Anxiety, Depression, Or Both?

Anxiety and depression often go together. In fact, one study found that more than 50% of people with one condition experience the other. Although each condition has its own unique set of challenges, anxiety and depression have many similar symptoms and treatments. Here’s what to know about the link between depression and anxiety.

center for family medicine The Link Between Anxiety And Depression Signs Symptoms

Symptom overlap

Both depression and anxiety can cause sleep difficulties, fatigue, aches, and pains. Both conditions can also lead to gastrointestinal distress that has no other clear cause. People with anxiety or depression, or both, may experience appetite changes, weight fluctuations, or feelings of dread.

What are the differences?

Both anxiety and depression can interfere with daily life and activities. Anxiety is more associated with a fixation on worry or fear. Depression is more associated with withdrawal from activities. While depression may lead to chronic sluggishness, anxiety can lead to feelings of heart racing, feeling on edge, or constant irritability.

Understanding treatment options

Some people find relief from depression or anxiety symptoms through coping strategies such as journaling, meditating, or exercising. People need to remember that both anxiety and depression are medical conditions. These conditions are not the result of something a person did, and having anxiety or depression does not indicate failure or weakness. When people have trouble coping with anxiety or depression alone, a healthcare provider can provide additional treatment options.

Talk it out

Many people find value in talk therapy or counseling. Whether the issue is anxiety or depression, working with a counselor can help. And different types of therapy resonate with different people. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on adjusting thoughts and actions. Interpersonal therapy helps people learn to communicate better. Therapy that focuses on problem-solving helps people learn better coping techniques and tools to manage symptoms more effectively.

Try medication

Antidepressants can be an effective treatment for both anxiety and depression. Categories of antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Share all symptoms with a healthcare provider to get the best medication option. Patients should also be transparent about any current supplements or over-the-counter medications. Some of these over-the-counter options can interact with prescription drugs, so healthcare providers need to know exactly what medicines a person is already taking. Keep in mind that people may need to take antidepressants for a few months before the medication takes effect.

Get help today

Whether a person is struggling with anxiety, depression, or both, there are effective treatment options. Often, healthcare providers can offer treatments that will simultaneously help with both conditions. For more information, speak with a healthcare provider.