November 1

Is There a Link Between Anxiety and Depression?

When you think of anxiety, what comes to mind? Probably something related to a heightened state of arousal (due to adrenaline pumping through the body). 

Now, when you think of depression, what comes to mind? Depression symptoms often look like fatigue, burnout, or an overall state of apathy. 

Despite anxiety disorders being considered a ‘high energy’ condition, and major depressive disorders being considered a ‘low energy’ condition, these two mental illnesses actually have quite a bit in common. 

If you feel as though you’re experiencing both, you might be overwhelmed by your treatment options.

Let’s talk about the relationship between depression and anxiety and what you can do to gain control over your mental health. 


What Causes Anxiety?

There are various forms of anxiety however the most common and broad diagnosis given to a majority of patients is generalized anxiety disorder

This type of anxiety is characterized by a chronic state of fear, worry, or stress about everyday life. In some cases, their anxiety may be triggered by seemingly nothing at all!

Since every person’s experience with anxiety is unique, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes it. However, there are a few known reasons anxiety can occur:

Past or Childhood Experiences:

Childhood is an extremely sensitive stage in life, and going through any sort of trauma during these developmental years can follow you into adulthood. Many people that suffer from anxiety have a history of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, or racism. 

Current Situations:

Ongoing problems in life can also cause anxiety to form. These events can include (but are not limited to):

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Exhaustion 
  • Burnout
  • Stress
  • Sudden change 
  • Financial problems 
  • Losing someone 
  • Abuse 


Other Causes:

Here are other common reasons anxiety may begin to take over:

  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Other mental illnesses (such as depression) 
  • Genetics
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Diet
  • Certain medications
  • Physical health problems 


What Causes Depression?

Depression is known as a chronic low mood made up of feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, frustration, guilt, and despair. Many people that experience depression may not know exactly why they feel depressed, they just know they do. 

Depression can make an individual lose sudden interest in things that once made them happy, while simultaneously avoiding social events and gatherings that may have previously attended. 

Thankfully, much research has been done on why depression occurs. These factors can vary greatly from person to person, and some people have more than one. Just with anxiety, depression is unique from person to person however common similarities remain. 


Past or Childhood Experiences:

Early trauma can become integrated into our subconscious, making us view the world in a cynical, negative manner even if we don’t remember the event as an adult. 

Experiences of abuse, neglect, assault, or unstable family life can all contribute to depression later on. 

In addition, children that experience many smaller challenges in life are more at risk for developing depression than children who only experience one or two stressful events. 


Current Situations:

Large changes in day-to-day life as an adult can make you feel completely overwhelmed, and cause your body to shut down. This can cause feelings of depression and hopelessness. 

Circumstances include:

  • Losing a job 
  • Unemployment 
  • Financial burdens 
  • Death of a loved one
  • Marriage 
  • Divorce 
  • Abuse or assault 
  • Bullying 


Other Causes:

Just like anxiety, there are other reasons depression may occur such as:

  • Genetics
  • Other mental illnesses (such as anxiety)
  • Physical health problems 
  • Diet
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Alcohol and substance use


Looking At The Connection Between Anxiety and Depression:

Now that we’re clear on what causes anxiety and depression we can see a direct connection between the two. These two mental illnesses, while anxiety and depressive symptoms differ - have the same causes. This is why depression and anxiety often occur simultaneously in many patients. 

The relationship between anxiety and depression is cyclical. This means one can easily cause the other. 

Anxiety disorders cause more than just fear and worry. They can cause an internal battle of low self-esteem, disgust, and negative thoughts. All of these can trigger depression. 

Nevertheless, depression is more than just feeling sad. It can bring about feelings of losing control, restlessness, or irritability. All of these can increase stress and cause anxiety to form. 

This cyclical relationship is even more prominent if either disorder is left untreated. Unmanaged anxiety can turn into major depressive disorder as each day seems like a never ending internal battle. On the other hand, unmanaged depression can manifest into anxiety as an individual may begin to feel completely overwhelmed with day to day life. 


Are Medications The Best Treatment For Anxiety and Depression?

Many people will tell you to turn to medication for your anxiety and depression. While medications have been used for decades with success, there are many harmful side effects that can occur. 

Some of the most common include:

  • Shakiness
  • Feeling nauseous 
  • Indigestion 
  • Diarrhea or constipation 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight loss or weight gain 
  • Dizziness 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Dependence 

If you feel as though you need medication it’s often highly encouraged to engage in another form of treatment such as therapy. While medications may work in the short term, they aren’t a long-term solution nor do they get to the root of the problem. 

In addition, antidepressant medications may not be recommended for use with other prescriptions, while pregnant, or while breastfeeding. This means you may find yourself having to quit cold turkey at some point in the future, which can lead to even more problems. 


What Is The Best Treatment Option For Anxiety and Depression?

Here at Gemini TMS we desire to heal your mind from the inside out. Instead of pushing potentially harmful medications and sending you on your way, we work to provide relief from anxiety and depression without risky side-effects. 

But how do we do this?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is how. TMS is an FDA-approved, long-lasting treatment option for patients with both anxiety and/or depression. It’s a non-invasive way to target the centers of the brain associated with both mood and mental illness. 

TMS is an excellent option for residents of Elkridge, Maryland who feel as though their anxiety and depression have become unresponsive to other forms of treatment, or who are searching for an alternative to traditional antidepressant medication.

If you struggle with the debilitating impact anxiety and depression have on your life, TMS may be the key. Finding freedom and healing from mental illness is possible. In fact, it just may be the best decision you ever make.


Sources:


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TMS Treatment, Types of Depression


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Mount Airy, MD 21771