DEPRESSION: Sadness, loneliness, fear, or nervousness can be normal reactions to the stressors of life such as death or separation from a loved one or losing a job. But, if you experience these feelings daily or almost daily… for more than two weeks… for no apparent reason… with difficulty performing normal, everyday tasks such as taking care of family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, you may have what is known as a major depressive episode.
ANXIETY: Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things, lasting for at least six months. People with anxiety disorders often expect the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for concern. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. They don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is related to anxiety in that the obsessions provoke anxiety and the compusive behaviors are an attempt to reduce the anxiety. The obsessions are intrusive thoughts that are senseless and unwanted. The behaviors often look like rituals…checking, washing, arranging, hoarding…or they will be avoidance tactics.
THE CORRELATION BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY: People with depression often experience symptoms of anxiety, such as nervousness, irritability, and problems sleeping and concentrating. It is not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa.
Both depression and anxiety are treatable… separately and together. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapies for depression or anxiety. CBT works to replace negative and unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. We may need to combine our CBT methods with a referral for medication in order to achieve the best outcome.