It’s interesting to learn that anxiety disorder and depression can go together, as if one isn’t bad enough to deal with.
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I had dysthymia , a type of depression, to go along with my anxiety disorder so I understand the difficulty in overcoming this particular combination. It’s not easy, but it definitely can be done and it’s definitely worth the effort.
A lot of times, you’ll hear that depression has a lot to do with little to no energy. While this may be true for someone who just has depression, if you have anxiety disorder and depression, you’re expending a lot of energy.
For example, you spend a lot of time worrying and being fearful about many things in your life…all the adrenaline that’s created by your constantly activated fight or flight response uses up a lot of energy. And don’t forget, your anxiety can progress to he point of a panic attack and panic attacks use up lots and lots of energy.
When you’re depressed, your emotions tend to be despair, sadness, hopelessness, and anger. You tend to have fairly low energy levels. Because of this, you can feel overwhelmed by the daily tasks that confront you and your personal and work relationships can suffer as a result.
If you suffer from anxiety, you have fearful thoughts and emotions and you can often feel panicked in circumstances where most people would not feel threatened, fearful, or anxious.
However, when you suffer from a combination of the two disorders…and over 50% of people who have an anxiety disorder also are depressed…on the one hand you struggle to have enough energy to get through the day, yet you are constantly “on alert” and fearful about so many things.
This combination taxes all your mental and physical reserves and constantly wears you out. As a result, it’s important to be treated as soon as possible. Happily, there are a number of things doctors and mental health professionals can do to help you feel better and overcome both disorders. The trip may not be easy, but as I said before, it’s worth it.
Having an anxiety disorder and depression is difficult and if you don’t handle it right, it can be quite a challenge. Doctors say that when you have anxiety disorder and depression, the symptoms of each one are more severe than if you just had one of these disorders by itself.
In addition, the combination makes it harder to resolve the symptoms of your depression. The most sobering statistic is that those who have anxiety disorder with depression have a higher suicide rate than those with just depression by itself.
Doctors treat depression and anxiety in very similar ways. They typically use a combination of medications and psychological therapy, most often cognitive behavioral therapy . They also recommend relaxation techniques and exercise.
A program of regular exercise directly impacts many of the physical conditions that go along with the anxiety. It reduces muscle tension, boosts your metabolism, gets rid of excess adrenaline, and helps you release anger and frustration.
Relaxation techniques also help in this regard and they are directly related to stress reduction. Some relaxation techniques consist of progressive muscle relaxation, focused breathing, visualization, and the relaxation response.
There are a lot of exercises and relaxation techniques from which to choose, so talk to your doctor or mental health therapist to pick the ones that are right for you.
Another thing you can do is take control of your diet. Diet and nutrition can have a big effect on anxiety disorder and depression. For instance, substances that are considered stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can cause you to feel anxious and on edge. If they bother you, talk to your doctor about eliminating them from your life.
Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Here are a few signs that you may be suffering from anxiety disorder and depression:
- Heart palpitations
- Difficulty breathing
- Constant feelings of unimportance or sadness
- Feeling tired or irritable
- Consistent unreasonable fear and worry
- Panic attacks
If you experience any of these symptoms, let your doctor know and let him examine you.
The bottom line in all this is that while anxiety disorder and depression can be troublesome in your life, help is available and you stand a very good chance of quickly improving your quality of life and even making a full recovery. The worst thing you can do is ignore your symptoms, so take action, get the help you need and deserve, and get involved in life once again. I did it and I know that you can, too!