• Theo

The Link Between Depression & Anxiety

Often you’ll hear the words “depression” and “anxiety” used in the same sentence. A lot of people who have experienced one will experience the other. But how is it possible that two almost opposite issues are so closely linked?

What is depression?

Depression is a mental health disorder that negatively affects the way you think and act. The severity ranges and symptoms differ from person to person. It is something that affects a person over a long period of time and prevents them from enjoying their life. It can mean feelings of hopelessness or unhappiness; a lack of motivation to do basic tasks.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a fight or flight response to a perceived threat. Anxiety disorders come about from prolonged periods of stress or a major life event. Anxiety can manifest as constant worry, racing thoughts, or severe physical symptoms.

How are depression and anxiety linked?

It’s a well-known fact that people who experience one are likely to experience the other but it doesn’t matter in which order. It is more likely though to have anxiety first and then depression rather than the other way around.

People who experience anxiety disorders find that their life has changed drastically. From my own personal experience, I can say that it totally changed the way I interacted with the world. Many situations were unbearable and I had to find new ways of living life.

Being unable to live your life how you want to, or being restricted in areas of life that most expel don’t think twice about can take its toll heavily on your mental health. Being so restricted also leads to isolation. All these different factors can lead to severe feelings of hopelessness which then manifests as depression.

On the other side, having depression can lead you to be isolated from the world. On the journey to combatting that, it can lead to anxiety as you are having to face new situations. Overcoming any illness can be daunting especially if it’s to do with your mental health. Often combating your mind proves to be one of the most difficult things to do.

How To Combat Both Anxiety and Depression

Tackling one mental health disorder can be challenging enough, let alone two. The good news is, both can benefit from goal setting, which in my experience works best.

For overcoming depression and finding the motivation, set yourself two goals a day: one thing that you have to do and one fun thing. It’s enough to keep you progressing with your day and not succumbing to the depression, but not so much that it’s not doable.

Overcoming anxiety also benefits from goal setting but the goal should be to do something that would trigger the anxiety. You can set yourself a third goal for the day but if that feels too much, you can tie in one of the other goals into it (i.e. if one f the things you need to do would also trigger anxiety).

Feel free to share in the comments any other tips you have for combatting both anxiety and depression. It’s doable to overcome these challenges and lead an enjoyable life.

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