7 things you should know about anxiety and depression

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 24 March 2020

Awareness is growing about the importance of our mental health and how it affects our overall health and ability to function in our daily lives.

Many of us experience anxiety and depression even though we may not have a clinical diagnosis. And even if we have a clinical diagnosis the standard treatment of care, a prescription medication (often a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor), will be effective for only 33% of the population.

So what else should we be looking at?

The same things we look at for many chronic diseases - lifestyle factors.

Here are 7 things that you should know about when it comes to anxiety and depression:

  1. Females are more prone to developing anxiety & depression.
  2. More sleep is correlated to less anxiety & depression.
  3. More screen time is associated with increased anxiety & depression AND the negative effect of increased screen time can be mitgated by more sleep, especially in young adults and children.
  4. Birth control use in a teenage girl will increase the risk of depression as an adult by 1.7 to 3X.
  5. Exercise/more physical activity is equated to better mood in multiple studies.
  6. Meditation will result in less stress and better mood in only three weeks (the meditation app used in this study was called Wildflowers).
  7. Emotional regulation is a skill that can be LEARNED. Building stress resiliency is like building muscle. Student emotional regulation exercises were found to improve test scores AND attitudes in students.

Now I would love to hear from you! What is one lifestyle factor you could focus on to improve your mental health? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

One Reply to “7 things you should know about anxiety and depression”

Lorie Easton

I definitely avoid watching television programming that I find upsetting. That includes the news. I watch and read enough news to stay informed, but especially now, I am conscious of information overload. Also, I try to turn off the television at least an hour before going to bed. Practicing mindfulness and regular exercise are also high on my list of priorities.

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