Can I Have Depression And Anxiety At The Same Time
Depression and anxiety are two different mental health disorders that are often comorbid. Meaning, they occur at the same time.
Depression is a mental disorder that is commonly identified with intense feelings of hopelessness, despair, worthlessness, and overwhelming sadness. Around 10% of Americans experience major depression , according to theCleveland Clinic. While most people will experience feelings of sadness at some point, with depression, these feelings are prolongedlasting two weeks or moreand severe enough to impact daily life.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive worry, nervousness, or fear that impacts everyday functioning. Without treatment, anxiety can get worse over time. There are a number of anxiety disorders, with their own set of unique symptoms.
About 2% of people in the U.S. have generalized anxiety disorder . According to Richard Shelton, MD, a psychiatrist and the vice chair of research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, GAD symptoms include persistent fear and worry that is often difficult to control. Other anxiety disorders include:
- Panic disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
Depression and anxiety have the following symptoms in common: feelings of despair like nothing good will ever happen, physical symptoms , and exhaustion.
Talk Therapy A Good Investment Our Survey Finds
Talk therapy offers two advantages over medication: no drug side effects and tools you can use for the long term.
“When you take medication, you stop the medication and the problem may come back,” says Michael First, M.D., professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. “When you have a run of cognitive behavioral therapy, you actually learn a skill. It’s something that sticks with you.”
Going to therapy requires a time commitment, and the insurance claims process might be more cumbersome than with medications. Still, if your plan will pay or you can swing the out-of-pocket portion of the cost, our survey suggests it’s an investment worth making. Of the respondents who visited a mental-health professional for talk therapy, either alone or in conjunction with taking medication, 46 percent said the therapists had made things “a lot better” and 45 percent said they had made things “somewhat better.”
That finding was consistent regardless of whether the person had seen a psychologist, a social worker, or a licensed counselor. Helpfulness scores were somewhat higher for people who had seen a psychiatrist, a medical doctor who can prescribe medication. Of patients who went to psychiatrists, 59 percent received some talk therapy, usually in combination with medication the rest got only meds. In two states, appropriately trained psychologists have a limited authority to prescribe medications, but in general psychologists typically specialize in talk therapy.
What to do
With All These Options How Can You Choose
Your doctor can recommend the best medication to help control your anxiety. There are different types of anxiety disorders, so different medications may be better choices for your type. Your doctor will also consider your other health conditions and medications, and whether you have a family history of responding better to a certain medication. Since you might be taking medication long-term, you may want to factor in affordability.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Escitalopram comes as a tablet and a solution to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. To help you remember to take escitalopram, take it at around the same time every day, in the morning or in the evening. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take escitalopram exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of escitalopram and increase your dose after 1 week.
It may take 1 to 4 weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of escitalopram. Continue to take escitalopram even if you feel well. Do not stop taking escitalopram without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking escitalopram, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as mood changes, irritability, agitation, nausea, dizziness, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, anxiety, confusion, headache, sweating, tiredness, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
Antidepressants For Anxiety: The Basics
Some antidepressants may help to improve the way your brain uses chemicals that control stress and mood, reducing feelings of anxiety.
Not all antidepressants are approved to treat anxiety. When an antidepressant is used to treat an anxiety disorder, its generally a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor .
Older antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are less commonly used as first-line treatments for anxiety.
Antidepressants can take several weeks to start working, meaning its important to keep using them even if you dont notice an immediate improvement in your feelings, anxiety levels and general mood.
If youve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, your healthcare provider may suggest undergoing psychotherapy in addition to using medication.
Antidepressants can be extremely helpful, but they can also have drawbacks. You might experience side effects while using antidepressants, or need to try several medications before finding one thats a good fit for you.
If youre prescribed an antidepressant to treat anxiety, dont change your dosage or stop taking it without first talking to your healthcare provider. .
Stopping antidepressants suddenly can cause antidepressant discontinuation syndrome and withdrawal symptoms.
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Important Information About Anxiety Medication
Medication often takes longer to treat anxiety than it does to treat depression. It might take several weeks for the medication to take effect. Studies show that anxiety medication works better if someone also has therapy.
Anxiety medication can cause side effects in some people. These may include:
- dry mouth
- difficulty with sexual drive or arousal
These side effects normally fade away, but if you are experiencing side effects from anxiety, always tell your doctor as they may be able to help.
Some antidepressants can cause a harmful reaction when taken with certain other medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medications, including sleeping pills and painkillers.
Take your anxiety medication as prescribed. Do not adjust doses on your own without consulting your doctor. Dont drink alcohol while taking anti-anxiety medication.
