Depression and Anxiety
While anxiety often accompanies depression, they are not the same thing. Depression is generally characterized by low energy, feelings of helplessness and despair, and difficulty completing day-to-day tasks. Anxiety, on the other hand, generally manifests itself as fear or panic in situations in which people normally would not experience these emotions. A person with anxiety disorder may feel overwhelmed by constant worry and uneasiness which may lead to becoming causes of depression.
Anxiety disorder does not refer to the general feeling of nervousness we may experience in the face of important events. It refers to a constant, irrational fear. The brain fight-or-flight reflex is activated without a trigger, causing intense fear without any known reason. This fear can be debilitating, affecting family, work and possibly even the persons ability to leave the house.
Depression And Anxiety Symptoms
When a person experiences both anxiety and depression, the symptoms of both conditions of depression and anxiety are intensified. Stronger treatments are needed for longer periods of time. Recovery is often complicated by this combination called comorbidity by the medical community. In a recent study, it was found that 92 percent of patients who had attempted suicide suffered from both depression and anxiety.
Treatments for depression and anxiety are often the same. Both antidepressants and behavior therapies have both proven to be effective. Medications for anxiety are generally a type of minor tranquilizer. They include brand names such as Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin. Physical dependence on these drugs is a real concern, as well as the rate of recurrence once medication is stopped. For these reasons, these medications are generally only considered for short-term use.
Before anxiety can be fully treated, the underlying depression must also be treated. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Paxil are administered. It is often found that by treating the depression, the anxiety symptoms diminish or disappear altogether. Numerous patients have found that Kava Kava has helped them to better handle not only the depression, but also the anxiety.
Stress management and relaxation techniques can be very beneficial in managing panic attacks. Deep breathing and muscle relaxation are examples of this kind of treatment. Regular exercise has been known to help combat depression by relieving stress and providing an outlet for negative emotions.
Depression And Anxiety Therapy
Because many anxiety disorders stem from negative thought patterns or low self-esteem, cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective. CBT helps the patient to counteract negative thought patterns. It helps the individual to overcome feelings of powerlessness and fear, to take control of his or her life and to confront and better manage anxiety.
It has been suggested that diet and nutrition also play a strong role in treating anxiety. Caffeine and nicotine have been known to induce panic attacks. Lack in certain vitamins and minerals may be partly responsible for cases of mild to moderate depression. A visit with your local nutritional therapist may help clear up any doubts regarding depression and anxiety.