About 280 million people worldwide have depression, and it’s estimated that about 4% of the world’s population has anxiety. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, know that you’re not alone. Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Learn how these mental health conditions are linked, what symptoms to be aware of, and how to address symptoms.
Depression and Anxiety
The relationship between these two mental health conditions is complex, and they frequently coexist. Many individuals who experience depression also report symptoms of anxiety, and vice versa. This co-occurrence of two conditions is known as comorbid or comorbidities. Someone who experiences chronic anxiety may experience short-term depression symptoms, or vice versa, or they may experience chronic versions of both conditions. It’s not at all abnormal for someone who’s already struggling with one of these mental health conditions to start experiencing symptoms of the other.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities. Depression can be acute or chronic. Not everyone with depression experiences the same symptoms. There are, however, a few common symptoms that you should look out for in yourself or a loved one who may be experiencing depression. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Persistent sadness
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability or restlessness
- Physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches
- Social withdrawal
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Some of these symptoms are also symptoms of other mental health conditions, including anxiety. Occasionally experiencing these symptoms doesn’t necessarily indicate depression, but it is worth monitoring symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety is a mental health condition characterized by persistent and excessive worry, fear, or unease. Anxiety is a normal and adaptive response to stress or perceived threats, but when these feelings become overwhelming and interfere with daily life, they may indicate an anxiety disorder. You can experience occasional anxiety without having an actual anxiety problem. Anxiety is normal. A few common symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:
- Excessive worry
- Restlessness or feeling on edge
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Avoidance behavior
- Excessive self-consciousness
- Panic attacks
Experiencing one or several of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily indicate an anxiety disorder. If you experience them often, talking to a mental health professional is a good idea.
Managing Your Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are manageable; you just need to learn how. Learning how to manage your mental health is far easier with the help of a mental health professional, but there are also things you can and should do on your own. Specific lifestyle changes will help you minimize the impact of these conditions.
Get Plenty of Rest
Make sure to make time for rest. Too much or not enough sleep is equally problematic. If you find yourself oversleeping as a result of your mental health, make a point not to stay in bed all day, even if that means resting on the couch in a different room. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may find that your symptoms are more prominent. A proper sleep routine won’t heal your conditions, but it can help you deal with anxiety and depression.
Maintain a Routine
Try to establish and maintain a routine, even when it’s hard. A routine will help you resist the urge to waste the day away, which can make you feel even more anxious and depressed. Try to have a set time to wake up and go to bed, even when you don’t have plans.
Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, which lower depression and anxiety naturally. Getting outside for exercise, like going on a brisk walk, will help you get sunlight and fresh air.
It’s easy to self-isolate when you’re experiencing anxiety and depression. Social withdrawal can amplify the brain’s stress response. Make sure to reach out to loved ones and try to involve yourself in group activities, even if you feel like you have to force it.
Seeking Diagnosis and Treatment
Seeking professional help is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Depression and anxiety are hard to handle, and when combined, they are even more challenging. A mental health professional can help you.
A mental health professional will ask you questions and discuss your current situation. They’ll see if you meet certain criteria for these conditions. You’ll then have the option of seeking different courses of treatment. The treatment plan will cover both conditions concurrently. To fully heal, you need to address the entire issue. There are many options when it comes to therapy and medication. Every patient is unique, and an excellent mental health professional will be able to come up with a customized treatment plan that’s perfect for their situation.
You Can Recover from Depression and Anxiety
It’s common to experience anxiety and depression at the same time. Make sure you’re working with a mental health professional to address both conditions. It can be challenging to combat two mental health conditions at once, but with the proper guidance, you’re capable of a full recovery.
At Comprehensive Wellness Centers, we offer both inpatient and outpatient options with a wide variety of treatment options to meet the needs of each individual. Learn more about our admissions today.