Anxiety is often associated with depression. That’s why it’s important to treat both disorders at the same time. Almost half of the people who suffer from depression are also anxious. Experts have not yet determined the reason. Both depression and anxiety can be easily cured with medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.
People who have an anxiety disorder – social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or phobia – spend most of their lives in a state of panic. Depression also occurs over time. There is no official explanation for why anxiety and depression often occur together. What is important is that both are easy to treat, even though the numbers of people suffering from it are increasing.
Anxiety disorders are much more than worry and nervousness. Anxiety disorders cause incredible fear related to things that many people would not even think about. Many people who have an anxiety disorder fully understand how irrational their thoughts are but cannot cope with them. It’s a sort of a cycle; when you become anxious, you have obsessive thoughts about a problem or worry and feel bad about it. Then you feel like you have been misled and depression is occurring.
Depression and anxiety have a complicated connection. Depression in people who already have an anxiety disorder is very common. Almost half of the people who have severe depression have anxiety as well. People who are depressed often feel anxious, so one easily “pulls” the other. Anxiety is often a precursor to depression.
There is a theory that depression and anxiety can also be biologically predisposed. More often with anxiety than with depression, there is also a family history, so it is believed that there are genetic predispositions to these disorders as well. Some people pass on their anxiety to their children.
There are some sure signs that a person is suffering from both anxiety disorder and depression:
- There is constant, irrational fear, or worry.
- Physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, hot flashes, sweating, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing are displaying themselves on a daily basis.
- Often there are dietary changes – overeating or loss of appetite.
- People suffering from anxiety and depression have difficulty remembering, concentrating and making decisions.
- There is a constant feeling of sadness and worthlessness present.
- People lose interest in hobbies and various activities.
- There are fatigue and irritability.
- An anxious person is constantly in a spasm and cannot relax.
- Panic attacks are frequent.
Both anxiety and depression should be treated at the same time. Effective treatment strategies include:
Cognitive-behavioural therapy often used to treat anxiety disorder, which is accompanied by depression. This kind of therapy teaches people to deal with their fears, anxiety, and symptoms of depression by understanding what really causes them. People also learn how to take control of their emotions.
Antidepressants, which can also be prescribed as a cure for both problems. These drugs are often used with therapy.
Exercise, which helps with depression and anxiety. Exercise releases biochemical substances in the body, which help us feel better and help us relax. Only 10 minutes of walking can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression in the next few hours.
Relaxation techniques, which include meditation and similar techniques. These techniques ease both anxiety and depression and improve quality of life.
Organizations that offer treatment for mental health issues, which can be hospitals and support groups.
People close to people with anxiety and depression should consider having noticed the following warning signs:
- Poor day-to-day self-care – e.g. the person will not maintain personal hygiene, will not get out of bed or eat.
- Sudden and extreme mood swings.
- Violence, threats and aggression.
- Alcohol or drug addiction.
- Confusion and hallucinations.
- Talk about suicide.
Treatment for anxiety and depression must be entrusted to a specialist. It is vital that people who have both anxiety and depression go to a professional, to rule out bipolar personality disorder. Bipolar disorder is a condition where emotions range from complete lethargy to complete euphoria, from mania to depression, and this disorder is treated quite differently than anxiety and depression.
No one must suffer from anxiety or depression, and especially not from both at the same time. First, you should talk to your doctor or therapist about the symptoms, especially if you only have anxiety disorder together with depression. But there is light at the end of the tunnel because both conditions can be treated with great success.
- Recognize the signs
- Accept that it is happening
- Don’t be embarrassed, there is no reason to feel like that
- Seek professional help
- Follow treatment and advise
- Give it time
- You will feel better
Take it from me, I am there