Referral To A Specialist
If you have tried the treatments mentioned above and have significant symptoms of GAD, you may want to discuss with your GP whether you should be referred to a mental health specialist.
A referral will work differently in different areas of the UK, but you’ll usually be referred to your community mental health team.
These teams include a range of specialists, including:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
An appropriate mental health specialist from your local team will carry out an overall reassessment of your condition.
They’ll ask you about your previous treatment and how effective you found it.
They may also ask about things in your life that may be affecting your condition, or how much support you get from family and friends.
Your specialist will then be able to devise a treatment plan for you, which will aim to treat your symptoms.
As part of this plan, you may be offered a treatment you haven’t tried before, which might be one of the psychological treatments or medications mentioned above.
Alternatively, you may be offered a combination of a psychological treatment with a medication, or a combination of 2 different medications.
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.
and depression not only for you, but for your friends and family. Visit Beyond Blue to find out more about anxiety.
Stress Is Not Anxiety Or Depression
Stress is not the same as anxiety or depression but for some people, being stressed for a long time can lead to anxiety or depression, and it can affect a persons physical health, particularly cardiovascular health.
When we talk about being stressed, it usually means were upset or tense about something thats happening in our lives. Stress is a normal part of daily life. Its a natural physical and mental response that is designed to help people cope effectively with emergencies.
Some stress can be a good thing. It can help us get motivated to get things done, but health problems from stress happen when it is regular and doesnt let up.
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How To Cope With Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Heres what you need to know if they strike simultaneously.
Do you sometimes worry so much that it interferes with your everyday activities? Or feel so blue that it completely clouds your outlook? Do you often experience these or similar feelings together? Youre not the only one.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , anxiety disorders which include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder are the most common mental health problem among U.S. adults, affecting 18.1 percent of the population each year. And mood disorders which include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder are the leading cause of disability.
Moreover, the incidence of developing depression in addition to an anxiety disorder or vice versa is high. Many people with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety, notes Sally R. Connolly, LCSW, in Louisville, Kentucky. And some experts estimate that 60 percent of people with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness .
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Tailoring Treatment To Optimize Response And Minimize Side Effects
Jeffrey L. Susman, M.D., explained how to tailor treatment plans to individual patients with comorbid depression and anxiety. Clinicians should first rule out other concomitant psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse. Suicidal ideation must be addressed with every patient. After the acute symptoms have responded to treatment, patients should be led to full remission . Once at remission, continuation therapy should last for approximately 9 months. Maintenance therapy should be considered for patients with recurrent or initially severe depression.
Response, Remission, Recovery, Relapse, and Recurrence of Depression During Treatment Stagesa
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Psychological Depression Symptoms Include:
- doing poorly at work
- difficulties with your family or home life
It’s not always possible to tell that you’re having symptoms of depression right away it can start and progress gradually. A lot of people don’t realise they’re ill and try to carry on and cope with their symptoms. Sometimes it takes a friend or family member to notice that there’s a problem.
How To Fight Depression Without Medication
Verywell / Bailey Mariner
For many people living with depression, prescription medications can be life-saving drugs. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft , are the most widely prescribed medication for depression, and while they are often effective, they can have side effects and be expensive depending on your health insurance coverage.
There are many ways to counter some of the symptoms of depression that don’t involve prescription medications. If you have depression, you might like to try managing it naturally without medication or supplement your antidepressant with other options. If so, check out these natural alternatives and then talk to your doctor about which might make sense as part of your treatment regimen.
This article discusses some natural treatments that may help fight depression including lifestyle changes and supplements. It also covers other strategies you might try such as practicing mindfulness or enhancing your home environment.
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Anxiety And Depression: What Are The Possible Links
Although clearly not identical emotional states, mental health research suggests that depression and anxiety often coexist because they can be caused by the same or similar factors. According to an article published May 2020 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, those overlapping causes can include:
- Genetic Factors Genetic factors contribute to 40 percent of the predisposition to depressive and anxious symptoms, with 60 percent being attributed to environmental, noninherited factors. “Especially with anxiety, more so than depression, there often is some family history, and so therefore we think that there may be some genetic predisposition to this,” Connolly explains.
- Environmental Factors Also referred to as social factors, these include experiences like trauma or neglect in early childhood, and current stressors such as relationship difficulties, unemployment, social isolation, and physical illness. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder , an anxiety disorder, are particularly likely to also develop depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health .
- Pain Chronic pain, and particularly disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome , low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain, are closely linked to psychological distress, including both anxiety and depression, notes Harvard Health. In fact, they say, research suggests that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.
Medical Family And Social History
The next step in treating Mr. A, according to Dr. Lieberman, was gleaning additional medical history, medications, history of alcohol and/or substance abuse, family history, and social history. Mr. A’s medical history was as stated, with the addition of the usual childhood illnesses. He had no known food or drug allergies and was seen regularly by his cardiologist for hypercholesterolemia.
In addition to the statin drug, Mr. A took 1000 mg of vitamin C and 81 mg of aspirin daily, plus an occasional full-strength dose of aspirin for a headache or general aches and pains. Mr. A stated that he used to enjoy a cold beer after strenuous exercise, but he was not doing much of that, and the beer had no appeal for him.
Mr. A reported that his mother was 60 years old. She had an episode of postpartum depression after the birth of his youngest brother, but she was now healthy. His father was 62 years old, took a multivitamin and medication for high blood pressure, and did not plan to retire for at least 5 more years. His brothers, ages 35 and 28 years, were doing well.
