What is the Connection Between Depression and Panic Attacks?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 21 April 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Depression and anxiety disorders such as panic attacks are often linked in a number of ways. First, it is not uncommon for people who suffer from panic attacks to also suffer from depression and vice verse. Also, it is common for therapies and medications that target one of the disorders to also work for the other. For example, the drug Lexapro® is commonly used to treat both depression and general anxiety disorder (GAD). A person does not necessarily have to experience both depression and general anxiety disorder, however, in order to be prescribed this medication.

In some cases, one of the two conditions can lead to the other. For example, a person suffering from debilitating panic attacks may begin to suffer from depression. Feeling anxious to the point of panicking during events that wouldn't cause many other people to bat an eyelash can cause sufferers to feel isolated and incapable of leading happy lives. There are also situations in which sufferers of depression can begin to experience panic attacks. As such, by the time people seek help, they sometimes need assistance overcoming both depression and panic attacks.


Although this is a very unfortunate situation, there is a glimmer of hope in the fact that many therapies that treat one of the issues will also treat the other. Behavioral therapy, for example, can be used to treat both depression and panic attacks. This sort of therapy can be conducted with a psychiatrist, psychologist, and properly trained social workers. Depression and panic attacks are so common these days that there are some mental health practitioners who specialize in helping people with exactly these issues.

There are a number of texts on the market, intended for the general readership, which discuss the link between depression and panic attacks. These texts also often include information on general anxiety disorder in the constellation of connected disorders. These texts both describe the connections between depression and panic attacks and offer information about how to overcome the disorders. There are also a number of online resources for people who are suffering from depression and panic attacks as well as people who are trying to support a friend or family member who is trying to overcome depression and panic attacks. These sources often include web boards where people can swap information and offer support as well as a list of services and recommended books that might be of use.



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