Can Anxiety And Depression Be Treated Together
Yes. No one has to suffer from anxiety disorder or depression, and certainly not both. People with anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist, or other healthcare professional about their symptoms and start treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect you have both anxiety and depression, Connolly recommends getting a thorough evaluation from a psychiatrist as a first step. “It’s really crucial for people with both to have a good assessment to rule out bipolar disorder,” she says.
Important: If you or someone you know needs help coping with anxiety or depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK . The Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they text to 741741.
Try To Limit Social Media
Consider giving social media a break for the day if youre feeling particularly lonely or hopeless.
A 2018 study conducted among 143 undergraduate students at the University of Pennsylvania found that limiting social media to 10 minutes a day per platform significantly reduced symptoms of depression.
Its natural and common to think social media connects you with people. But in some cases, these platforms can intensify a sense of loneliness that makes you compare your life with other peoples. Social media use has been linked to symptoms of depression and anxiety.
What Do The Terms Anxiety And Depression Mean
A key difference between anxiety and depression is that one refers to a single illness, and the other to a group of conditions.
- Depression is really one illness. It has lots of different symptoms . And it may feel very different to different people. But the term depression refers to a single condition.
- Anxiety is a term that can have a few different meanings. We all feel anxious sometimes and anxiety can be used simply to describe that feeling. But when we use anxiety in a medical sense, it actually describes a group of conditions.
Anxiety includes some less common conditions. These include phobias and panic disorders. But the most common is generalised anxiety disorder . Generalised anxiety disorder may affect between four and five in every 100 people in the UK. Well focus on generalised anxiety in this article.
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Identifying Signs Of Anxiety And Depression
What is stress, and what happens when you can’t cope well with it?
Stress can present itself after being fired from a job, going through a divorce or losing a loved one. Even getting married, transitioning to a new job or having a baby can cause stress. Everyone experiences stress at one time or another.
Many people define stress as either good or bad when it’s neither. Stress is an event you view as out of your control, and it typically occurs outside your daily routines. How you react shapes your ability to cope with these and other similar events in the future.
When people struggle to cope with stressful situations, depression and anxiety become more noticeable.
Anxiety and depressive disorders are common. These illnesses affect more than 40 million adults in the U.S., or about 18% of the population, every year. The World Health Organization has estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 27.6% increase in depression and 25.6% increase in anxiety disorders worldwide in 2020.
Tips For Men Coping With Anxiety And Depression
There are lots of things you can do to look after your health and wellbeing, so find an approach that best suits you. For example, try to stay active and make plans for the day they dont have to be grand plans, just small things like going for a run or talking to a mate.
Try to include activities or hobbies that you specifically enjoy. At first, you may not enjoy them as much as you did before, but if you keep active and persist, the enjoyment should eventually return.
Its important to look after your body by staying physically active, eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep. Try not to drink alcohol or take other drugs to block out how youre feeling and what is happening. This is not a positive long-term solution and can make the anxiety or depression worse.
The important thing is to find the right options and the right health professionals that suit you.
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Prevalence Of Anxiety And Depression In Men
On average, one in 8 men will have depression and one in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives.
Men are less likely to experience anxiety and depression than women. They are also less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their anxiety or depression going unrecognised and untreated.
Untreated depression is a high risk factor for suicide. In Australia, there are about 3,000 suicides each year. Around 75% of people who take their lives are men, with an average of almost 7 men taking their lives every day.
Its important to remember that anxiety and depression are conditions, not weaknesses, and effective treatments are available.
What’s The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression
One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. This means theres a chance you may know somebody affected by either depression or anxiety, two of the most common mental health conditions. You may have heard these terms a lot, possibly used alongside each other. But how well do you understand them? And do you know the key differences between anxiety and depression?
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What Strategies Are Often Used In Treating This Dual Diagnosis
Evidence-based research suggests that both anxiety and depression be treated at the same time.
Effective strategies often used in treating these co-occurring conditions include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT is often used to treat people with both disorders. Fears, anxieties and tendencies toward depression are managed by seeking out their root causes. Once uncovered, patients learn how to take control of their emotions and life.
- Antidepressant medications Often combined with CBT, these may be prescribed in treating both disorders. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are new antidepressant drugs that produce fewer side effects than their predecessors.
- Exercise This can be very helpful for both disorders. Physical activity causes feel-good chemicals to be released in the body. This aids in relaxation and feeling of well-being.
- Relaxation techniques This typically involves meditation or mindfulness. These techniques can often help to remedy both disorders and improve quality of life.2
How Are They Different
The main difference between depression and anxiety is the symptoms. Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness. You also have no energy and you lose interest in activities you once loved. Some people with depression think about hurting themselves.
Anxiety involves fear or worry that you can’t control. Depending on the type of anxiety you have, the worry can surface during everyday activities like meeting new people.
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Whats The Difference Between Depression And Anxiety
Anxiety and depression are distinct mental health disorders. Each has its own set of symptoms.
For example, someone with anxiety may experience excessive fear or worry, while someone with depression may experience persistent feelings of hopelessness.
However, they are often interconnected. Someone with depression can experience anxiety symptoms as part of their mood disorder, and someone with a persistent anxiety disorder can develop depression over time.
Treatment For Anxiety And Depression In Men
Your doctor is a good source of information and can discuss with you whether what youre experiencing may be anxiety or depression. They can also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Any of these health professionals can help you with an action plan, whether or not you are diagnosed with anxiety, depression or both.
Anxiety and depression are like any other conditions there are ways to treat and manage them.