According to his social history, Mr. A was a CPA for a large firm in his hometown. He said he was happily married, but because his home life was affected by his current mood, he sought treatment.
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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.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Anxiety Disorders
When treating anxiety disorders, antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs and some SNRIs ,Ã Ã have been shown to be effective.
Other anti-anxiety drugs include the benzodiazepines, such as as alprazolam , diazepamÃ , buspirone ,Ã and lorazepam . These drugs do carry a risk of addiction or tolerance , so they are not as desirable for long-term use. Other possible side effects include drowsiness, poor concentration, and irritability. Some anticonvulsant drugs , some blood pressure medications , and some atypical antipsychotics are also occasionally used “off label” to treat anxiety symptoms or disorders.
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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.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed
If you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll start with a complete medical history and physical examination.
There are no lab tests or scans that can diagnose anxiety disorders. But your provider may run some of these tests to rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms.
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Prevalence And Onset Of Depression And Anxiety
Dr. Clayton noted that depression and anxiety are common in the U.S. general population. In the National Co-morbidity Survey Replication, which had 9090 respondents, the 12-month prevalence of depression was 6.6%, and the lifetime rate was 16.2%. Among patients with MDD, the rate of comorbid psychiatric disorders was 78.5% in the 12-month prevalence group and 72.1% in the lifetime prevalence group. Of the patients with MDD and comorbid disorders, anxiety disorders were the most prevalent, accounting for comorbidity in 57.5% of the participants with 12-month MDD and 59.2% of the participants with lifetime MDD. In patients with MDD and co-morbid anxiety, the onset of the anxiety disorder usually happened first. In patients with anxious depression, the onset of both types of symptoms was typically simultaneous. The order of onset for patients with mixed anxiety and depression was unclear because the subsyndromal symptoms occurred in a low percentage of patients.
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.
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Treating Depression And Anxiety In Arthritis
Learn when to seek treatment and about the care options available when you are experiencing anxiety or depression with your arthritis.
When you feel depressed or excessively anxious, you may be too overwhelmed to properly care for your arthritis or your emotional health. Because pain, mental health and disability are strongly linked, not recognizing or treating one can negatively impact the other. Treating mental health conditions should be regarded as a fundamental part of managing arthritis symptoms.
For example, having depression may mean you dont have the will or energy to exercise, which can lead to loss of function. On the other hand, having a lot of pain and inflammation may make it harder to exercise and cause you to be depressed or anxious. Eventually, this vicious cycle harms your sleep, daily activity, social interactions, treatment adherence and self-care.
When to See a Doctor About Anxiety
Instead of feeling low and lacking energy, maybe you feel restless and full of worry and distress. Some people respond to chronic illness and stress with anxiety rather than depression. If the following symptoms are uncontrollable or interfere with your daily life such as making you dread regular activities like as going to work, school or spending time with friends and family its time to talk with a doctor.
You worry or obsess about concerns both small and large.
When to See a Doctor About Depression
Electroconvulsive Therapy Electric Shock Treatment
If you have severe depression and other treatments, like medication, haven’t worked, ECT might be recommended for you.
When receiving ECT, you will be given an anaesthetic and medication that relaxes your muscles to begin with. Electrodes will be placed on your head that give an electrical “shock” to your brain.
ECT is given over a series of sessions, normally twice a week for three to six weeks.
ECT can cause side effects including nausea, headaches, aches in the muscles and memory problems.
Most people find that ECT is good for relieving severe depression, but the beneficial effects tend to wear off when several months have passed.
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Add Greenery To Your Home Or Office
You may also find it helpful to add indoor plants to your home or office environment. Natural settings are associated with improved mental well-being, so it makes sense that “bringing the outdoors in” might help improve your mood.
Studies have shown that adding indoor plants to your home or office can help in a variety of ways, including:
- Improving the workplace: Research has shown that office spaces enhanced with indoor plants improve worker concentration and workplace satisfaction.
- Reducing stress levels: Another study found that actively interacting with indoor plans by caring for them can reduce both physiological and psychological stress.
- : Research has found that students who spent most of their time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic had better mental health if they were exposed to more green plants. While about a third of the participants reported symptoms of moderate depression, those exposed to more greenery had lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Choosing certain plants may provide additional benefits. For example, research suggests that the scent of a lavender plant can help people feel calmer and more relaxed. No matter what type of plants you choose, greenery can be a great way to beautify your surroundings and potentially improve your mood.
Move In Any Way That Feels Good
We know that physical activity is really good for mental health. It can help prevent anxiety and depression, manage symptoms, and manage your overall mood and stress levels. For co-morbid depression and anxiety, a recent study suggests that exercise is most effective when combined with medication.
The ideal dose of exercise is 30 45 minutes, 3 5 times per week, at moderate or high intensity. But dont let this ideal get in the way of being active. Even for people who arent experiencing mental health conditions, building an exercise habit takes time and effort.
Set small, achievable goals to begin. Choose any form of movement that feels good. Even 5 minutes a day, or dancing to a single Lady Gaga song, is a commendable place to start.
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Tap Into Your Spirituality
Religion can be an impactful source of support for many people dealing with depression, but there is no need to join a church, synagogue, or mosque unless you wish to. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful can help boost mood and overall well-being.
Meditation can have a range of beneficial effects such as lowering stress levels and helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and reactions.
Research indicates that an intervention called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , which combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation, can be helpful in treating depression and preventing future relapses of symptoms.
Studies also suggest that different types of mindfulness meditative practices can also be effective in the treatment of depression.
There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise with these steps: