The Relationship Between Depression And Anxiety

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The relationship between anxiety and depression is a close one.  This connection would seem to be counterintuitive.  They appear to be disparate, even oppositional states.  Still, the connection is there.  Understanding them separately will help you look at them together.


Depression is a state marked by persistent feelings of sadness.  These may be accompanied by the depressed person feeling worthless, hopeless, and helpless.  The physical symptoms include fatigue which goes right along with the loss of interest in day to day activities.  It may also be marked by changes in appetite, changes in weight, sleep disturbances, and an inability to concentrate.

The symptoms of depression are disabling.  Every aspect of life feels the effects.  Without energy and the ability to concentrate, life cannot go on as it had before.  The terrible part is that the individual loses interest in life and sometimes even in returning to a happier state of being.


Anxiety has markedly different symptoms than depression.  These symptoms may include rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, chest pain, sweating, and shaking.  The list of symptoms may go on to include dry mouth, insomnia, aggression, weakness in the arms, and fear of losing control or dying.  More severe anxiety symptoms may take the form of hallucinations, depersonalisation, derealisation, and even depression coupled with suicidal feelings.

The symptoms of anxiety can also be disabling.  Sudden attacks of panic can make an individual avoid circumstances that might trigger such anxiety.  As the list of situations that could trigger anxiety grows, the individual’s world may grow smaller and smaller.  It may end up with the individual afraid to even leave his or her home.

The Connection

It is suspected that there is some connection between these two conditions at a chemical level.  Antidepressants, which of course are used to treat depression, are similarly used to treat depression, and they do so effectively.  This would indicate that the same neurotransmitters play a role in both conditions.

One condition can lead to the other.  Depression can lead to anxiety about the future, about recovery, and about losing hope.  Anxiety can lead to depression as the individual feels trapped by it.  It, too, can remove the joy from life when the individual is overcome by persistent anxiety.  This can lead to depression, especially if the heightened anxiety is prolonged.

Depression and anxiety are related.  While the exact connection may not yet be clear, it is there.  Through further investigation, this connection will no doubt be found and used to help those who suffer from both conditions.

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