Since we live in a country that prizes pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps or staying calm, cool, and collected through even the most nerve-wracking situations, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many people still mistakenly think that anxiety and depression are “all in the head” or the result of some moral failing. Here at Vital Wellness Center, we believe that medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or other medical conditions affect our patients, including our patients’ mental health. Our experienced and caring chiropractor, Dr. David Foss, hopes to shed some light on this complex mind and body condition and share some basic information about the benefits of chiropractic for anxiety and depression.
What Are Anxiety and Depression?
Anxiety and depression are multifaceted physical, mental, and social health problems. While these terms are often used to describe mere nervousness or sadness, they are complex medical conditions that alter how the brain processes emotional information. Since these conditions also influence how the brain decides to interact with the world, they impact everyday life activities such as personal care, work, and relationships.
Anxiety, like depression, is a collection of related conditions. Anxiety may be “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” or anxiety that seems to permeate everyday life. Other forms of anxiety may be situational such as anxiety stemming from crowds or fear of a particular item, such as a fear of spiders.
Depression can be related to various situations, including postpartum depression and seasonal depression. It can also occur as a part of other diseases such as bipolar depression or psychotic depression.
Common Causes of Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are typically caused by more than one factor. Although the mind and body interact powerfully in all areas of health, this connection is easier for many of our patients to see in terms of anxiety and depression.
Anxiety can be caused or worsened by health issues, including a faulty heart rhythm or a hormonal imbalance such as a thyroid problem. Similarly, depression frequently occurs with other conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. While it can seem natural that someone would be depressed after having a serious disease such as cancer, the truth is that depression can worsen cancer or other diseases.
Many prescription medications can interfere with everyday brain chemistry and cause or worsen symptoms of depression or anxiety. When a patient with one of these conditions comes to Vital Wellness Center, we often consult their cardiologist, oncologist, or other physicians about developing a safer medication regimen. When discontinuing their medications isn’t an option, we work to provide care that supports their body as their health is gradually restored.
In our experience, many of our patients with anxiety and depression have a family history of these conditions. As a result, it is helpful to be proactive and look for signs of these conditions developing in children or teenagers. They are also linked with trauma such as auto accidents and significant life changes such as the death of a spouse, so we consistently ask our patients about their recent life events to screen them for anxiety and depression carefully.
Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Since we live in such a stressful time, identifying anxiety and depression can be very challenging. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Increased irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Unexplained headaches, stomachaches, or other aches
- Persistent fatigue
- Frequent feelings of worry
Since there are several types of anxiety, it is essential to get treated if any of these symptoms persist for more than a few days or weeks. This is also true for depression.
As with anxiety, depression can be hard to distinguish from feeling a little down or under extra stress at work. While each patient’s symptom profile looks different, the symptoms of depression typically include one or more of the following occurring for two or more weeks:
- Increased fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sitting still
- Talking or moving more slowly than usual
- Reduced pleasure or interest in hobbies and other activities
- Feeling guilty, helpless, or worthless
- Constantly empty, anxious, or sad mood
- Increased irritability
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Death-related thoughts or attempted death by suicide
- Unexplained digestive, headaches, or other symptoms
As this list indicates, these symptoms can easily be attributed to a tough week at work, relationship difficulties at home, or other life events. They are also issues that too many of our patients accept as a part of aging or living a modern life. Here at Vital Wellness Center, we encourage all of our patients to share any changes in their health so we can help them find natural anxiety and depression relief as soon as possible.
How Our Chiropractic Can Help Anxiety and Depression
At Vital Wellness Center, we say to our patients all the time that knowing what the issue is can be half of the battle. This is often the case with anxiety and depression. Once our chiropractic for anxiety patients know their symptoms have real causes and real solutions, they feel quite a bit of relief.
Comprehensive Health History Review
Every chiropractic for depression patient who comes to Vital Wellness Center first receives a comprehensive health evaluation. Dr. Foss goes through medical records and asks about our patient’s perspectives on their health past. We also enjoy discovering all about our patients’ lives since there is a profound connection between brain health, overall health, and life factors such as relationships.
Physical Examination and Testing
After learning from what our patients tell us, we move to use our medical expertise to find out more. We conduct a thorough physical examination. Our patients are often surprised that we ask them to walk, sit, stand, and perform other movements for us as a part of neurological and muscular testing. Sometimes, we recommend that our patients receive other scans at our facility or community partners’ offices.
Once we complete our neurological and other functioning assessments, chiropractic for anxiety and depression focuses on correcting any issues contributing to symptoms. The spinal cord connects the brain to the rest of the body. Since the spine houses the spinal cord, keeping the spine in optimal condition is vital for maximizing health.
When examining patients, we’re looking for areas of subluxation or misalignment. When the spine is misaligned, it can compress or interfere with nerve function, resulting in incomplete, incorrect, or missing communication between the brain and body. Here at Vital Wellness Center, during chiropractic adjustments, we restore healthier spinal alignment so the nerves can freely communicate between the brain and body.
Our chiropractic for anxiety and depression has benefits other than restoring the neurological system. The adjustments we perform here at Vital Wellness Center can lower blood pressure. They can also encourage the body to release potent hormones that enhance pain control, promote social bonding, and reduce inflammation.
When to Visit Our Chiropractor for Anxiety and Depression
If you’re already a Vital Wellness Center patient, you don’t need to make a special appointment for anxiety or depression screening. We conduct these crucial tests as a routine part of our chiropractic care.
Whether you’re our patient or are considering coming to Vital Wellness Center, we want you to receive adequate and timely treatment. Often, the first time our patients realize they have anxiety or depression is when they feel unbearably overwhelmed or are shocked at their thoughts of self-harm. If you’re experiencing symptoms so strong that you’ve had suicidal thoughts, you need immediate medical care. Please go to the closest emergency department. After you’ve received treatment for the medical emergency, please give us a call to learn what chiropractic for anxiety and depression at Vital Wellness Center can do for your mind and body.