Depression and anxiety can occur at the same time.
It’s been estimated that 45 percent of people with one mental health condition meet the criteria for two or more disorders. One study found that half of the people with either anxiety or depression have the other condition.
Although each condition has its causes, they may share similar symptoms and treatments. Read on to learn more, including tips for management and what to expect from a clinical diagnosis.
Physical symptoms and behavioral changes caused by depression include:
- decreased energy, chronic fatigue, or feeling sluggish frequently
- difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or recalling
- pain, aches, cramps, or gastrointestinal problems without any clear cause
- changes in appetite or weight
- difficulty sleeping, waking early or oversleeping
Emotional symptoms of depression include:
- loss of interest or no longer finding pleasure in activities or hobbies
- persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
- feeling hopeless or pessimistic
- anger, irritability, or restlessness
- feeling guilty or experiencing feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
- thoughts of death or suicide
- suicide attempts
Physical symptoms and behavioral changes caused by generalized anxiety disorder include:
- feeling fatigued easily
- difficulty concentrating or recalling
- muscle tension
- racing heart
- grinding teeth
- sleep difficulties, including problems falling asleep and restless, unsatisfying sleep
- restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge
- difficulty controlling worry or fear
The goal of managing depression and anxiety is to create a series of treatment options that can all work together to help, to some degree, whenever you need to use them.
Depression and anxiety disorders are medical conditions. They aren’t the result of failure or weakness. What you feel is the result of underlying causes and triggers; it’s not the result of something you did or didn’t do.
At the moment, regaining a bit of control or power can help you cope with overwhelming symptoms. Accomplish a task you can manage, such as neatly restacking books or sorting your recycling. Do something to help give you a sense of accomplishment and power.
Aim for seven to eight hours each night. More or less than that may complicate symptoms of both conditions. Inadequate or poor sleep can cause problems with your cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous symptoms.
Research suggests exercise can be an effective treatment for depression because it’s a natural mood booster and releases feel-good hormones. However, for some people, exercise or a gym can trigger anxiety and fear. If that’s the case for you, look for more natural ways to move, such as walking around your neighborhood or looking for an online exercise video you can do at home.
Give yourself time to focus on yourself and the things you like. Downtime is a great way to let your body rest, and it can distract your brain with things that bring you a boost.