Living with Comorbid Anxiety and Depression

by on June 27, 2014

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common type of mental health conditions. Anxiety disorders include well-known illnesses like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Lesser known conditions like paruresis, emetophobia and agoraphobia are also anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders are, of course, characterized by their ability to cause high levels of stress or anxiety in a person. Most people do feel anxious from time to time, but having an anxiety disorder causes one to feel overwhelmed by constant fear or worry. This is an unpleasant and unhealthy state to be in, so a person who has an anxiety disorder is likely to notice he or she is feeling more than a normal amount of anxiety.

Depression is a disorder that causes one to experience persistent sadness or hopelessness. Depression can turn a person who is normally happy into someone who struggles to find anything to look forward to. Some people who become depressed feel ashamed or embarrassed of their condition because they cannot find an external cause for their unhappiness. What many people don’t realize is that depression can strike anyone, and there is not always an obvious cause. Sometimes a person can be genetically predisposed to depression, so he or she may inherit genes which lead to a higher vulnerability to the condition. This may be why two people can experience the same misfortune, but one may become depressed while the other remains healthy.

When someone has “comorbid” anxiety and depression, this means he or she is suffering from both conditions at once. This can make treatment difficult. For one thing, the person is likely to feel listless and hopeless because of the depression. Seeking treatment is not going to seem possible if the person is overwhelmed with negative feelings about him or her self and his or her life in general.

In addition to this, the person’s anxiety can cause him or her to feel overburdened; he or she may think attending therapy or meeting with a therapist would be too difficult, too frightening, or too time consuming.

Why to Seek Treatment Right Away

According to an article from the Psychiatric Times, people who have comorbid anxiety and depression have a “poorer prognosis” than poeple who have “either disorder alone.” The article also says that people with comorbid anxiety and depression “have greater severity of symptoms, increased risk of suicidality, a more chronic and persistent course, and more functional impairment” and have a more difficult treatment.

This is all the more reason for people who have combined anxiety and depression to seek help sooner. As evidenced by the article mentioned above, this population may be at a greater risk for many complications.

If you know anyone who is suffering from anxiety and depression — or just one of the conditions — encourage him or her to get educated and meet with a licensed mental health professional.

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Fixed Deposit September 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

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