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What Is the Connection between Anxiety Disorders and Depression?

Anxiety disorders and depression are connected because many people who suffer from one actually suffer from both conditions. It is possible that having a severe form of one of the conditions can trigger the other. Many common symptoms also are found in anxiety disorders and depression, even if a person only suffers from one of the two disorders. Patients suffering from anxiety disorders and depression need to be treated by a psychologist or psychiatrist to get their symptoms under control.

Patients who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks and other anxiety-related illnesses worry so much that it can make them sick. Many people with anxiety problems always expect the worst-case scenario when thinking about the outcome of any situation. As a result of this constant state of worry, patients may experience extreme fatigue, sleep issues, confusion and edginess. If the symptoms become debilitating enough that they stop a person from completing everyday tasks, such as working or socializing, then it can lead to severe depression.

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People who are plagued by depression often feel miserable, as if there is no hope. It is normal for a person to cry or show frustration over a breakup or a bad day, but depressed people feel down almost all the time, sometimes for what seems to be no reason at all. Many depressed patients stop knowing their self-worth and lose interest in family, work and socializing. Depressed people also may sleep too much or too little, isolate themselves and contemplate suicide. Once depression has reached a debilitating point, it is possible for a patient to develop anxiety over how the depression will impact his or her life.

A person who believes he or she is suffering from anxiety disorders and depression should seek help from a mental health professional. There are several medications that can help to fight the symptoms of depression. Other medications can be used to treat people who suffer severe anxiety or panic attacks. Patients should take all medications as directed by their doctors and should not change medications or stop taking medications without first speaking to the prescribing doctor. Both sufferers of anxiety disorders and depression also may find relief through talk therapy, in which patients work with a therapist to get to the root of their problems and work on ways to overcome them.

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