1) Ignoring medical issues.
If one of us therapists is working with someone who is anxious or depressed and they haven’t been to a physical exam or worked with a doctor in a year or more, the first thing we always do is have them make a general physical appointment to rule out any possible underlying medical issues that may be contributing to their emotional state.
A hyperactive thyroid, a nutritional deficiency, these are just some issues that can contribute to anxiety or depression so if you’ve been ignoring your physical health in any way and you feel poorly emotionally, go make yourself a doctor’s appointment.
2) Not getting enough sleep.
We cannot emphasize this enough: being chronically sleep deprived does have an impact on your mental health.
If you’re shortchanging your sleep every night and are experiencing depression or anxiety, try getting more sleep to see if that alleviates your symptoms.
3) Too much screen time, specifically on social media.
Too much time spent on screens, especially on social media, whether it’s first thing in the morning, throughout the day, late at night, or all of the above, can absolutely contribute to a growing sense of anxiety or depression.
Consider turning your phone on airplane mode for a portion of the day, turning off notifications, or using social media in a different way to see if this may be contributing to your lack of well-being.
4) Ingesting substances.
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (the diagnostic bible of mental health clinicians), there’s a diagnosis code for Substance-Induced Mood Disorder.
What this implies is that substances such as weed, alcohol, other sedatives or stimulants, etc. can greatly impact one’s mental health.
If we are working with a client who’s recreationally or heavily ingesting a substance and is also experiencing anxiety and depression, we would want to work with them (or have them work with their medical doctor) to safely and gradually reduce or cut out their substance use to see if this impacts their anxiety or depression.
As mentioned above, there are so many factors that can contribute to anxiety and depression and this list is by no means exhaustive! Far from it.
And honestly, the best way to discover and address the roots of your own depression and anxiety is to work with your own individual, licensed therapist.
If you’re currently dealing with anxiety or depression, please feel free to reach out to us here at Evergreen so we can be of support to you.