How are Depression and Anxiety Linked?

Depression and anxiety are both mental health conditions, however, the causes, signs and symptoms can occur in different ways. Depression is more than just feeling unhappy for a couple of days. However the illness affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms – from mild to severe. Depression and anxiety sometimes appear together and can even be treated with similar techniques.

Stephen Buckley, a Professional said: “Different mental health problems share many of the same potential causes, including depression and anxiety disorders.

“The reasons for experiencing a mental health problem vary from person to person, and there won’t always be a clear or known reason, but some people experience mental health problems due to stressful or traumatic life events (e.g. losing your job, money worries, bereavement, experiencing abuse or violence, physical illness). Depression and anxiety can also both be caused by other mental health problems. People experiencing anxiety may find that their worries persist for a long period of time, that they are overwhelming, or that they are feeling anxious about everyday activities such as going to work or meeting friends. In some cases, anxiety can even stop you being able to do things like hold down a job or maintain close relationships.”

“Depression affects everyone differently, but there are some common symptoms, including feeling low-spirited, restless, irritable, seeing no point in the future, feeling numb and disconnected from other people, gaining no pleasure from things usually enjoyed and losing interest in sex.” He said severe depression can be ‘debilitating and even life-threatening’ as it can cause suicidal thoughts.

Stephen added: “There are treatments that help with both depression and anxiety, such as talking therapy/CBT – so the positive news is that while depression and anxiety can occur together, they can usually also be treated together. If you or someone you know may be experiencing either or both anxiety and depression, it is important to speak to someone, such as your GP or friend or family member, as soon as possible so you are not alone in dealing with it and can get the right help and support. We know mental health can be a difficult thing to talk about, especially with a GP or practice nurse, someone you might hardly know.”

New figures reveal the impact of stigma faced by those of us with a mental health problem. Results from the biggest UK wide survey into the impact of mental health stigma showed that almost two fifths – 38 per cent – of respondents had been negatively treated as a result of their mental health problem – potentially affecting millions nationwide. The independent public poll was carried out across a sample of 2,000 adults living with a range of mental health problems. Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “These figures show the devastating impact that mental health stigma continues to have on potentially millions of lives.

“We know that progress is being made in improving attitudes and reducing discrimination in some key areas of life but too many of us are still being made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless by other people’s reactions, resulting in the loss of what means the most – our friends, our families, our jobs. The good news is that being open about mental health, and ready to listen, can make a positive difference and potentially change lives. Time to Talk Day is a great reason for everyone to get involved and become part of our movement to change how we all think and act about mental health.”

Words by Olivia Lerche

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