Why do I keep talking about depression and anxiety on an LGBTQ+ blog?
Maybe because I’m still fighting through both myself or maybe because I feel like I know both of them so profoundly that I can talk about them as if they’re my closest friends now.
Mostly though, it’s because the LGBTQ+ community worldwide has an incredibly high percentage of our population dealing with either of these or both at the same time. It is so important that we know when to seek help, how serious they are and how to know if we or someone we know is suffering from either of these.
I’m putting my psychologist hat on and I’m presenting you with the manual we use to diagnose both a Major Depressive Disorder and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The manual is called The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and it’s now on its fifth edition.
If you do a bit of research, you’ll find out that through time the way we diagnose has changed, some disorders have been added to the list and others have been taken away, some have been renamed and others merged. It evolves along with people.
Here’s the current list of symptoms straight from the manual:
According to the DSM V, the symptoms of a Major Depressive Disorder are these.
According to the DSM V, the symptoms of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder are these.
It is very common that both happen at the same time in the same person though, and most of the time, the symptoms aren’t so easy to see. Most of those have to do with how a person feels in private.
Sometimes teenagers might seem rude or hormonal, when they might just be fighting depression. Sometimes a person might seem too perfect and neat, when they are battling anxiety, so here are the behavioral signs of both of them:
- Not going out with friends anymore.
- Not getting things done at work or school (unable to pay attention)
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
- Relying on sedatives or alcohol.
- Stops doing activities that were once found enjoyable.
- Talk of death or of people being better off without them
- Self harm
- Irritability (mostly in children and teens)
- Significant changes in attitude towards food (stops eating, starts eating too much, etc.)
- Feelings of guilt. (Saying “sorry” a lot.)
Of course, these signs are different on everyone, but these are the basics. When someone expresses thoughts of worthlessness, of people being better off without them, of death and dying, instead of rolling your eyes or making fun, realize that they might be reaching out.
- Needing to be alone in order to deal with the stress and anxiety.
- Nervous tics like: moving leg up and down rapidly, touching face, picking nails, clearing throat, etc.
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Irrational fears
- Self-destructive habits like: biting nails, pulling out hair, picking on their skin.
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Digestive issues. Irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues can be caused by anxiety.
Just remember that the symptoms for both of these get worse and worse the longer you wait, it’s like a downward spiral.
I beg of you, if you feel like you have some of the symptoms above or if any suicidal thoughts (no matter how small or insignificant you think they are) have crossed your mind, please talk to someone. Talk about your feelings, express yourself.
If you can identify the behavioral signs on someone you know, reach out. Talk to them with love and kindness, become their friend and ally.
All the love,
P.S leave your comments down below. I don’t get offended easily so let them come.
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