Anxiety and depression usually go hand-in-hand. Those who struggle with both often ask the question of “how to manage anxiety and depression at the same time.”
They know that their worrying and self-critical thoughts are often illogical. However, they still can’t stop these thoughts from invading their minds.
Some people worry so much that it conflicts with their everyday activities. Some people might feel completely alone.
- Do you often experience these similar experiences together? If yes, don’t worry. You are not alone and there are ways you can manage them!
As stated by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders, which is often an umbrella term that includes anxiety disorders, panic disorders and social anxiety disorders, are common mental health issues among adults.
These features are particularly prevalent in those who are addicted to prescribed and non-prescribed medications or who are high functioning alcoholics.
With that said though, the incidence of developing depression and anxiety is still very high among the general population. Many people with depression are prone to get severe anxiety issues. For a variety of reasons.
Depression and anxiety: What are the possible connections?
Both terms are not different in medical mental health terms. However, many researchers have suggested that anxiety and depression often work together. This is because they can occur due to the same factors.
Here are some of the potential overlapping reasons:
Genetic factors contribute to 40 percent of the inclination to depressive and anxiety symptoms. 60 percent of these feelings are associated with environmental factors. There is sometimes a family history that is often prone to depression, more than anxiety.
These environmental factors are also known as social factors. Things such as trauma or negligence in childhood. They sometimes present stress in other ways too. Such as relationship difficulties, unemployment, physical illness, and social isolation.
People who go through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorder are also more likely to develop depression.
Any chronic pain, particularly disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, lower back pain, headache, and nerve pain, is related to psychological stress. This includes anxiety and depression. This also relates to other general chronic illnesses, such as Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy and other issues concerning major organs.
Ultimately the core of the “double disorder” is a cycle.
- When you get anxious, you tend to have depressive thoughts and feel bad.
- These depressive thoughts can make you think that you have failed in your life
- This causes you to become more depressed.
- Likewise, regular anxiety can trigger depression.
Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
The symptoms of anxiety and depression can include the following, but are not limited to only these signs, as there are many more.
- Being fatigued
- Difficulty in concentrating or the mind going blank
- Difficulty in falling asleep, or restless, or unsatisfying sleep
Other symptoms can occur in people who are suffering from anxiety and depression at the same time. These include:
- Constant fear and worry
- Physical symptoms like heartburn, headaches, sweating, abdominal pain, or difficulty in breathing
- Changes in eating, either too much or too little
- Determined feelings of sadness
- Loss of interest in hobbies and any other usual activities
- Inability to relax
- Panic / anxiety attacks
How to Cope with Anxiety and Depression?
Nobody has to suffer from anxiety or depression. Definitely, not both at the same time. There are therefore many ways in which one can treat and manage anxiety and depression together.
People with anxiety disorders can also seek help from a psychiatrist or therapy. They can talk to healthcare professionals about their symptoms if they are concerned but not diagnosed.
Effective treatment strategies usually involve a combination of talking therapies, medication, and specific changes in a person’s lifestyle.
Treatment of anxiety and depression can include the following options:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
This therapy mainly focuses on teaching people to challenge their negative thoughts and use coping and relaxation techniques to decrease stress. According to Harvard Health, CBT is not only a settled treatment option for anxiety and depression, but it is also the best study psychotherapy for treating pain.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
The above therapy focuses on the connection between the onset of symptoms and current interpersonal problems like unsolved grief, relationship disputes, and social isolation or withdrawal.
Antidepressant drugs treat depression and anxiety symptoms like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other medications. SSRIs are used in conjunction with CBT and other forms of psychotherapy, used to help treat and manage severe anxiety and depression.
Getting regular exercise can massively help to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. One of the primary reasons behind this is that exercise releases good chemicals in the brain that boost well-being.
Another possible reason might be that exercise distracts you from your worries, fears, and other negative thoughts. Whatever the reason may be, exercising or walking for just 10-minutes daily can alleviate depression and anxiety.
Here are some super helpful exercise resources for complete beginners!
Provide yourself with time to practice mindfulness meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises. All these relaxation techniques are a way of training your mind to slow down racing thoughts, let go of your negativity, and calm down both your mind and body.
Meditating for only 5-10 minutes daily in the morning can ease your symptoms of anxiety and lighten your mood. Focus on your breathing, make a picture of a beautiful image in your mind, and repeat a simple word or mantra.
Get yourself a pair of earplugs to keep your mind more peaceful when trying to relax. It really does help!
Check your diet
Anxiety and depression often trigger cravings for carbs, so don’t let your comfort food put your eating habits out of balance.
Opt for a lean protein with a few good fats to feel satisfied. Remember to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies and limit your dietary intake of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Check out this super helpful article on how to lose weight – the HEALTHY way! It also comes with a free meal plan! 🙂
When you have a strong relationship with another person, it can help to ease feelings of depression and anxiety.
Reach out to family and friends and talk to them about what you are going through so that they can encourage you. You could also join a face-to-face or online support group to meet similar people who are suffering from anxiety and depression issues.
This can help you to better manage anxiety and depression, with other people who are going through the same kind of things as you.
Nobody has to live with the harmful and unusual feelings, thoughts, and other symptoms related to depression and anxiety!
If you go through such emotions, you should contact your doctor and seek help. Early treatment is the best option to manage these conditions and to get you access to effective treatments, which often help in the long term.
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Vishal Porwal is a passionate blogger who explores the field of addiction recovery. With the help of his blogs, he provides information and knowledge about various types of addiction recovery.