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The Best Coping Skills that help with Anxiety and Depression
Jessenia Gonzalez
Sport Medical Sciences Academy


Within the United States 25% of adults currently have a mental illness. Nearly 50% of
U.S adults will develop a mental illness during their lifetime (Kessler, 2011). The aim of this
paper is to provide readers with a little knowledge about some mental illnesses and different
ways to cope with them. Mental illnesses vary from disorder to disorder, the overall look of this
paper will be to provide information about the different types of disorders, post-traumatic stress
disorder, depression, anxiety, coping skills and ways to help loved ones with these disorders live
a happier, healthier, life.

A type of condition you can develop that falls under the category of an anxiety disorder is
Post-traumatic stress disorder; it develops when the victim is a witness of a life threatening
situation such as rape, domestic violence or physical attack. Emergency responders and
neglected children often suffer from post-traumatic stress it usually develops years later after the
trauma occurred. Symptoms are not being able to live a normal day to day life, and repeatedly
thinking about the trauma every day. Constant flashbacks, nightmares, and reminders of trauma
would make you feel upset and create anxiety. Its important to think rationally, and put yourself
in a state youd like to be in. You should also find healthy things you like to do. Try to find
people that are your supporters and be your own advocate to find help to be able to live a better
healthier life. If you have a family member with PTSD its important to be patient, while they get
better it takes time. Educate yourself and accept your family members condition. Most
importantly, take care of yourself to be able to help your family member.


Anxiety disorders are illnesses that cause people to feel frightened or uneasy for no
reason. This can turn into a panic disorder in which you have panic attacks: the sudden feelings
of terror, discomfort, or the fear of dying. There is also physical effects like shortening of breath,
dizziness, abdominal discomfort, nausea, rapid heartbeat and weakened muscles. There are
different types of disorders that fall under the category including different types of phobias,
Bipolar disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder and Obsessive compulsive disorder. Bipolar
disorder is formerly called manic depression. It causes extreme mood swings that include
emotional highs and lows. The highs may be euphoric and extreme happiness. The lows are very
low to the point that depression is developed. PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered
by a terrifying event. Obsessive Compulsive disorder which includes both obsessions and
compulsions. Obsessions are repeated persistent urges, usually people perform the ritual to get
rid of the urge. These are all linked to anxiety because they all cause worry and stress.

There is about 14.8 million adults suffering from depression in the U.S alone. (Peyton,
2013). Different types of depression include major, bipolar, seasonal, and psychotic depressions.
The difference between major depression and bipolar depression is that major depression usually
you just feel like youre down, poorly motivated and fatigued and big sense of worthlessness a
stable feeling of sadness. With Bipolar depression an inflated self-esteem is developed the person
is much more talkative, attention is easily drawn to unimportant things. The differences between
seasonal depressions and psychotic depression is seasonal depression is usually developed in the
fall and carries out through the winter. Its caused by low serotonin levels a chemical that affects,
mood. Staying inside, and longer days may affect them more severely. Lastly psychotic
depression is different from all the others because this type of depression includes more


psychosis meaning youll see hallucinations and hear voices in your head. People develop
extreme periods of sadness where they alienate themselves from their friends and family
members. Their day to day life is no longer happy. Depression is a serious illness because if left
untreated, it may become worse and worse. It can lead to suicide. Suicide attempts should never
be left untreated. Usually 8 out of 10 people who attempt suicide mentioned it or showed signs
before the attempt. There are approximately 750,000 suicide attempts each year. 80% of people
that are depressed do not seek any help or treatment.

Coping skills are strategies you learn that will help you cope with day to day obstacles. It
will help you be able to combat the everyday battle faced by taking the situation and making it
into a better one with a healthy response (Smith, 2011). There are many techniques to cope with
things that cause us stress such as meditation and relaxation. Another way to cope by learning
breathing techniques and muscle relaxation. Breathing techniques, they work by taking deep
breaths this is because it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Muscle
relaxation techniques are very simple pick a body part such as hands, legs, or face and clench for
a few seconds as you release it may feel more relaxed. Thats why stress balls are useful for some
people. Time to oneself is always important also. Recollecting oneself to just be alone and get
away from your stressful life and do things you enjoy doing releases stress. It is very important
to maintain mental health and or recover from a breakdown.

There are many other ways you can cope with stress like exercising, eating right, and
getting enough sleep to help improve mental health. These all can contribute to negative effects


to your body that wouldnt would add to anxiety or depression. When you eat right and your
body gets the proper nutrients it functions better. When you get enough sleep, it gives your body
time to repair itself and get ready for a new day. It gives you a stress free hiatus. Exercising gets
your heart rate up and releases well-needed chemicals. Friendships and humor are very healthy
because having friends is very helpful in the recovering process. Having a great support system
is ideal. Releasing stress is very important to maintaining, mental health and to recover from a
breakdown. Friendships are a part of coping. Having friends can be the backup support one
needs. Friends listen to each other and are willing to listen and help, they often come along with
laughter. Laughter is shared and it binds people together and increases happiness. Laughter
boosts the immune system and improves energy. It helps form negative effects from stress by
releasing endorphin; the bodys feel good chemical. People sometimes deal with their problems
through negative coping skills like smoking, drinking and using pills or drugs to relax, sleeping
too much, procrastinating, withdrawing from friends, taking your anger out on others and much
more. This is not a healthy way to handle stress because, these all affect the body in a negative
way that will not help you get better.

Positive coping skills are very good for mental health. Its helps people live a happier life.
Its important for oneself to understand what they have and having the support to actually get
through it. Its also very important for the family of the individual to have knowledge of the
family members mental illness. Turning to the perspective of the family, often families that have
loved ones with mental illnesses need help also and need to learn how to understand the family
member. Learn as much as you can to learn how it affects the person, ask to go to doctor visits to


help keep track of medicine and therapy. Especially be there for support tell the loved one that
you are available to listen. Plan family outings like going to the movies or out to eat.

Its very important to understand your family even if their illness is confusing to
understand. It isn't their fault and they can't control their emotions or actions. This is a very
lonely and scary time in their lives. They might not understand either and just be under a mess of
emotions where they feel lonely even if they have people. Thats why its very important to be
there for a family member with any of these illnesses. They can develop other things that will
only slow down the process of healing. Depression, Anxiety and PTSD are very serious left
untreated can result in drug abuse, self-mutilation, and even suicide. Approximately 750,000
attempt suicide each year and 30,000 are successful. Suicide is the third leading cause of death
for those aged 15 to 24. Suicide is often someones last resort when they have untreated
depression. Thats why its very important to take action if you or your family member is in this
situation. The suicide rates are high and there are more suicides each year than car accidents.
This is a growing epidemic this is why society needs to take notice about mental health and need
to learn coping skills. Coping skills that fit the individual specifically. The most helpful coping
skills will help you get through the stressful moments in life where you would normally fall, but
coping skills give you the chance to stand and fight.


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