Getting Diagnosed: What To Expect
Getting a diagnosis isnt one size fits all, but your primary care doc will probably want to talk about your symptoms, do an exam, and ask questions to get a clearer picture.
Sometimes theres a physical cause of the problem. For instance, if youre low in B vitamins, vitamin D, or iron or you have an underactive thyroid, you could have symptoms that look a lot like depression.
Your doctor might order blood or urine tests to check these numbers first. If the tests dont suggest any other causes, they may refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health professional who can offer a specific diagnosis with the help of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 .
Luckily, treatments for anxiety and depression run pretty similar courses, and addressing one condition often improves the other too. Your healthcare provider may recommend one or a combination of these strategies:
How To Seek Help
When seeking more formalized help for anxiety or depression, start by speaking with your primary care physician.
You can also research local referrals via national organizations including:
Bear in mind that while effective treatment for anxiety or depression need not be a long-term commitment, it is likely to require regular, ongoing appointments at least in the short term . Therefore, it is critical to find a professional you trust and with whom you feel comfortable speaking about your symptoms.
It is equally important to make sure that you find a clinician that you can afford. Before making the commitment to ongoing care, you may want to meet with a couple of providers to get a feel for their therapeutic styles and their treatment recommendations. You can then use this information to determine which path forward feels best to you.
Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter
Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.
Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:
- problems with sleep
- sudden loss of interest
- feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.
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You Feel Guilt About Things You Can’t Control
Cant shake the fact that you benefited from the pandemic or found positive aspects in it? Thats worth examining with a therapist, says Dr. Jordan. Getting this feeling off your chest, whether thats through writing about it, telling a counselor, or opening up about it in a group therapy setting, can help you release it and realize youre not alone, or bad or wrong, for feeling this way.
People With Social Anxiety Don’t Want To Be Alone
2. Worry vs. Problem Solving
Worrying is repetitive and unproductive, but it can often feel like youre working through problems. Real problem solving, in contrast, is a focused way of finding solutions. When youre worrying today, figure out whether theres an actual problem to solve or if your mind is simply spinning its wheels. Then aim to redirect your mental energy toward productive problem-solving.
3. Find Strength
When you find yourself hoping for an easy, problem-free day, shift your focus to how youll respond. Say to yourself, May I find strength to meet every challenge. May I find courage to face whatever comes my way. May I find grace in all I do. Problems are inevitable. How you handle them is up to you.
4. Define Your Best Life
When youre tempted to avoid something today because of anxiety, ask yourself what kind of life you want to have lived. One defined by fear and avoidance? One where you played it safe, even when it meant missing out on things you cared about? Or a life of defying fear and inertia to do what mattered to you? Plan to take one action today that your future self will thank you for.
5. Take the Wheel
6. Love Conquers Fear
7. Change the Conversation
8. Face Your Fears
9. Move Through Procrastination
10. Maximize Outdoor Time
11. Practice Kindness
12. Can I Open to This?
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Let Us Help You Restore Your Brains Health
Here at StoneRidge Centers, we aim to restore the brain to its optimal state of health. Our comprehensive curriculum combines evidence-based therapy, nutrition, and exercise. Anxiety and depression dont have to control your life. Our expert staff members can help treat mental health and addiction challenges.
We can help you manage anxiety and depression in a healthy way that will prevent further harm to your brain. Contact us today at 928-583-7799 if you or a loved one are living with anxiety or depression. Were available 24 hours and 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have.
Which One Causes The Other
What comes first anxiety or depression? The answer isnt so clear cut. Its thought that struggling to cope with anxiety can lead to depression, but this isnt always the case. On the other hand, many people with an anxiety disorder report having depression first.
Overall, based on their similarities, its thought that anxiety and depression are variations of the same disorder. Experts believe they could be linked by a common risk factor, which is influenced by our DNA and the emotional centre in our brain called the amygdala.
If youre struggling with worry and anxiety take a look at our blog: Worry how to work through it. You might find our worry tree useful to help you process and work through your worries.
And for tips on helping a friend or family member with anxiety, take a look at our 10 helpful tips to help someone with anxiety.
If youre worried about your mental health, our direct access service aims to provide you with the advice, support and treatment you need as quickly as possible. If youre covered by your health insurance, youll be able to get mental health advice and support usually without the need for a GP referral. Learn more today.
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The Effects Of Anxiety On The Body
Anxiety is a normal part of life. For example, you may have felt anxiety before addressing a group or in a job interview.
In the short term, anxiety increases your breathing and heart rate, concentrating blood flow to your brain, where you need it. This very physical response is preparing you to face an intense situation.
