By Alexandra Calvin
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders also affect 25.1% of children between 13 and 18 years old. It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly a half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Common anxiety disorders include general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, phobic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and separation anxiety disorder.“[Depression] feels like a weight,” said Delaney Johnson, freshman environmental studies and political science major. “If I’m laying in my bed by myself, it just feels like there’s this weight that is on my chest and I just can’t breathe. If I’m walking around, it feels like I’m carrying this weight with me and I can’t seem to let it go. It’s this burden that I don’t want but it’s something that I have to live with.”There are many different ways to treat anxiety and depression. Each person is going to feel these things differently, therefore, they will cope with them differently.“[I cope with my anxiety by] hanging out with friends a lot,” said Aubrie Miller, sophomore zoo and wildlife biology major. “[I take] naps, [I eat] food, and sometimes, actually doing some of my work makes me feel better. It just feels good to get it done.”Malone was fortunate to welcome Curt Thompson, M.D., psychiatrist and founder of Being Known, which develops teaching programs, seminars and resource materials to help people explore the connection between interpersonal neurobiology and Christian spirituality. This can lead to genuine change and transformation. Thompson held an SFO called “Depression, Anxiety, and the Quest to Feel Whole.” He talked about the importance of relationships and how we can understand our minds and how to take care of them.“Our minds are always being relationally affected,” said Thompson. “We walk into a room, and whoever else is in the room or not in the room is going to have an impact on us, and we’re going to have an impact on them.”Our relationships have a significant impact on our anxiety and depression. While it is common to want to isolate yourself when depressed or anxious, it is actually beneficial to be around people and use their minds to understand your own. Medication will not fix you completely. It is necessary to talk these things out in order to uncover the problems that may actually be making you feel this way. Fortunately, Malone offers free counseling to its students who may believe they are depressed, anxious, or feel they need to talk.The most important thing to note with depression or anxiety is that you are not alone. If you are feeling the need to talk, do not be afraid to use your resources. Reach out and use Malone’s free counseling. Reach out to your RA. Reach out to your professors. If you reach out, someone will grab you, even if it’s someone you least expect it to be. If you feel you cannot go on, do not be afraid to call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
LXIII Issue No. 5