Excerpted from "Depression Trumps Recovery," appearing in Stroke Connection Magazine September/October 2003. and The Stroke Foundation website.
Here is some information on Anxiety, Apathy and Depression
Symptoms of anxiety:
Feeling very worried or anxious most of the time.
Finding it difficult to calm down.
Feeling overwhelmed or frightened by sudden feelings of intense panic/anxiety.
Experiencing recurring thoughts that cause anxiety, but may seem silly to others.
Avoiding situations or things which cause anxiety (e.g. social events or crowded places).
Symptoms of Depression:
Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight changes
Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Distinguishing Between Apathy and Depression
Apathy presents itself as indifference — the person seems to not have emotions. People with apathy do not seem motivated or interested in things. Often, the person is generally satisfied and content with doing nothing — and doesn’t seem bothered by it. In many cases, it's of more concern to the family or caregiver. This is more often seen in right brain strokes.
Depression, on the other hand, is an emotion in which the person feels sad and often discouraged, hopeless about the future, and perhaps suicidal.
I found the above very interesting. And then I looked at myself to see which category I fit into. As I looked into the definitions of the above, I found myself in none of the categories although I did have some of the symptoms of all of the categories. You might say, wow, what a lucky guy. He's not anxious, he's not apathetic and he's not depressed. What more could anyone want. But (there's always a but), I do find myself having a big problem with negativity. Every time I think of something good. Almost immediately, I counteract it by thinking of something negative. I've been trying to get rid of this negativity for some time now. I take four minutes a few times a day and just repeat I am positive over and over again while I am doing a hand exercise. So far it has helped a little but I can't seem to get rid of it altogether. I will keep trying, however.
Does anyone else out there have these same negative thoughts? I would be interested to see how many of you out there do have this problem. And if you had this problem were you able to counteract it. And become more positive? And if you did become more positive. How did you do it?!
These are my thoughts for this week. I hope I have given you a little something to think about. Maybe if you could go through the exercise I did about finding out whether your anxious, apathetic or depressed and figure out what you are going to do about it!
Bye for now. And thanks for listening.
Also, here is a site for some good information: DepressionToolkit.com