If it gets too intense, however, you might start to feel lightheaded and nauseous. An excessive or persistent state of anxiety can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health.
Anxiety disorders can happen at any stage of life, but they usually begin by middle age. Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men, says the National Institute of Mental Health .
Stressful life experiences may increase your risk for an anxiety disorder, too. Symptoms may begin immediately or years later. Having a serious medical condition or a substance use disorder can also lead to an anxiety disorder.
There are several types of anxiety disorders. They include:
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
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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
So Whats The Relationship Between Depression And Anxiety
Anxiety and depression are separate conditions, each with several varieties, or subtypes. For instance, people can feel anxiety broadly, as in generalized anxiety disorder, or more specifically, as in phobias or social anxiety.
Depression has many faces, too, the most common of which is called major depression which might sound scary but is really just the catchall of depression diagnoses.
Anxiety and depression often work in tandem. Anxious thoughts can spiral toward depressing ones. If depression comes first, you might not feel up to completing daily tasks and then, as dishes and bills pile up on the kitchen counter, start to feel anxious.
If youre feeling depressed and anxious either at the same time or one after the other you could have both depression and anxiety, or you could have one of them accompanied by symptoms of the other.
The risk factors for both include lifestyle, stress, environment, underlying medical conditions, history of trauma, and, of course, the genetic lottery which means some of us are born more prone to anxiety and/or depression and some of us experience them after dealing with a trauma or loss.
Whatever the causes of depression and anxiety are for you, know that its not your fault and help is most definitely available.
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What Is It Like To Have High
People living with high-functioning anxiety and depression usually do not fit the stereotype of either disorder. In fact, many appear to be overachievers. The anxiety can serve as an energizer, driving the person towards achieving his or her goals. Its later, when in private, that the symptoms of depression tend to emerge. Feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism, fatigue, helplessness or guilt, moodiness, and a desire to avoid interaction with others become intensified. Because the stereotypical image of depression or anxiety doesnt match up with what people living with high-functioning anxiety and depression look like, it is hard to spot, even for sufferers to recognize in themselves. However, the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety and depression are the same as for non-high functioning anxiety and depression. The main difference is the ability to suppress or diminish the appearance of disruptions in life activities.
What Is It Like To Have Depression And Anxiety
This is the first question I wish I could answer for people who dont live with either depression or anxiety. And certainly not both. To be clear, Im happy for those people. I wouldnt wish any mental wellness challenge for anyone. Those who dont understand, cant understand because havent had to deal with it. For that for them I am happy.
That doesnt change the fact that I would love for them to be able to understand. If we were all more capable of understanding what others feel and experience, we would all be more capable of compassion and empathy.
And I find myself writing, at midnight on a Friday night, because of some of the very things that come along with depression and anxiety. Something trivial, silly, not worth getting upset about is keeping me up. This thing, when looked at with a logical mind, shouldnt cause these feelings. But it will, nonetheless, likely cost me a full nights sleep.
So here goes
How on earth is it possible to have both depression and anxiety? How can two things that seem so different coexist and create such havoc? Im afraid theres not a simple answer. Instead, maybe there is a way to explain what it feels like. Can this allow those who dont understand, but want to, a chance to step into someone elses shoes?
Its all clear now, right? Probably not. But if you feel this way or have felt this way, know youre not alone even though you feel lonely.
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What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present
Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:
- Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
- Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
- Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
- Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
- Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
- Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
- Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
- Feeling often tired and cranky
- Inability to relax and live in the moment
- Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2
Cbt Techniques Recommended By Psychologists
While practicing CBT with a therapist is best, it’s a route many can’t take or benefit from to the same degree because of financial constraints and other barriers.
But don’t worry CBT is a therapy you can practice on your own. Below, find psychologist-recommended skills that help with anxiety- and depression-based cognitive distortions.
1. Cognitive restructuring with exposure therapy
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What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions
Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.
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The Link Between Anxiety And Depression
For many people, anxiety and depression can be seen as two very broad terms. From a general point of view, anxiety may be seen as feeling nervous or uneasy. Depression, on the other hand, is a term that we associate more closely with our mood.
Although theyre separated as different conditions associated with their own groups of disorders and symptoms theyre often referred to together. But whats the link?
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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 .
Does Social Anxiety Lead To Depression
The two conditions can exist side by side. Its common for people with depression to feel anxious about certain things, as depression can make it difficult to keep stressful situations in perspective. Dr Monica Cain, counselling psychologist at Nightingale Hospital London says anxiety can also trigger depression.
She says, If anxiety is left untreated and you try to manage the worrying and catastrophising through avoidance, eventually those strategies are likely to stop working. Thats when youre at high risk of depression.
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