Can You Have Depression and Anxiety?
Depression and anxiety, although they seem like opposites at first glance, are not mutually exclusive. You can experience both, even at once. Of course, this sounds overwhelming, and it can be, but it is also treatable.
It is so important to remember that both these mental health disorders will not take over your life. With the proper care and treatment, you can recover and find a way to live with mental illnesses and even thrive. Understanding both anxiety and depression, how they can co-occur and how they are treated can help prepare you for what's to come.
Depression Versus Anxiety
Anxiety is known as a more high-energy mental illness that is often thought of as shaking, sweating, or nervousness. Depression is the opposite. It includes a lack of interest, fatigue, and withdrawal. How do they differ beyond the glimpse you might get of mental illness through social media or pop culture?
A depressive episode or clinical depression are often related to the following symptoms:
Daytime tiredness and lack of energy
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
Lack of self-respect or self-worth
Difficulty focusing and accomplishing tasks
Changes in appetite and weight
Feelings of hopelessness
Physical pain, digestive upset, or headaches
Thoughts of death and/or suicide
The symptoms of depression often impact everyday life. They can lead to problems in relationships, at work or school, and just accomplishing everyday things like cooking or doing laundry. Depression, however, is not the same for everyone. For some, it can come and go. For others, it can be long-term. Some people can hide it until it becomes too intense, and others may seek help as soon as they see the first signs. Depression is also not a singular illness. It can often lead to other problems like addiction and anxiety.
Now, most people have experienced anxiety at some point in their lives, but an anxiety disorder goes beyond a reaction to a long flight or work presentation. Normal anxiety promotes motivation and can even protect you from risky behaviors. However, an anxiety disorder gets in the way of functioning.
Symptoms of anxiety are:
Feeling restless or on-edge
Feeling tired easily
Having muscle tension
Intense and overwhelming fear or worry
This can be seen through panic attacks, generalized anxiety, and social anxiety. Some people become reclusive to avoid situations that trigger anxiety, and withdrawal from personal connection and lack of control can lead to depression.
Having Depression and Anxiety
As you can see, sometimes anxiety and depression can lead to each other. Their symptoms can also mimic one another. For instance, both mental illnesses can lead to changes in appetite, sleep, and mood.
As noted, either of these conditions can cause the other. For instance, When someone is dealing with anxiety, it can cause them to experience high levels of fear, worry, and panic, ultimately leading to depression if left untreated. Anxiety leads to extensive overthinking in many cases. When you reflect on that fear and even avoidance you feel like it is your fault. That assumed failing can easily lead you to depression, which can be even harder to battle. When you feel a loss of control, you can get down on yourself, and rather than seeking help, you withdraw which becomes a cycle.
Signs that you are dealing with both an anxiety disorder and depression include:
Nonstop irrational worries
Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, or abdominal pain
Changes in appetite
Constant feelings of sadness or hopelessness
Loss of interest in usual activities
Fatigue and irritability
Inability to relax
Treating Depression and Anxiety
Although having both depression and anxiety is overwhelming, all hope is not lost. Both of these mental illnesses are treatable and their symptoms can be managed through therapy and medication. Reaching out for help from a mental health professional is crucial when experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms. They will not go away on their own, and the help of a professional offers positive change.
Therapy teaches you how to accept the diagnosis, learn about it, and provides you with healthy coping mechanisms. You can reflect on your thought processes and even train your brain to better manage the symptoms. Medication, although highly effective, is not always the first line of treatment as there are many options, and not all of them work for everyone. Finding the right medication can take time and patience and during that, the wrong ones can have unpleasant side effects. It is vital to speak with your physician about the best treatment plan for you. Take an active role in your treatment and advocate for yourself. This will help keep you motivated and you'll feel in control of what is happening.
Co-occurring anxiety and depression are not as rare as you may think. It can happen to anyone, especially those who have already experienced another mental illness or have it in their family history. As intense and scary as experiencing both of these can be, it is crucial to reach out to your support system and a professional for guidance and treatment. Without proper care, both of these can lead to worsening disorders or even addiction through self-medicating. Taking steps to care for your mental health starts with asking for help. Here, at California Care Detox & Treatment, we provide excellent care for those experiencing co-occurring disorders so they can get their lives back on track. Reach out to us today at (949) 281-0632 to learn more about how we can help you recover from anxiety and depression. We take pride in our work, and our goal is to provide you with the best possible care.