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589: Is it normal to feel depressed when anxiety kicks in?

As May is mental health awareness month, we’re going to be talking about understanding mental health and where to find support. Many of this month’s episodes are in response to questions about mental health from our private Facebook group.

Here’s our first question: “Is it normal to feel depressed when anxiety kicks in, sometimes I wonder if I'm bi-polar. some days I have so much energy and the next day, I'm lying on the sofa unable to do anything, feeling depressed and that scares me.”

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Points covered in this episode:

Ayurveda on anxiety and depression

In Ayurveda, typical depression associated with lethargy, loss of motivation, despondency and increased sleep is usually seen as a Kapha disorder.

But the other mind/body types have their own experience of low mood too which are helpful to explore.

Pitta depression is a more unsettled and agitated state. There is frustration, anger and irritability. Sometimes this type of depression is also impulsive.

And then there is the vata type which is more related to anxiety. Vata depression is restless and ungrounded with worry and disturbed sleep. This type of depression is often considered to be a mixed anxiety and depressive state that often comes with a lot of rumination and inability to shut off the mind. It can be triggered when we’re overtired or pushed beyond our capabilities and limits.

Exhaustion and burnout can lead to feeling depressed.

It can be very scary when this happens.

It takes energy to maintain enthusiasm and a direction in life. When we get exhausted by anxiety we can loose that energy and then we struggle to do anything, including self care and getting help. But that’s where we need to begin.

Key words for this kind of exhaustion and low mood are warmth, calm and good company.

 

What helps?

Try to understand what’s happening, learn some more about how low moods and feeling depressed come come from anxiety and nervous exhaustion.

Look at mental patterns, what are you consistently telling yourself? Are your thoughts increasing the stress in your body?

Don’t push yourself, don’t think of yourself as broken, try and develop the understanding that this is something that can happen to anyone.

Prioritise good rest and nutrition as best you can. This might mean making some simple and supportive of changes.

Give yourself permission to rest, when we feel low and anxious we can be hard on ourselves but it's not gonna help the situation. Be gentle with yourself and consider trying a guided relaxation to help your rest deeply for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.

Get support When we feel drained and low, we need and deserve help. Find someone to talk to who is qualified to support you, like the therapists at Betterhelp, or an anxiety support coach

Hold on for hope Know that this feeling can improve, you can restore your energy, and you can get help with overcoming anxiety and low moods.



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