Depression and Anxiety – Health Issues Specific to Women’s Health

Depression and Anxiety

Depression and Anxiety: If you’ve ever experienced anxiety and depression— in the clinical sense, I mean — you’ll know that they can feel really different. With anxiety, you’re all ramped up. And with depression, you can feel very down. Yet they tend to go together. And a lot of medications, especially certain types of antidepressants, can be used to treat both.

 

We still don’t know a ton about how exactly anxiety and depression work in the brain — or how antidepressants work to treat them. But over time, psychologists have come to realize that the two types of conditions are surprisingly similar. They may feel very different in the moment. But they actually have a lot of symptoms in common, and involve some very similar thought patterns.

 

They might even have similar brain chemistries. So if you’re looking to understand a little more about how anxiety and depression manifest themselves — whether for yourself or for someone else in your life — those connections are a good place to start.

 

Credit: SciShow Psych

 

Depression and Anxiety aren’t really specific disorders — they’re generic terms for types of disorders. But the most common, and most closely linked, are major depressive disorder, or MDD, and generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD.

 

In any given year in the U.S., where it’s easiest to find detailed statistics, about 7% of the population will have MDD, and about 3% will have GAD. Lots of those people have both: About 2/3 of people with major depression also have some kind of anxiety disorder, and about 2/3 of people with generalized anxiety disorder also have major depression.

 

And whether you have one or the other or both,the same medications are often at the top of the list to help treat it — usually antidepressants. Unsurprisingly, psychologists have noticed these statistics. But for a long time, we’ve thought of generalized anxiety and major depression as very different things, and understandably so.

 

Probably the most noticeable symptom of anxiety is arousal, which in psychology is a technical term rather than a specifically sexual thing. It basically just means being on high alert— whether psychologically, with increased awareness, or physically, with things like a racing heart and sweaty palms.

 

Arousal isn’t part of major depression,though. And there’s a key symptom of MDD that doesn’t usually show up in generalized anxiety: low positive affect, which is the technical term for not getting much pleasure out of life and feeling lethargic and just kind of … blah.

 

So there are important differences between anxiety and depression, which is part of why they’re still considered separate classes of disorders. But when you look at the other symptoms, you start to realize that major depression and generalized anxiety have almost everything else in common.

 

There’s restlessness, fatigue, irritability,problems with concentration, sleep disturbances … the list goes on. And that’s just in the official diagnostic criteria. So for decades, psychologists have been examining the models they use to describe anxiety and depression in the brain to see if they point to a similar source for both types of disorders.

 

They’ve come up with lots of different ideas, as researchers do, but the most common ones tend to center around the fight or flight response to stress. Fight or flight kicks in when you’re confronted with something your mind sees as a threat, and it automatically prepares you to either fight or run away. And when you think about it, anxiety and depression are just different types of flight.

 

Psychologists often characterize anxiety as a sense of helplessness, at its core, and depression as a sense of hopelessness. Anxiety might feel like you’re looking for ways to fight back. But part of what makes it a disorder is that it’s not a short-lived feeling that’s easily resolved once you have a plan.

 

Of course, as with all things mental health,anxiety disorders can be deeply personal and won’t feel the same for everybody. But clinical anxiety does tend to be more pervasive. The worry sticks around and starts to takeover your life because it doesn’t feel like something you can conquer.

 

So anxiety and depression might just be slightly different ways of expressing the same flight response: Helplessness or Hopelessness. And maybe that’s part of why they so often go together. That connection also shows up on the biochemical side of the stress response.

 

There are a lot of hormones involved in this response, and their effects interact in super complex ways that scientists still don’t fully understand. But both depressive and anxiety disorders are closely associated with an oversensitive stress response system.

 

Researchers think that’s one reason both of these types of disorders are so much more common in people who’ve experienced major stresses like Trauma or Childhood Abuse. Those stressors could make their stress response system more sensitive.