If you are not sure about taking medications to treat anxiety, ask your doctor about the following:
- What are the benefits of the particular medication for anxiety?
- What are the risks of the medication?
- What are the possible side effects?
The Best Antidepressants For Treating Comorbid Depression And Anxiety
Most people suffer from both anxiety and depression. They are also more likely to struggle with the comorbidities of the two conditions.
When both anxiety and depression are present, the quality of life, functional impairment, and treatment outcomes tend to be poorer.
The following explores the medications considered to be best suited to treating anxiety and depression.
Apart from medications, patients with anxiety disorder and depression also require psychotherapy, support groups, and other non-pharmacological treatment methods.
Further, it is crucial to manage both acute and chronic symptoms of these disorders. Reducing anxiety symptoms can often lead to easing depression symptoms.
Antidepressants are also used for relaxation as well as treating depression.
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Other Medications For Anxiety
Many other medicines may help treat anxiety, although doctors usually only prescribe them if SSRIs or similar drugs do not work.
Other medications for anxiety include:
Beta-blockers reduce the effects of norepinephrine, meaning that they can relieve some of the physical symptoms of anxiety. Examples of beta-blockers include atenolol and propranolol .
This anti-anxiety medication may treat short- or long-term anxiety symptoms.
Buspirone works much more slowly than benzodiazepines and may not treat all types of anxiety disorder, but it causes fewer side effects and has a lower risk of dependency.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are one of the earliest types of antidepressant. Doctors may prescribe them off-label to treat the symptoms of panic disorder and social phobia. Types of MAOI include:
The United States Food and Drug Administration require all antidepressants to carry a black-box warning relating to the risk of suicide in children and young adults.
People under 25 years of age may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors while taking antidepressants, particularly within the first few weeks of use.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK , and it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Other Antidepressants Used To Treat Anxiety
In addition to SSRIs and SNRIs, some older or atypical antidepressants may be used to treat anxiety disorders. Some of these medications are approved by the FDA to treat anxiety, while others may be prescribed off-label:
Tricyclic antidepressants. Some tricyclic antidepressants, such as doxepin , are occasionally prescribed to treat certain anxiety disorders.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors . An older class of antidepressants, some MAOIs are used to treat anxiety. For example, phenelzine may be prescribed off-label as a treatment for social anxiety disorder .
Due to the higher risk of side effects and drug interactions with older antidepressants, these medications generally arent used as first-line treatments for depression or anxiety.
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Psychological Therapies For Gad
If you have been diagnosed with GAD, you’ll usually be advised to try psychological treatment before you’re prescribed medication.
You can get psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy and applied relaxation on the NHS.
You can refer yourself directly to an NHS psychological therapies service without a referral from a GP.
Or your GP can refer you if you prefer.
Anti Anxiety Meds: The Bottom Line
There are a number of treatment options available to individuals suffering from anxiety. However, you do not have to manage your anxiety alone. Working with a medical professional to find the right treatment for you can make a world of difference to your mental health.
In addition to the treatments mentioned above, there are also a number of natural methods to control the side effects of anxiety. Many people find it is easier to manage anxiety when they regularly exercise, participate in yoga or meditation, among other activities. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to help ease your anxiety.
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When To Talk To Someone About Your Symptoms
Once anxiety or depression impacts your life, you should seek help from a mental health professional. The psychological conditions can lead to social isolation, worsening performance at school or work, and substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
If you rely on drugs or alcohol as a response to anxiousness or depression, consider rehabilitation. The Recovery Village has centers throughout the country that provide co-occurring disorder treatment when a mental illness pairs with addiction. The team of experts can help you attain a substance-free lifestyle and treat your mental condition.
If youre looking for healthy ways to manage anxiety and depression, the Nobu app can help. It is free and for anyone that is looking to reduce anxiety, work through depression, build self-esteem, get aftercare following treatment, attend teletherapy sessions and so much more. Download the Nobu app today!
Can Antidepressants Give You Suicidal Thoughts
In 2004, the FDA issued a black box label warning for suicidal ideation among 18- to 24-year-olds for common antidepressant drugs. This warning is the FDAs strictest warning for labeling prescription drugs.
The effect of suicidal thoughts is most common with SSRIs, occurring in about 4% of people who take them. However, untreated depression is considered to be much more of a suicide risk than taking antidepressants.
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What Are Antidepressants
What do antidepressants do, and how do they work? Before examining the best antidepressants for anxiety and depression, it is essential to understand what they are.
