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Understanding Depression and Anxiety

Understanding Depression and Anxiety, Depression and Anxiety, Anxiety and Depression

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health disorders impacting people in the United States. These complex conditions, affecting a person’s thoughts, feelings, and ability to function, can significantly disrupt daily life. More than half of the people affected by one of the conditions show symptoms of the other.

An Overview of Depression

Depression, often referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder characterized by long periods of sadness or emptiness, as well as a loss of interest in everyday activities. Unlike typical moments of sadness or grief, which we all experience from time to time, depression is more constant and can seriously affect a person’s ability to function. This decline can touch every aspect of an individual’s life, affecting their relationships, professional aspirations, and social interactions. 

Depression Symptoms

Depression can affect anyone regardless of age, race, or background, but the symptoms may differ between individuals. The symptoms of depression can vary in intensity, from mild to debilitating and, if left unchecked, can severely impair a person’s quality of life. Common symptoms of depression can include sadness, hopelessness, irritability, and tearfulness. The person may have trouble sleeping or get too much sleep. They will experience a lack of energy and feel tired. Just completing a small task takes an extra amount of effort. Feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and agitation are common. They may have a loss of appetite and lose weight or have an increased appetite and gain weight.

Additional symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or self-blame for past failures
  • Difficulty with decision-making, concentrating, thinking, and remembering 
  • Slowed movement or speaking
  • Aches and pains without a physical reason
  • Recurrent or frequent thoughts of suicide or death, suicide attempts, suicide 

Causes of Depression

It is crucial to understand that depression is not a negative personality trait or a sign of the person being weak. It is a serious mental health disorder that results from various biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Some of the primary causes of depression can include a combination of genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, and certain medical conditions. Additionally, traumatic life events such as the loss of a loved one, financial problems, high stress, or unresolved emotional problems can also contribute to the onset of depression.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a natural emotional response that everyone experiences in response to stress or perceived danger. However, when feelings of anxiousness are too intense and long-lasting, they can cross into anxiety disorders. Anxiety, as a mental health disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions where an individual consistently experiences intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. There are various forms of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, and others. 

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

The primary symptoms of anxiety disorders are excessive worry, feelings of nervousness, and a sense of unease. The individual will have difficulty focusing, concentrating, and sleeping. They will feel tense and restless. An increased heart rate or heart palpitations, difficulty breathing or breathing rapidly, trembling, and sweating are common.

Additional symptoms of anxiety include:

  • A feeling of impending doom, danger, or panic 
  • Difficulty thinking about anything except the present worry
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Avoiding things that trigger anxiety

The Causes of Anxiety Disorders

The root causes of anxiety disorders are diverse and often complex, with biological aspects such as genetic predisposition playing a part, along with environmental factors like living conditions, personal experiences, and psychological factors, such as personality type or coping mechanisms. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States. They are not a result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or a poor upbringing. 

The Co-occurrence of Anxiety and Depression

It is common for those struggling with depression to have signs of anxiety disorder. These co-occurring disorders are not a coincidence. Instead, it shows a complex link between the two mental health conditions. Studies have shown that as many as sixty percent of those diagnosed with depression also suffer from anxiety disorder. This connection is likely due to shared biological predispositions, similar environmental triggers, and overlapping neurochemical malfunctions. Understanding co-occurring anxiety and depression is crucial for effective treatment. It is important to note that while these disorders have overlapping symptoms and can exacerbate each other, they are not the same. Recognizing this correlation can lead to more comprehensive and effective treatment strategies.

We Can Help

At Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, Arizona, we offer mental health treatment for individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder, and co-occurring disorders. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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