 

The main hormones involved aren’t always the same, but the changes can cause some of the same symptoms — problems with sleep, for example. So anxiety and depression seem to be two sides of a similar reaction to stress, in terms of both thought processes and hormones.

 

Still, that doesn’t really explain why some antidepressants can treat both anxiety and depression. Because those medications primarily affect neurotransmitters, the molecules your brain cells use to send messages to each other. If you thought we had a lot left to learn about how the stress response works, we know even less about what the brain chemistry of anxiety and depression looks like, or how antidepressants help.

 

But if the thought processes and physical responses that go along with these disorders aren’t quite as different as they seem on the surface, it makes sense that the brain chemistry would be similar, too. And that’s exactly what scientists have found.

 

More specifically, lots of studies have pointed to lower levels of the neurotransmitter known as serotonin as a major factor in both anxiety and depression. Researchers have even identified some more specific cellular receptors that seem to be involved in both.

 

There’s also some evidence that the way the brain handles another neurotransmitter, nor epinephrine, can be similar in both anxiety and depression. Since most antidepressants work by increasing serotonin levels, and some of them also affect nor epinephrine, that could explain why they’re so helpful for both anxiety and depression.

 

Although again, there’s a lot we don’t know about their exact mechanisms. Ultimately, there’s no denying that in the moment, anxiety and depression can seem like very different feelings. And if someone has both types of disorders— well, it’s easy to see how that could feel overwhelming.

 

Like, it’s hard enough treating generalized anxiety or major depression on their own. And it’s true that it is often harder to treat these conditions when someone has both. But maybe not twice as hard. After all, Anxiety and Depressive disorders have a lot in common, from their symptoms to the basic brain chemistry behind them to some of the treatments that can help.

 

The fact that they often go together can be really tough. But understanding more about why that is has also pointed us toward better treatments and more effective therapies, that really can help.

Depression and Anxiety

Pregnancy Issues – Health Issues Specific to Women’s Health

Pregnancy Issues - Health Issues Specific to Women’s Health

Pregnancy Issues: When we think about what makes a woman High Risk again we typically divide it into a maternal indication or a fetal indication or sometimes it’s the maternal-fetal pair indication.

 

So, thinking about maternal indications anytime a woman has an underlying medical condition people often know about high blood pressure, diabetes but it could be asthma, a seizure disorder, a thyroid disorder, prior history of a corrected heart problem, you know, renal disease, kidney disease, anything… any underlying medical problem – that qualifies a patient for high-risk.

 

Credit: Howard County General Hospital

 

Now within that we kind of stratify patients in terms of High Risk or Low Risk. High Risk and we can make plans accordingly. Again, any mother issue.

 

The other issues that can come from the maternal side is if they’ve had a prior poor obstetrical outcome or a prior adverse outcome. Examples of that could be a woman who delivered a baby at say nineteen weeks gestation.

 

Pregnancy Issues – Health Issues Specific to Women’s Health

 

That’s a time when unfortunately a fetus can’t survive and so that really ends as a miscarriage and there are many reasons why that sometimes can happen, so that’s a woman that would be high-risk.

 

Say it’s a woman who doesn’t have high blood pressure but she developed something called Precambrian, which is the high blood pressure that’s unique to pregnancy in a prior pregnancy. She too then can be high-risk. Those are just examples. One real common one is gestational diabetes.

 

Every pregnant woman is at risk for gestational diabetes and everybody gets screened for that.

 

Now, in terms of the fetal indications. Fetal indications typically can be a chromosomal problem. People often know about Down syndrome but there are many other chromosomal problems, a structural anomaly with the fetus so when we’re doing ultrasound we can detection cranial abnormality, cardiac abnormality, renal abnormality, bowel, pretty much any organ system that we can see by ultrasound we can and have found abnormalities in those areas and if that’s found, that doesn’t mean the pregnancy can’t go forward, doesn’t mean the mom can’t have a vaginal delivery, doesn’t mean a mom can’t deliver at term, but it does mean that to optimize outcome of that baby we want to make sure we have all the resources available at the time of delivery to make sure, again that outcome is optimized. So, that would be a high risk pregnancy.