Lifestyle changes, such as spending time with supportive friends and family, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet and cutting down on alcohol and other drugs are all worthwhile changes that can help to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
Psychological treatments, including cognitive behaviour therapy, are effective in treating anxiety and depression and are often recommended first, particularly for mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Your doctor may refer you to see a psychologist or other counsellor for this type of treatment.
For some people, antidepressant medication might also be an option. Antidepressants can be effective for both anxiety and depression. They usually take at least 2 weeks before they start to help, and it may also take some time for your doctor to find the medication and dose that is most effective for you.
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How Is Depression Treated
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.
Before a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination. In some cases, a blood test might be done to make sure the depression is not due to a medical condition like a thyroid problem or a vitamin deficiency . The evaluation will identify specific symptoms and explore medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors with the goal of arriving at a diagnosis and planning a course of action.
Why Are Anxiety And Depression Often Co
Its a cycle, says Sally R. Connolly, LCSW and therapist. When you get anxious, you tend to have this pervasive thinking about some worry or some problem. You feel bad about it. Then you feel like youve failed. You move to depression.
These two disorders anxiety and depression have a complicated relationship:
- The chance of acquiring depression is much higher when an anxiety disorder already exists. Nearly half of those with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety.
- People who are depressed often feel anxious and worried. One can easily trigger the other, with anxiety often preceding depression.
- People with post-traumatic stress disorder are especially prone to developing depression.
- A biological predisposition for both of these conditions if often at the root of an individuals battle. This seems to be true with anxiety disorders even more than with depression. Connolly explains, Some people are just worriers and pass it down.
People with an anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist or other healthcare professional about their symptoms. Treatment for an anxiety disorder should not be delayed. If not caught in time, depression may find the door wide open for moving in and setting up house in those individuals.2
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Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs
Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1
Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.
Try To Eat Balanced Meals
Nourishing your body with whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, can help you get the nutrition you need and it could also help improve your symptoms.
You dont need to cut these out of your diet entirely, but try to balance them with nutrient-dense foods when possible.
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What About Treatments For Anxiety And Depression
Just as there are many different experiences of anxiety and depression, there are a variety of options for treatments and coping techniques to help manage symptoms. The recommendations in this section take an integrative mental health approach, which incorporates health-promoting lifestyle changes evidence-based holistic therapies and healing practices and mainstream interventions, including psychosocial therapies and the judicious use of prescription medication. We cover each of these areas in detail–click the links or see the menu on the left for more information.
Note that some of the treatments for depression and anxiety overlap, so it is beneficial to learn about both disorders.
Suicidal Thoughts: An Emergency
For people who are severely depressed, suicide is a real threat. Each year, about 30,000 people in the U.S. take their own lives, although the true number may be higher. Some suicides go unrecognized because they’re classified as accidents, drug overdoses, or shootings. Among people whose depression remains untreated, up to 15% will kill themselves.
What are the warning signs of suicide? According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, they include:
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill yourself
- Looking for a way to kill yourself, such as searching online for methods or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
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Consider Asking For Help
Living with depression sometimes feels like theres no point in trying. These negative thoughts can impact the way you feel and behave.
Negative thoughts are like filters, though. They can tell you things about your reality that may not always be based on evidence.
For example, you may feel others arent there to support you. This could magnify your sense of loneliness and lead you to socially withdraw. Isolation can, in turn, make you feel even lonelier.
If youre having these thoughts or feel youre having a bad day, try to find evidence around you that youre cared for.
People may not always understand what its like living with depression or how you feel. Consider letting them know and asking for help. This likely provides you with evidence that other people are there to support you.
Searching for local support groups may also help you receive the help you need.
Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression
Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.
Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.
If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.
Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.
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Symptoms Of Anxiety In Men
Anxiety is more than having sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach. Symptoms of anxiety can include ongoing feelings of worry, fear and impending doom that are so severe they interfere with your ability to work, maintain relationships and get a decent nights sleep. Physical signs of anxiety may include:
- pounding or racing heart
- thinking about death or suicide.
Ways You Can Look After Yourself
If youre depressed, there are steps you can take to lift your mood and help your recovery. These steps can help if youve been depressed in the past and want to stay well.
- Talk about how youre feeling. Talking to someone you trust, or finding peer support, can help you feel better and less alone.
- Eat well. A healthy diet can lift your mood and maintain your mental health.
- Stay physically active. Exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do, but it can ease the symptoms of depression. Research suggests it may be as effective as antidepressants in helping you feel better.
- Spend time in nature. Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression.
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol. They may feel like theyre helping at first, but they make things worse in the long run.
- Consider mindfulness, a technique you can learn to be fully engaged in the present. Studies show it can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
- Try talking therapy to stay well. NICE guidelines recommend CBT or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy if youve been depressed in the past.
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Take Some Steps On Your Own
Get organized. “Less clutter in your physical surroundings, email inbox, and to-do bucket will help your mind be more at ease,” Braslow says. You donât have to tackle it all at once. Make a plan to work on one area at a time.
Make new goals. Is there something youâve always wanted to do, or a place you want to go? Create a step-by-step, realistic plan to make it happen.
Do something meaningful. Get involved in an activity that feels important to you. It may be athletic, political, spiritual, or a social cause where you can volunteer. Look for something that gives you a sense of purpose.
Be creative. Direct your focus into something constructive. Rediscover your strengths. If you have a long-lost talent or interest, dive back into it. Braslow suggests trying poetry, music, photography, or design.
Read a good book. It’s a great way to relax. Thereâs even research that shows that reading books on spirituality or psychology may boost your mood.