Antidepressants refer to a class of medication that targets to stabilize chemical imbalances responsible for mood and behavior changes linked to malfunctioning neurotransmitters in the brain.
As you may already know, depression is a brutal mental state to live with. It has the potential to upend lives and negatively impact relationships. Thankfully, antidepressants can be very effective in alleviating symptoms of depression.
Antidepressants are used to treat several conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and severe phobias like agoraphobia or social phobia.
The use of antidepressants has steadily increased over the past 20 years. CDC data shows that12.7% of Americans above the age of 12 took antidepressants in 1999-2002. Each year, this number increases.
Do I Need This Treatment
If you are distressed for more than two weeks by feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness, or by excessive worry that is hard to control, see a doctor for an assessment of your symptoms and situation and to discuss treatment and support options. Early treatment can help to ensure treatment success.
Be sure your doctor knows if you have had times where you felt a reduced need for sleep in combination with an unusual amount of energy, or where your mood changed from feeling depressed to feeling unusually happy or irritable. Mood stabilizer medications may be more suited to your needs, either on their own or in combination with antidepressants. Antidepressants alone can cause some people to switch from depression into mania.
Medications are only one way of treating depression and anxiety. Talk therapies, such as interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy, can be just as effective. Peer support, school and job counselling, and housing and employment supports can also help to deal with problems that may trigger or worsen depression or anxiety.
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Antidepressants For Anxiety: What Medication Options Exist
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
If youve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, your healthcare provider may recommend one of several medications, including anti-anxiety medications, beta-blockers and, for certain types of anxiety, antidepressants.
Although antidepressants are typically viewed as treatments for depression, several modern antidepressants are approved to treat anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
Below, weve explained how antidepressants may help to treat anxiety, as well as the specific antidepressants your healthcare provider may prescribe if you have an anxiety disorder.
Weve also discussed how long it usually takes for anxiety to improve, the side effects you may experience while using antidepressants to treat anxiety and more.
The Truth About Antidepressants And Anxiety Medications
I recently read some rather depressing medical news and that is that antidepressants dont work. Whats worse is that we have all been conned by the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry telling us how much they DO work. We all know what a common problem depression is in mental health care.
It is well on its way to becoming the main cause of long-term disability in the U.S. I was even more baffled when I read how the drug companies are selectively publishing studies that just show the benefits of anti-depressants and not the truth the studies that show that they dont work.
Differences Between Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression are in different classes of mental health disorders. Depression is a mood disorder while anxiety is its own class of conditions. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition distinguishes anxiety and depression by listing each as a separate classification of mental conditions. There are many types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety, social anxiety and specific phobia. There are also different types of depression-related conditions, including major depressive disorder, seasonal depression and bipolar disorder.
Another difference between anxiety and depression is their definitions. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by despondency and overwhelming sadness. Anxiety is an overwhelming worry or stress related to the perceived inevitability that an adverse event or outcome will occur. Additional differences between depression and anxiety include the symptoms of the disorders and the drugs used for their treatment.
Treatment Considerations For Comorbid Anxiety And Depression
Resolving anxiety quickly should be the first goal of treatment in patients with anxiety and depression. Once this objective is accomplished, patients are much more likely to remain compliant with their antidepressant regimen and to continue their therapy for the full duration necessary to achieve complete remission of their depression.
One choice for pharmacotherapy in patients with comorbid anxiety and depression is the combination of a BZD or buspirone with an antidepressant. Alternatively, some patients may respond to antidepressant therapy alone, provided a drug that is effective in treating both disorders is used. Because the traditional anxiolytics will have little if any effect on depression, an adequate course of therapy with an antidepressant is imperative. On the other hand, in patients treated with an antidepressant plus an anxiolytic, the clinician may consider tapering the anxiolytic slowly, then discontinuing it when the symptoms of acute anxiety have resolved. Because of their well-documented withdrawal effects, the BZDs should be tapered gradually over the course of at least several weeks, depending on the dosage and duration of BZD therapy.
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Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder
Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, restlessness or tenseness, a sense of impending danger or doom, increased heart rate, breathing rapidly, sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, trouble concentrating or sleeping, stomach aches and headaches and the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
Anxiety disorders often develop from a complex set of risk factors. The risk factors may include exposure to trauma, certain medical problems like thyroid disease or heart disease, stress due to a severe illness and other mental health disorders like depression. The use or misuse of drugs and alcohol can worsen symptoms of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are best treated with a combination of therapy and medication, Alonzo said. It takes time to find the perfect combination for your symptoms. Your primary care provider is the best place to start that journey.