Everything in life is either a challenge or a choice. You could choose to see the world as an evil place where nothing good ever happens, or you can choose to view it optimistically and recognize that every challenging situation is a new opportunity for growth and expansion. When you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it can be hard to see things positively. These negative emotions are often interlinked – people who suffer from anxiety are more prone to depression, and vice versa. Here’s why this is the case, and how you can tackle both at once with these tips on how to cope with anxiety and depression at the same time.
What is an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety disorders are mental conditions that cause excessive worry and anxiety. They include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. Anxiety disorders are treatable, and many people see improvement with therapy and/or medication. A person who has an anxiety disorder may experience crippling feelings of worry, fear, or uneasiness, often without any obvious cause. These feelings are not just normal periods of nervousness but rather excessive enough to significantly interfere with a person’s normal daily activities. Anxiety disorders are treatable, and many people who experience them see improvement with therapy and/or medication.
What is depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that affects a person’s mood, energy levels, and ability to think clearly. It’s a medical condition that needs treatment. It’s not caused by a person’s personality, nor can it be cured by “just cheerier thinking.” A person who is clinically depressed feels sad, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, and worthless. Depression can also make a person change their appetite. They may crave unhealthy foods, or they may have no appetite at all and lose weight. Depression can also make a person tired, unmotivated, and unable to enjoy their normal activities. It’s more than just feeling down or having a bad day.
Why are anxiety and depression linked?
People who experience anxiety are more likely to experience depression. Anxiety and depression can also occur together as co-occurring disorders. They can also come and go throughout a person’s lifetime. There are several theories that try to explain why these two disorders are so often connected. One theory suggests that there may be a genetic connection between the two disorders. Another theory is that the two disorders may share similar brain changes during episodes of chronic stress.
Tips for coping with anxiety and depression at the same time
Practice self-care. Make sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep. This is especially important when you are first feeling depressed. While you may not have the energy to go to the gym, or you might be too tired to go grocery shopping, there are other simple things you can do to take care of yourself. Focus on one thing at a time. Trying to do too much at once can only make things worse. Break your day up into manageable chunks, and focus on just one thing at a time. Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be therapeutic. Journaling also helps you identify patterns and themes in your thoughts that you may not have otherwise noticed. This can then be used in therapy or in your self-help journey. Seek support. Talking to a friend or family member about how you are feeling can help. You may also want to seek out a therapist or find a support group for people who are experiencing anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression can be debilitating illnesses, but they are also very treatable. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, it is important to take action. There are effective treatments out there that can help. You are not alone, and you do not have to live with these conditions alone. You can get better and live a happier life.