When it comes to a dual diagnosis, depression and anxiety are two mental health diagnoses that will often occur together. It is common for someone with major depression or another mood disorder to develop anxiety, or for someone with an anxiety condition, like generalized anxiety, panic disorder, or OCD, to begin to experience depression. These two challenges may also occur independently of one another but manifest at the same time.
Living with both anxiety and depression simultaneously can be significantly more challenging for your mental well being, but as these two separate conditions often occur together, they remain extremely treatable.
Why Depression and Anxiety Often Lead to the Other
Of those who experience major depressive disorder, almost half also have an anxiety disorder. The reasons for this include:
- Anxiety Causes Depression – Although the mental symptoms of anxiety are different than depression, they are still draining and unpleasant. When you are consistently feeling worried or stressed, that persistent negativity can eventually cause you to feel depressed as well.
- Depression Causes Anxiety – Feeling hopeless or sad much of the time can prompt thoughts of worst case scenarios, inevitable failures, and low self esteem, all of which can contribute to anxiety.
- Traumatic Experiences – Traumas are known to cause both anxiety and depression. If you have undergone a traumatic experience, developing one or both of these conditions becomes far more likely.
- Genetic Predisposition – Genetics can contribute to both anxiety and depression and if a person has a family member who suffered from either, that person is more likely to develop both of them.
Treating both depression and anxiety concurrently relies on many of the same techniques is treating them individually. In regards to medication, antidepressants are a leading treatment solution for anxiety. They increase serotonin in the brain, successfully reducing the negative thoughts and feelings of mood disorders, stress, and worry. Psychotherapy techniques and coping skills are also often effective against both conditions.
At Aware Behavioral Health, we treat both depression and anxiety using a comprehensive plan tailored to your individual symptoms and needs. This enables us to provide solutions for anxiety and depression independently or help you manage both at the same time in the case of a dual diagnosis. To get help with your depression or anxiety, send us a message to set up an appointment.