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What is the Link Between Anxiety and Depression?

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One of the interesting things about anxiety and depression is that they love company. They are often linked or co-occurring, and many people experience more than one type of anxiety or depressive disorder.

One of the reasons is that they share a common genetic link. Anxiety and depression tend to run in families.

There is also quite a big overlap in the sorts of things that contribute to anxiety and depression developing.

Although there is no single cause, people are more likely to experience these problems when they have had stressful or traumatic life experiences, and when they have experienced difficult or abusive relationships. Some personality factors like a tendency to be sensitive, self-critical and prone to perfectionism- can also contribute.

Anxiety and Depression can Co-Exist

When people experience both anxiety and depression, one disorder is often the main one or the primary problem. However, anxiety and depression often interact or influence each other.

For example, someone who feels anxious a lot of the time, may start to feel quite down and hopeless, and these feelings may develop into depression.

Similarly, when someone is feeling low and depressed, and perhaps they are really struggling with low energy or motivation, this can lead to worries about coping with everyday activities. People may become quite anxious about work, seeing their friends, or trying new things.

Another important thing to know is that it is really common to experience other difficulties alongside the anxiety and depression. Many people also have difficulties with drug and alcohol use, and lots of people experience physical health problems such as high blood pressure and other heart conditions, diabetes and pain disorders. And these additional problems can interact with the anxiety and depression, and make it harder for the person to get feel better.    

There is Treatment for Anxiety and Depression Available

There is no ‘one size fits all’, but for most people there is a wide variety of very good reasons why they are experiencing anxiety and depression. These are very real and complex disorders that people ‘can’t just snap out of it’.

But, the good news is that there are great treatment options available. And the sooner you reach out, the sooner you can start to feel better.

There is an abundance of help and support are available, with many treatment options to be found online (always look for evidence-based programs). So, don’t delay – start today!

Access our course on Mixed Depression and Anxiety here

For practical ideas for improving your health, head over to thiswayup.org.au

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