 

And then we get this mother-fetal pair, you know, there’s something going on with both. An example: sometimes some of the chromosomal problems can have implications for the mother and so that pair then becomes high-risk.

 

That’s just one example. How do we diagnose problems that you know, would make a patient become our patient? So often, with ultrasound. So, most patients when they come to our center they are low-risk.

 

They’re coming to make sure everything is okay. Some people may not even understand exactly what’s going to happen here they think they’re coming to know whether they’re having a boy or girl, so with ultrasound we essentially, I always describe to patients, “We’re looking from head to toe” and what we’re looking for again are structural abnormalities that may require their baby to need special attention at the time of delivery.

 

There are other structural abnormalities that may group together and make us more concerned about a genetic abnormality, whether it’s a chromosomal or non-chromosomal genetic abnormality, we’re looking for signs of that.

 

I would share, and I think with patients it’s important for everyone to understand that ultrasound’s not 100%. You know, ultrasound doesn’t speak to how smart your baby’s going to be or anything like that. It’s really looking at structure. That’s all it’s really doing.

 

We know though from our experience that some of these structures, if they’re abnormal, can lend and lead itself to other diagnoses so that’s what we’re looking for.

 

Other things they can come up that we’re looking for has nothing to with ultrasound at all sometimes it’s something a mom has a condition that also may relate to another condition so a mom presents with say, diabetes, we know diabetes can affect many organ systems.

 

The heart, the kidneys, the eyes, so we do additional testing to see, how’s everything else going. We may actually identify another organ system that’s affected and that may have other implications for the pregnancy. An example of that.

 

If we go forward with the diabetes if we find diabetes that actually is also affecting the kidneys we know pregnancies where mom has diabetes and also kidney disease they’re at higher risk of having a preterm baby, they’re at higher risk of Precambrian, which is the high blood pressure can occur with pregnancy.

 

They’re at higher risk for developing fetuses that don’t grow appropriately and that will then lead us to additional testing. So, we consider ourselves to be kind of investigators and people I think often always wonder like, how do they figure that out, but it’s just because we know how things group together and how that grouping could have implications for pregnancy prognosis.

 

How to Deal With Morning Sickness During Pregnancy?

Nausea and Vomiting is very common inearly pregnancy and occurs due to associated hormonal influences it is unpleasant but does not put your baby at any additional risk and usually settles down by 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy in most people so in some it may persist for longer so if you do suffer from nausea and vomiting.

 

Credit: Narayana Health

 

In pregnancy we do suggest a few changes to your diet and daily lifestyle that can help improve your symptoms these include getting plenty of rest as tiredness can make nausea worse if you feel nauseous the first thing in the morning then try to get up slowly if possible eat a toast or drive this kit before you wake up eat small but frequent meals that are rich in carbohydrates and low in fat like rice biscuit potatoe scrackers etc.

 

But keep eating and do not stop eating it very sweet and very spicy food drink plenty of fluids sipping them little by little rather than in large quantities at one time avoid smells and foods that make you sick try to ask your friends and family for support during this period as it is known to help take ginger is also known to be beneficial during.

 

This period wear loose comfortable clothing and sling heavy if these symptoms persist inspite of these measures we recommend a short-term course of antiemetics that is known to improve these symptoms and the safe in pregnancy some women suffer froma severe form of vomiting and pregnancy which is known as hyperemes.

 

Is gravidarum so you need to meet your gynecologist if you have very dark colored urine or do not pass urine for over eight hours if you are unable to keep down any foods or fluids for over 24 hours if you have abdominal pain if you have fever with the temperature about 100 point 5 degrees Fahrenheitor.

 

If you warm it blood in these situations we require urgent hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy and further medications so do not worry though nausea and vomiting is trouble some in pregnancy it can be managed by a few dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Pregnancy Issues