Depression and anxiety are both neurological and emotional conditions that plague a significant portion of the American population. Depression is a mental state which marked by an apparent lack of activity and constant feelings of inadequacy. The depressed person often experiences short-lived feelings of gloom and sadness based on something complex. Common behavior also entails feelings of despair, self-reproach, low self-esteem, and discouragement.
Depression and anxiety are confused with one another but the conditions are quite different. Anxiety disorder sufferers often experience panic, fear, or anxiety without any identifiable trigger. They also live with a constant worry or fretfulness which can sabotage their ability to work, go outside the home, or maintain human relationships. In light of all this, though, depression and anxiety do seem to share a type of common link.
Depression and anxiety often accompany one another as those diagnosed with depression tend to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. As a result, depression and anxiety are often treated in the same manner which often includes behavioral therapy and antidepressant medications. The reason for the link between these two mood disorders is unclear, but anxiety disorder is thought to be caused partly by a malfunction of the chemistry in the brain. Someone with symptoms of anxiety is often afraid when no genuine threat is present; they always feel as if they're in danger.
The symptoms of depression and anxiety can often be improved by regular exercise; even a small amount of exercise is beneficial. Some research suggests that 10-30 minutes of exercise for at least three to five days a week can elevate the levels of particular mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. Regular exercise also helps depression and anxiety sufferers to sleep better, relieve muscle tension, reduce cortisol levels, and boost endorphins.
Dozens of herbs have been used over the centuries by practitioners seeking to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Few herbs for depression and anxiety are backed by modern clinical trials. The herb St. John's Wort is sold by prescription in some European countries, and in one recent clinical trial was found to be more effective than a prescription medication.