3.5 million or more Canadians experience a mood disorder in their lifetimes.
Clinical depression is estimated to affect as many as one in twelve Canadians in their lifetimes, and 4 – 5% of the population at any given time. Signs of depression include:
- Poor appetite with weight loss, or increased appetite with weight gain
- Insomnia or too much sleep
- Physical hyperactivity or inactivity
- Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, such as sexual drive
- Loss of energy and feelings of fatigue
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or inappropriate guilt
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Although anxiety is often associated with depression and can also affect memory and reaction time, it is a distinct condition. Anxiety disorders affect about 12% of Canadians. Symptoms of anxiety can include:
- feelings of nervousness
- stomach irritation or other gastrointestinal symptoms
Mood disorders like depression and anxiety occur when certain brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are out of balance. In other words, there is a physical (biochemical) cause for the feelings of sadness or nervousness that depressed/anxious people experience.
Many factors can affect the levels of these chemicals, such as nutrient imbalances, drugs (prescription or otherwise), low blood sugar, hormone imbalances, allergies, stressful events, environmental toxins and infections. Nutritient and botanical supplements, along with dietary and lifestyle changes, are very effective at restoring the proper balance of these neuro chemicals.
If you think you have symptoms of either anxiety or depression, please contact your health care professional as soon as possible for further assessment. You are too important not to.