Anxiety and Depression: Are They Related?

Published October 18, 2011

Most people think that anxiety and depression are the same. Truth is that they are not. Those experiencing anxiety go through sudden panic. They are threatened of something they cannot explain. They are constantly anxious for no reason at all or for reasons they think are about to happen. Those suffering from depression, on the other hand, feel irate, miserable, and hopeless, which make for their low energy level. They have specific reasons for being so.

What is true, though, is the link between anxiety and depression. It is seen in the number of people coping with depression and at the same time with anxiety disorders. This is validated anew by a recent study that says 85 percent of those that suffer from major depression were also found out to have generalized anxiety disorder.

Science also has its own explanation of the connection between the two. They originate from a common cause: serotonin imbalance. It happens when the neurotransmitters become insufficient in total. With the serotonin carrying chemicals that manage the emotional and physical responses of the body, mood problems are sure to arise.

Another aspect that shows the correlation of anxiety and depression are the symptoms that are common to both of them.

1. Sex drive loss – If a person is too depressed or so anxious about so many things, will he have time to think of sex? Your answer is as good as mine.

2. Appetite loss – Again, if an individual has anxiety and depressive disorders, will he have time to eat? Yes, he will as long as his family members make sure of this. But will he have the appetite? When someone has so many thoughts running in his mind, his taste buds may not find any food enjoyable to eat.

3. Headaches – A mind operating for instance 20 hours a day with only 4 hours of sleep will surely feel throbbing pains.

4. Guilt – Those who have anxiety and are depressed may play some scenes over and over again in their minds. These are episodes in their lives that they regret or feel guilty either because they did something wrong or failed to prevent it from happening.

5. Too much worry – They worry too much about their situation, their future and, more importantly, how people perceive them now. They are anxious if the society will still accept them. They no longer think of positive thoughts—only the ones that causes them to worry.

People suffering from these conditions can always turn to prescribed drugs, such as antidepressants and tranquilizers, to feel better. But the cure may be just temporary because only the symptoms of the depression and anxiety are addressed—not the source. Unless the source is treated, the condition will continue to linger. Sufferers may consider taking prescribed drugs as their last resort for treatment.

What really needs to be done is to identify what causes the disorders, understand them and find alternative ways to fight them over.

Recently, alternative and more natural methods have proven to be effective. Some attested their safety considering the lack of side effects, which prescription drugs are full of. Here are some of them.

Do some exercises.

Exercises can do people a lot of good other than keeping them fit and healthy. It improves the psychological well-being and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Pamper yourself.

Instead of entertaining negative thoughts or worrying too much, why not treat yourself to a day of pampering. Go to a spa. Have a facial. Get a massage. You can also have a bubble bath in your own bath tub.

Eat healthy.

Do not overeat—do not even think about starvation. Eat just the right amount and the right food. Go for vegetables and fruits. They naturally release toxins from the body, keep you alert and healthy, and replenish dead cells.

Learn meditation.

Wash away thoughts that involve things that haunt you. Let them all fly out of the mind. Invite good thoughts instead.

Seek social support.

The best part of this natural way of treating anxiety and depression is seeking the support of family, friends and even the whole community. These make sufferers feel welcome and highly regarded.

Express yourself freely.

Speak up. Communication and openness will set you free.

Through these and other alternative treatment methods, adverse side effects from prescribed drugs are avoided. For one, people taking antidepressants for quite a time may find themselves dependent of the drugs. Other issues include tolerance or withdrawal. This could be one of the reasons why some sufferers do not seek professional help. They fear that these professionals never really have the necessary training when it comes to mood disorders or emotional problems. Sad to say but this is a reality. Some doctors just prescribed drugs after hearing someone's condition. They do not think of other alternatives that may also aid their patients like talking to a psychiatrist.

Options should be laid out for patients to consider. Medicines are not the answer all the time. Whether the patients are dealing with depression or anxiety symptoms, it’s important to provide them information. They need to understand the process, so they can immerse themselves fully. Patients should be a direct participant to the treatment that is considered to work for them. Success is more likely to occur when this is the case.

Ryan Rivera is a former anxiety patient. He turned to alternative modes of treatment and finally got rid of anxiety. Learn about his struggles and success story at

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