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Taking the first steps to recovery during National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week, May 3-9

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Of the millions of people wracked with anxiety, depression, or both, only about a third seek treatment.

“People let bad feelings sit with them, and then they get overwhelmed by them,’’ said NewBridge Chief Operating Officer Michelle Borden, a licensed clinical social worker. “The first step to feeling better is to talk to a friend or family member about what’s going on.’’

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults in the U.S. alone, and depression touches the lives of an estimated 20 million. Nearly half of those diagnosed with depression also struggle with anxiety.

When in the throes of anxiety and depression, a person lacks motivation and may feel ashamed. “People are so afraid of stigma attached to mental illness that they don’t want to admit they’re struggling,’’ Borden said.

During National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week, May 3-9, Borden said everyone should learn the symptoms of these debilitating conditions so they can recognize them in themselves or loved ones.

Anxiety:

  • Feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Excessive worry

Depression:

  • Feelings of hopelessness/helplessness
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty sleeping or waking
  • Trouble making decisions and concentrating

“Depression and anxiety are treatable. There is no reason to suffer on your own,’’ Borden said. “The key is to find the right treatment. Often a combination of counseling and medication is effective.’’ If you or someone you love needs help, contact NewBridge at newbridge.org or call (888) 746-9333

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