Talking To Your Doctor
If you have anxiety, depression, or both, chances are that your doctor will recommend medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Keep track your symptoms and keep a log of how you feel each day, as this can help in the diagnostic process. Its also important to speak up and ask your doctor whether they think you have depression, anxiety, or both. This clarity can help you understand the treatment focus and how to manage your symptoms. For example, a patient who is prescribed an antidepressant like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor may not realize that the medication has been prescribed for their anxiety, as SSRIs are used to treat both anxiety and depression.4 Never hesitate to ask about your diagnosis, as you have a right to your personal health information.
The most important quality that anxiety and depression share is that they are both very treatable conditions. Never hesitate to find people to help you stayed informed and on the right track towards a healthier mind and body. Who can you recruit to help you with your anxiety or depression today?
Anxiety Treatment Centers In Georgia
Hillside is the leading residential treatment facility in Georgia and a frontrunner in anxiety treatment. At Hillside, we start by making sure you understand your diagnosis that way you understand the condition youre dealing with and the reasons behind our treatment methods. Contact Hillside today to provide a child, teen or young adult you love with effective treatment options for anxiety, depression or another mental illness.
Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs
Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1
Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.
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Treatment Options If You Have Anxiety:
Wondering how to deal with anxiety? The following treatment methods can help you deal with your anxiety symptoms:
- Medication: Medication alone is not often a cure for anxiety disorders, but it can help with many symptoms. Prescription medication commonly used to treat anxiety disorders may include anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, or beta-blockers. Choosing the right medication can take time and needs to be done under the guidance of your psychiatrist.
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, has been proven effective for people with anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy is directed at your specific anxieties, and its customized to improve your individual needs and goals for therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one type of psychotherapy thats often used to treat anxiety disorders. Through CBT, you learn how to change your thinking and behavior.
- Support groups: Support groups can be beneficial for some people with anxiety disorders, but this option alone may not be enough.
- Stress management and relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, journaling are all great ways to help ease anxiety. Exercise and healthy sleep patterns are other potential options that have shown great success. Again, these techniques by themselves may not be adequate treatment. When used in combination with psychotherapy and/or medication, however, they might be very helpful.
Risk Factors For Anxiety Disorder
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.
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Antidepressant Not Always Best
Because of the difficulty in diagnosing these mood disorders, it’s important to talk to your doctor candidly about what you’ve been feeling. It’s also crucial that your doctor take time to ask enough questions, Goodstein adds. “Many people go to a general practitioner first. They’ve been feeling depressed and think they may need an antidepressant. But if that doctor is very busy, he or she can’t do much evaluation.”
Under those circumstances, an antidepressant is often prescribed – yet that may or may not be the right choice. “Antidepressants are used to treat both anxiety disorders and depression. However, someone with bipolar disorder needs a different set of drugs — a mood stabilizer and antimanic medication,” Fagiolini tells WebMD. There are several types of mood-stabilizing drugs, which include medications like lithium and anticonvulsive drugs such as Depakote or Lamictal.
The danger: “Giving an antidepressant to someone with bipolar disorder could trigger a manic episode,” he explains. “Manic episodes can be dangerous, because you have very poor judgment, tend to use more drugs, drive recklessly, spend a lot of money, have much more sex – and have it completely unprotected. There’s a higher risk of high-risk behaviors because there is poor judgment.”
Neuroimaging And Gene Function
Neuroimaging has also seemed to offer a further advantage: access to measures of brain function that might be intermediate to and more sensitive than illness phenotypes to genetic analysis. The early observation of a possible link between genetic variation of the 5-HTTLPR gene and neuroticism suggested the hypothesis that there might be a more detectable effect of polymorphism in this gene and amygdala function. This has proved controversial and again highlights general problems for the field. Thus, a recent meta-analysis has indicated that there is a statistically significant but small effect of 5-HTTLPR on amygdala activity. However, perhaps more striking was the between-study heterogeneity and the evidence for excess statistical significance. In summary, all the individual published studies have been considerably underpowered to detect the size of effect that is likely to be present, which is smaller than originally thought. In addition, the retreat to a very small or no effect for genetic variation exactly parallels what was summarized previously for this gene and its association with neuroticism. Therefore the claimed advantage of intermediate phenotypes may also be wrong. Measures of systems level neurocognition with fMRI may be no more or less helpful than the behavioral phenotypes like neuroticism or DSM diagnosis for genetic analysis.
