number 416 408-4357.

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