Looking at the current trends, nearly everybody is stressed out and juggling between work, family and other commitments these days. Stress is a normal reaction to a busy life or difficult situation as such, but it is not a disorder. Because once the cause of stress is removed, stress goes away.

I have seen people using ‘stress’, ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ as one, however medically they are different terms. Let’s understand these terms in a better way. Like, a person suffering from depression may not have anxiety. In such a scenario, overcoming depression is far more difficult. On the other hand, every person dealing with an anxiety disorder is not depressed.

According to one of the psychiatry professors at NYU Langone Medical Center, basically, the first stage of depression or anxiety often accompanies a stressor. For example, sexual abuse, loss of a family member, serious childhood adversity, etc. can determine future depression. Contrarily, somebody suffering from anxiety or depression can result in high levels of stress. Actually, it is a vicious circle that controls your life, victimizes you and makes it hard for you to function normally.

If we look at the current facts, anxiety disorders are the most common illnesses in America that affect almost 40 million adults, constituting of 18.1 percent of the population every year. This illness is treatable, yet only 36.9 percent of those suffering from it receive treatment. Data has shown that stress in America is one of the biggest health care burdens. And, it is psychologically distressing that suffer higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and heart failures.

Depression/Stress/Anxiety: 5 Ways to self-diagnose

Whether you are dealing with financial problem, tight deadline at work, difficulties in relationship, sudden changes in life, family problems, lack of rest, school or work issues, we all feel depressed, stressed and anxious sometimes.

These days it is a very common issue. More than 3 million people in the US and 300 million people worldwide suffer from these conditions.

Below are some ideas to help you self-diagnose depression/stress/anxiety:

  1. Pay attention to sleep patterns – Depressed individual sometimes struggle to get out of bed. If you are seeing a pattern of oversleeping or sleeplessness, this could be a symptom.
  2. Look at your drinking habits – Its fine to enjoy a cold bear after a hard day. Many people with such disorder use alcohol to self-medicate.
  3. Check your social calendar – If you have stated isolating yourself and losing interest in social activities, this can be a symptom of depression.
  4. Think outside the brain – some potentially unexpected physical symptoms like chronic pain, significantly weight gain or loss, change in appetite can be the symptom of stress or anxiety.
  5. Talk to a friend – It is not easy to self-diagnose a mood disorder. If you feel stressed/depressed, ask your trusted loved one who may have noticed changes in your mood or behavior.

What are the internal and external causes of Stress/anxiety?

Internal causes:

  • Inferiority complex
  • Lack of self-respect
  • No realistic expectations/expect perfectionism in every little action
  • Does not display flexibility in an similar situation
  • Has an Damn-Care attitude in some situations and the reverse in some

External causes:

  • Sudden changes in life
  • Family problems
  • Financial worries
  • Difficulties in relationship
  • Children and family
  • Lack of rest / being too busy
  • School or work
  • Negative self-talk

Ways to keep stress at bay:

1. Cognitive behavior therapy: This method can prove to be highly helpful in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression. It is a common type of talk therapy where you work with a mental health psychotherapist in a structured manner. During the sessions, the counselor makes you aware of negative thinking and shows you ways to better manage stressful life situations.

2. Antidepressants: Medications belonging to a drug class of selective serotonin uptake inhibitors or SSRIs, such as fluoxetine, escitalopram, etc. can also prove to be quite beneficial in treating depression and anxiety together. Sometimes a combination of cognitive behavior therapy and medication can do wonders.

3. Exercise: Working out regularly is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind relaxed. Also, it will improve your mood. When you set fitness goals that you can achieve while don’t give up, it takes you to another level.

4. Take a balanced diet: Eating well makes you feel good in general. Have meals that constitute all from vegetables, fruits, whole grain to protein. Experts advise that to keep stress away; quit smoking and alcohol. Certain lifestyle changes can drastically reduce your depressive symptoms and reform your complete mental health.

5. Make time for hobbies: Devote some time to the activities you love. Try to do something daily that makes you feel good and relieves your stress. Take out some time for reading, doing an art project, listening to your favorite music, playing sports you love, watching a movie, doing puzzles, playing cards, and board games, etc.


No doubt that taking care of oneself can be very challenging if a person is distressed. The major problem with stress, anxiety and depression is that one is not able to control his/her behaviour. In such a scenario, a simple care from friends and family can be extremely positive.

Common Anxiety Disorder Medications are: