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Is Depression A Anxiety Disorder

You Have Unstable Blood Sugar

Depression & Anxiety – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

You dont have to be diabetic to have a blood sugar problem. We help many of our patients here at Parsley Health pull the brakes on the rollercoaster of symptoms theyve been experiencing from spikes and dips in blood sugar.

Take a typical on-the-go breakfast for many people: a pastry and sugary coffee drink. That wave of sugar creates a rapid spike in your blood sugar and causes your pancreas to release insulin to stabilize it. As your blood sugar returns to normal, you crash, feeling tired. Youll also feel hungry again pretty quickly, leading you to reach for carbs and perpetuating the cycle.

All that sugar adds up. When people consumed 40g of added sugar a day in the form of a can of soda for three weeks, they showed at least a 60 percent increase in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation. Inflammation has been associated with many chronic diseases, including depression. Learning to eat a combination of , protein, and healthy fat at each meal and never skipping a meal can help you maintain steady blood sugar throughout the day and tame inflammation.

What Do Anxiety And Depression Feel Like

Generalised anxiety disorder and depression can both have emotional and physical symptoms.

Mood and feelings

Depression is defined by having a low mood and/or a loss of interest or enjoyment in most activities, for two weeks or longer. These are seen as core symptoms of depression. There are a range of other mood-related symptoms that a person with depression may experience, including:

  • guilt
  • feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem or low confidence
  • thoughts of death or suicide

Similarly, generalised anxiety disorder centres on two core symptoms. These are:

  • excessive anxiety
  • worry on most days for more than six months, and difficulty controlling these feelings of anxiety and worry

And again, there are further symptoms beyond these that someone may experience, such as:

  • feeling on edge or restless
  • irritability

With generalised anxiety disorder you may feel very worried about a range of everyday things. And there may not be one obvious logical cause for your anxiety.

Physical symptoms

There are quite a few physical symptoms that appear in both generalised anxiety disorder and depression. For example:

But there are also physical symptoms unique to both conditions. In depression, physical symptoms might include:

  • weight changes, often caused by changes in appetite
  • being slower in your movements

The physical effects of generalised anxiety disorder include:

  • muscle tension and aches
  • bowel problems
  • a fast heartbeat and shortness of breath

Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol

For many of us, a cup of coffee at the start of the day gets us going, and a glass of wine in the evening will help us relax.

But too much of either can seriously affect our bodies ability to manage anxiety.

Caffeine can trigger cortisol production, the hormone that triggers the fight or flight stress response.

And as for alcohol, drinking too much will change your brain chemistry over time, thus lowering its ability to cope with stress.

Recommended Reading: How To Treat Morning Anxiety

Other Differences Between Depression And Anxiety

Depression can be experienced in the body as aches and pains, but the real digestive issues tend to go with anxiety. With anxiety, your body is preparing for an emergency because your mind is anticipating something bad will happen. Your body diverts blood supply and energy to muscles that will help you fight off an attack or run from a threat. Other bodily functions like digestion are left without the energy they need to continue until after the threat is mitigated.

Depression brings about a general slowing of all physical functioning. Little energy is made available for movement, even the movement of small facial muscles that display expression. An appetite increase can be a self-soothing technique. Some people learn to comfort themselves with food, although its only a temporarily comforting result.

Another feature that is common in depression is a feeling of worthlessness or preoccupation self-blame or guilt. In anxiety, there is an expectation that something bad is going to happen. Anxiety is mostly worrying about something that has not happened yet. Depression is a sadness about the current state of affairs or rumination about past events. People who are depressed usually do not worry about the future because they generally gave up hope that things will change for the better.

Risk Factors For Anxiety Disorder

The Biology Behind Anxiety and Depression

Some things also make you more likely to develop an anxiety disorder. These are called risk factors. Some risk factors you canât change, but others you can.

Risk factors for anxiety disorders include:

  • History of mental health disorder. Having another mental health disorder, like depression, raises your risk for anxiety disorder.
  • Childhood sexual abuse. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect during childhood is linked to anxiety disorders later in life.
  • Trauma. Living through a traumatic event increases the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder , which can cause panic attacks.
  • Negative life events. Stressful or negative life events, like losing a parent in early childhood, increase your risk for anxiety disorder.
  • Severe illness or chronic health condition. Constant worry about your health or the health of a loved one, or caring for someone who is sick, can cause you to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
  • Substance abuse. The use of alcohol and illegal drugs makes you more likely to get an anxiety disorder. Some people also use these substances to hide or ease anxiety symptoms.
  • Being shy as a child. Shyness and withdrawal from unfamiliar people and places during childhood is linked to social anxiety in teens and adults.
  • Low self-esteem. Negative perceptions about yourself may lead to social anxiety disorder.

Recommended Reading: What Does It Feel Like To Have Anxiety Attack

Thyroid Issues Are To Blame

Your thyroid gland produces hormones involved in metabolism and growth, releasing the hormones only when needed. But when your thyroid gets out of whack , your thyroid can overproduce or underproduce these hormones, leading to a range of physical and mental symptoms.

In a large 2015 study of people diagnosed with thyroid conditions, researchers linked an overactive thyroid to anxiety, while an underactive thyroid was associated with depression. Another study found that 60 percent of patients with hypothyroidism reported symptoms of depression, while 63 percent reported symptoms of anxiety.

Researchers still arent exactly sure what underlying mechanism links thyroid disorders with depression and anxietythere may be severalbut the relationship between thyroid hormones and mood regulation is likely stronger than previously thought.

Treatment With Psychoactive Drugs

The drugs most commonly used are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and the selective noradrenaline ruptake inhibitors .

In the informed-consent discussion, the patient should not only be informed of the specific side effects of the drug class to be prescribed, but should also be told that the effect of antidepressant drugs may be delayed by a latency of approximately two weeks , and that these drugs may, in fact, initially worsen nervousness, agitation, and anxiety. They should therefore be given at a low dose at first, with gradual upward titration .

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Who Is At Risk For Depression And Anxiety

Everyone is at risk of experiencing depression or anxiety at some point in their lives, but studies show that women and adults under the age of 35 are more likely to experience anxiety than other groups. The proportion of adults who experienced any symptoms of depression was highest among those ages 18 to 29.

Social Anxiety Or Social Phobia

Why Do Depression and Anxiety Go Together?

Phobias are fears. Social phobia is a fear of being centred out in public and facing possible embarrassment or ridicule by others. So, for example, being asked to stand up and speak in class might cause physical symptoms like:

  • Blushing
  • Sweating
  • Muscle tension

Social phobia is most common in the teen years. Those with a social phobia are often very shy, self-conscious and sensitive to criticism.

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Differences Between Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are mental health conditions that can affect how you think, feel, and act. Both disorders are influenced by levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Anxiety may occur as a symptom of depression. It’s also not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression. Nearly one-half of individuals who are diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Though depression and anxiety share some symptoms, each disorder has its own distinct symptoms that distinguish them as separate mental health conditions.

Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter

Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.

Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:

  • problems with sleep
  • sudden loss of interest
  • feelings of worthlessness or helplessness

If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.

Also Check: How To Deal With Teenage Anxiety

Eat More Whole Foods Less Processed Foods

We all know that a balanced diet helps us feel better and can protect us from a huge array of diseases.

But if you feel like you need to diet, this can cause you more anxiety! Instead, experiment with nutrient-dense whole foods that you truly enjoy, and focus on eating those as often as possible.

Lean proteins such as fish, organic chicken, beans, and eggs provide fuel for your body and brain to keep your energy levels constant.

Asparagus, leafy greens, meat, and avocado contain nutrients that can reduce the symptoms of anxiety, as can omega-3-rich foods like fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

Even when youre eating a healthy diet, it can still be difficult to get all the nutrients you need, which is why it can be helpful to take natural supplements for anxiety.

The Relationship Between Anxiety And Depression

Jobs For People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Helpful Links

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While anxiety is generally considered a high-energy state and depression a low-energy state, anxiety and depression are more closely related than you might think. A person with depression often experiences a lot of anxiety, possibly even to the extent of having panic attacks.1

Anxiety disorders involve more than common nervousness and worry. They can cause terrifying fear about things other people wouldnt think twice about. Many people with anxiety disorders fully comprehend that their thoughts are irrational. But they still cant stop them. Feelings of losing inner control haunt them. This angst is one of the entry ways for depression.2

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What Are Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a normal emotion. Itâs your brainâs way of reacting to stress and alerting you of potential danger ahead.

Everyone feels anxious now and then. For example, you may worry when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.

Occasional anxiety is OK. But anxiety disorders are different. Theyâre a group of mental illnesses that cause constant and overwhelming anxiety and fear. The excessive anxiety can make you avoid work, school, family get-togethers, and other social situations that might trigger or worsen your symptoms.

With treatment, many people with anxiety disorders can manage their feelings.

Panic Disorders Are Characterized By:

Repeated and unexpected panic attacks with both physical manifestations and mental ones .

Anxiety disorders are among the so-called complex genetic diseases characterized by a complex pathogenetic interaction of environmental factors with multiple genetic variants at different chromosomal loci. Family studies have shown that first-degree relatives of patients with panic disorders have a three- to fivefold elevation of the risk of developing such a disorder themselves, compared to the general population. Familial clustering is also seen in generalized anxiety disorder and in the specific phobias. The heritability of anxiety disorders, i.e., the degree of participation of genetic factors in their development, lies in the range of 3067%, with the remainder of the variation accounted for by individual negative environmental factors, such as life events . These include, for example :

  • Abuse and neglect

  • Sexual violence

  • Financial difficulties.

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What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present

Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:

  • Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
  • Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
  • Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
  • Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
  • Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
  • Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
  • Feeling often tired and cranky
  • Inability to relax and live in the moment
  • Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2

Mood Disorders Similar To Depression

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) & Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Indeed, sadness, depression, and anxiety are often triggered by life events – and the symptoms are not easily separated out, says Andrea Fagiolini, MD, a psychiatrist and medical director of the Bipolar Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“We see this very frequently,” he tells WebMD. “Financial, relationship, and family problems – all these can trigger anxiety and sadness, so we consider these feelings to be normal. They are not normal when the feelings are extremely intense, when they impair everyday functioning, affect quality of life. When all that is happening, it becomes difficult to solve the very problems that started the depression.”

In addition to anxiety and depression, there might be something else going on — bipolar disorder. This is a condition that involves shifts in a person’s mood from severe depression to manic phases – with soaring highs, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, impulsive decisions, reckless behavior, and poor judgment. In many cases there is normal mood in between the phases.

Recommended Reading: Does Anxiety Cause Irregular Heartbeat

Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression

According to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States, anxiety and depression can share several common symptoms, including, but not limited to:

  • Being easily fatigued
  • Sleep disturbance

Other signs that a person may suffer from both anxiety disorder and depression include:

  • Constant, irrational fear and worry
  • Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, headaches, hot flashes, sweating, abdominal pain, and/or difficulty breathing
  • Changes in eating, either too much or too little
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Inability to relax
  • Panic attacks

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