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Your B12 Levels Are Low
Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, so vegans and vegetarians are most at risk for being deficient, as well as people with gastrointestinal issues, who may have difficulty absorbing the vitamin, and people on heartburn and reflux medications. The important vitamin is needed in order to make red blood cells and DNA and plays a major role in nerve function and mood. B12 helps to maintain the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells, which make it possible for cells to communicate.
But when levels are low, this communication becomes compromised, which can lead to neurological changes. B12 is also involved in the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that regulate mood, so low levels could cause changes in the nervous system.
One study in the journal BMC Psychiatry followed 115 people with depression for six months and found that those with higher levels of B12 had a greater chance of recovery from depression, leading scientists to believe there is an association between B12 and mental health. Low levels of B12 have even been linked to .
What Does Anxiety Feel Like Compared With Depression
Anxiety involves feeling tense, nervous, or unable to relax, with a persistent sense of dread or fear. Physically, you may have a churning feeling in your stomach, feel lightheaded or dizzy, and have rapid breathing or a fast heartbeat.
The classic signs of depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, but some people with depression also feel restless or irritable, have trouble concentrating, and struggle to sleep and eat.
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What Are The Treatments For Depression
Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.
- Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapyalso called therapy or counseling.7,8 Most therapy lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts feelings and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases understanding your past can help but finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and prepare you for challenges in the future.With therapy, youll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better.Some common goals of therapy include:
- Getting healthier
- Making sense of past painful events
- Identifying things that worsen your depression
- Having better relationships with family and friends
- Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
Mental Markers Of Depression
People with depression may:
- Be hopeless, assuming that nothing positive will happen in the future for themselves, for others, or for the world
- Believe it is not worth trying to think or feel differently, because of this hopelessness
- Feel worthless, as if who they are or what they do is not valuable
- Think about death due to a persistent belief that life is not worth living or that the individual is a burden on others. In cases of moderate to severe depression, more specific suicidal thoughts can be present.
In major depressive disorder , these types of thoughts are persistent most of the day and more days than not for weeks on end. If a person vacillates between a very low and very high mood state, then a diagnosis of bipolar disorder may apply. For any variant of a mood disorder, the low mood state is likely to be characterized by the type of thinking described above.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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How To Tell If You Have Anxiety Depression Or Both
As you can see from the symptom descriptions, there is some cross-over between the two. In mental health, one of the more common comorbidities is that of depression and anxiety. This means that more than one disease or condition can be present in the same person at the same time. In fact, some studies show that 60% of those with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression and the numbers are similar for those with depression.
Anxiety and depression can occur sequentially, one after another, or they can co-occur, said Jerimya Fox, a licensed professional counselor and a doctor of behavioral health at Banner Behavioral Health Hospital. This is because the same neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine and epinephrine, are involved in both.
To meet the diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder or depression, however, symptoms must be persistent and impairing.
For anxiety, these must persist for several months, and for depression a couple weeks, Dr. Fox said.
To assess the severity of your symptoms, Dr. Fox suggests the following:
- Ask a trusted family member or friend if they have noticed changes in your behavior.
- Recognize the severity of your symptoms: mild, moderate or severe.
- Track your thoughts and symptoms. How often are you getting sick? How often are you having racing thoughts? How often are you having difficulty getting out of bed?
What The Research Shows
Doctors see signs that anxiety and depression are partly hereditary from studies of twins. Identical twins have the same set of genes, while fraternal twins share only half of their genes. Theyâre more likely to both have anxiety or depression, compared to fraternal twins. This suggests that these conditions may be linked to certain genes, which makes them hereditary.
But no single gene has been found that causes depression or anxiety. So itâs hard to explain how either of these conditions are passed down through genes. Combinations of different genes from your parents may affect whether youâre likely to get anxiety or depression. But doctors donât know which exact groups of genes cause these conditions.
Keep in mind that most medical conditions arenât only driven by genetics. Your environment, lifestyle, and personal experiences are also important. Families often share those things, which can make it hard to tell what role genetics play. There may be some mix of genetic risk and other things in a personâs daily life.
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Depression: How To Recognize It And How To Treat It
What does depression look like in yourself, in a friend or family member? What are the best treatments available now? What new treatments are on the horizon? Dr. Zachary Cohen is a clinical psychology researcher who focuses on these questions.
Resources noted in the webinar:
Zachary Cohen, PhD, is a clinical psychology researcher focused on two main topics:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for depression
- How to select the best mental health treatment
Dr. Cohen works at UCLA with Dr. Michelle Craske and the Depression Grand Challenge to develop personalized digital treatments for mood and anxiety disorders.
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