Anxiety is a feeling of angst or worry that has both physiological and psychological manifestations. To feel anxiety before sitting an exam, making a public presentation or asking a girl out on a first date would be considered normal. Anxiety in these situations may help the body cope with the stressor.
When anxiety becomes overwhelming or continues well after the stressor has gone, it may be classified as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders include, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Phobias, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Depression is a state of low mood and may include feelings of apathy, anxiousness, hopelessness and irritability. Depressed people often withdraw from social interaction or activities that they once enjoyed; have loss of appetite or over-eat; insomnia or excessive sleeping, fatigue, digestive disorders and various musculoskeletal complaints such as back pain.
Like anxiety, it is normal to feel depressed in response to life events. Clinical Depression (also known as Major Depressive Disorder or MDD) involves a group of symptoms, the main one being severe and recurrent depression and low self esteem. People with MDD may commit or attempt to commit suicide.
A psychiatrist or clinical psychologist should evaluate people with an anxiety or depressive disorder.
CHIROPRACTIC HAS A ROLE TO PLAY
While not being a treatment for anxiety or depression, many people find that they benefit from the positive effect chiropractic has on improving muscle tone. Physically feeling better in the body is an important initial step to feeling better in the mind. Improved physical wellbeing also makes it easier for individuals to feel good about exercise and other activities, which can eventually help their mental state.
There is currently no high quality research indicating chiropractic care can directly effect anxiety or depression. However, there are studies underway looking at the role of spinal movement and its impact on brain function and mood.
For more information see the Beyond Blue website at http://www.beyondblue.org.au