Anxiety and depression are often lumped together, giving the impression that they go hand in hand. This is not necessarily the case as anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder are very separate diagnoses, yet there can be considerable overlap — nearly half of people in the United States who are diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
To help you understand the differences between the two mental health issues and why they often co-occur, Dr. Diana Ghelber and our team here at the Institute of Advanced Psychiatry present the following.
Understanding anxiety disorders
When we use the word, “anxiety,” this isn’t a clinical diagnosis as there are many different types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Socialized anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Each of these anxiety disorders comes with its own unique characteristics, but the presence of overwhelming anxiety is the common thread.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue, affecting 40 million adults 18 years of age and older.
Major depressive disorder
The hallmarks of a major depressive disorder are feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, sadness, and loss of interest. These symptoms are by no means the extent of the problem, but they’re some of the more common signs of depression.
More than 16 million adults in the US struggle with major depressive disorder in any given year.
The relationship between anxiety and depression
While we don’t understand the exact mechanisms in the brain that cause an anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder, we do know there can be a bidirectional relationship between the two.
For example, the CDC points out that, “People who have anxiety disorders struggle with intense and uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, fear, worry, and/or panic. These feelings can interfere with daily activities and may last for a long time,” which can lead to bouts of depression.
Going in the opposite direction, if you struggle with depression, the effects of the disorder can lead to an anxious or agitated depression in which anxiety may play a central role.
Making matters more complicated, we’ve seen a big increase in both anxiety and depression in the past two years thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. To put some numbers to the problem, nearly one-third of the population in the US now reports symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Treating anxiety and depression
If you’re experiencing simultaneous anxiety and depression, the good news is that we can treat both at the same time. We offer several approaches to these conditions, including:
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy
- Ketamine infusions
- Botulinum toxin
Please know that we will work with you until both issues are resolved and you can regain control over your life again. To get started, please contact one of our two locations in Fort Worth or Granbury, Texas, to schedule an evaluation.