Depression And Anxiety Facts - What's The Correlation?
Updated December 06, 2018
Reviewer Laura Angers
Depression and anxiety have a lot of the same symptoms,and many people think they go hand-n-hand. While they don't always go together, there is a correlation. The depression and anxiety facts can vary, but they all relate the two together. While one can suffer from depression without having anxiety and vice versa, many people do struggle with both.
An article from Everyday Health states, "In addition to the characteristic depression symptoms of sadness, hopelessness, and fatigue, many people deal with an additional mental health condition: According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly one-half of people with depression also experience anxiety - a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness, often with panic attacks or compulsive behavior."
What Is Depression?
When someone is depressed, they typically struggle with feelings of despair, hopelessness, and anger. They often feel very alone even if lots of people surround them. They tend to struggle with having enough energy to get through the daily activities that they need to do. And, some don't even see the point in going through the motions of day-to-day tasks.
Life, in general, is overwhelming. People struggling with depression often pull away from their relationships and like to be at home. They don't want to face the world and struggle with feeling worthy of being in relationships.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is that feeling of fear, panic, and dread. Someone that experiences anxiety feels an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiousness over situations that most people are not concerned about. Sometimes the person knows what specifically they are anxious about and other times they just have an overwhelming sense of anxiety even though they can't put their finger on why.
People that suffer from anxiety constantly worry about something. While they may not feel like pulling away from relationships and their normal life, anxiety can eventually cause these things to happen. The physical symptoms of anxiety include things like increased heart rate, shallow breathing, dizziness, numbness in limbs, and muscle tension.
What Is Similar About Anxiety And Depression
One of the biggest correlations between anxiety and depression is that they both involve negative thoughts and a negative emotional state. These can be negative thoughts about things that have happened in the past or things that could happen in the future.
It has also been found that both environmental factors or genetics can cause both depression and anxiety. Psychiatry Today reported on a study that found, "overactivity in three regions of the brain are inherited by children from their parents, possibly upping the risk of anxiety and depression." One medical university conducted a study with monkeys to test the theory that parents that suffer from anxiety could pass that along to their children. The results showed that there is a 35 percent chance that parents do pass on anxiety and depression to children.
However, both anxiety and depression can be caused by the circumstances that are happening in your life. It can be big life changes like divorce, bad results for a medical test, the end of a relationship, or the death of a loved one. Or, it could be smaller things like worrying about being able to make ends meet or just not knowing what to expect in the future. It can also be bad experiences in the past that you can't seem to overcome.
It can be something different for everyone. Everyone's experience with depression and anxiety can be different, but many of the symptoms end up the same. And, as the statistic early shared, about half of the people that struggle with one issue will end up struggling with another as well.
It Can Be A Vicious Cycle
Depression and anxiety can create a vicious cycle for those experiencing it. When someone struggles with anxiety, it can start to affect their daily life. This can lead them to withdraw from the activities that they used to take joy in doing. When this happens, and the anxiety begins to control their life they can easily become depressed. The more depressed they become, the more anxiety they have over the situation. And it just continues to spiral around and around.
The same can happen with someone who struggles with depression. As depression takes over parts of their lives and they withdraw from relationships and their normal daily tasks it can cause anxiety. It creates additional situations and problems that they start to worry about. This causes them to pull further away into their depression which leads to further anxiety. It goes around and around.
Alarming Depression And Anxiety Facts
The most alarming depression and anxiety facts are those that surround the lack of treatment. Multiple places report that only 1/3 of the people that suffer from anxiety seek treatment for it. And, unfortunately, the same is true about those suffering from depression. Both depression and anxiety are very treatable and many people who seek treatment experience remission of their symptoms. However, there are many reasons why people don't seek treatment including the following:
There Is A Stigma Surrounding Anxiety And Depression
There is a stigma around mental health challenges like anxiety and depression that cause people to avoid wanting to admit that they are dealing with these struggles. Society tends to label people with anxiety or depression which can lead to discrimination. People don't want to be discriminated against. Therefore they don't want to seek help and be labeled as having a "mental illness."
The stigma also causes people to feel embarrassed about asking for help. Society tends to think of negative things when they hear the words "mental illness." People that are feeling anxious or depressed are embarrassed to have this label.
Using The Wrong Words
Other people fail to seek treatment because they don't realize that their symptoms are not normal. Instead, they think it's just normal problems that everyone deals with. They may call it things like feeling down, lonely worried, or sad. By using these words, they undermine the real issue and don't feel that they have anything worth seeking help about.
Feeling Like The Situation Is Hopeless
If people wait too long to seek treatment, they can wind up feeling like their situation is hopeless. They can feel like they feel so bad that there is no hope for them. When suffering from depression, it can feel overwhelming to have to make an appointment, get dressed, leave the house, and face the world. Many people in this situation just don't feel like they have the energy they need to complete the tasks and get out of the house.
If you are struggling with anxiety or depression and want to seek help but feel overwhelmed at the idea of having to get out of the house, BetterHelp has affordable counseling options that you can take advantage of from the comforts of your home.
Don't Feel Like The Situation Is Bad Enough
Many people that are suffering from anxiety and depression don't feel like their problems are bad enough. They don't want to spend their time, money, or waste the time of a doctor or therapist. So, instead, they feel that they should be able to deal with their problems on their own.
Get The Help You Need
The best news is that both anxiety and depression are treatable. If you are struggling with both of these, it can feel like you are locked into that vicious cycle. However, there is hope,and you can break the cycle. If you are ready to overcome symptoms and address the underlying issues. Here are a few things to focus on to overcome:
- Practice Self-Care. Many people stop taking care of themselves when they have anxiety or depression because they just don't care at the moment. However, doing things like getting enough sleep, showering, eating healthy, exercise, and going outside can be just the thing you need to start turning your situation around. You might have to force yourself to do it, but the more you do it,the easier it can become.
- Talk To Someone. Don't shut your friends and family out. Most people want to seclude themselves in when they are depressed and anxious, but that can be the worst thing you can do. Find a few trusted people in your life that you can open up with.
- Do What You Need To. If you need to go to a doctor, do it. If you are given a prescription, make sure you take it. Your situation will not improve if you don't follow through on doing the things that can help you.
There Is Hope
If you struggle with anxiety or depression, don't be one of those that add to the negative depression and anxiety facts. Seek the help that you need when you need it. Don't try to wait thinking that your symptoms aren't "enough" to warrant seeking medical attention. There are both physical and emotional symptoms and effects of anxiety and depression. But, with the right therapy and possibly medication you can get either of these or both, under control. You do not need to continue to live with feeling like that. The professionals at BetterHelp can help you take control and get on the path towards recovery.