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Treating Twin Disorders: Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression affect millions of people in the United States. Though there are specific diagnostic criteria for each disorder, they often coexist in individuals. How do you determine the best anxiety treatment when there are multiple disorders at work? How do you know if you or a loved one are suffering from anxiety, depression, or both?

Michigan Psychological Care provides anxiety treatment.

It can be difficult to parse apart anxiety and depression. In some cases, they present similar symptoms. If you’re the one suffering, it can be difficult enough to function, much less separate out exactly what you’re feeling. If it is your loved one suffering, it can be almost impossible to understand the cause of their pain. Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety and/or depression, and seeking treatment is a brave choice to make.

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Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder. They present a variety of symptoms including disproportionate worry and tension, unwanted thoughts, racing heart, extreme self-consciousness, and more. Symptoms of depression may include feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, pessimism, worthlessness, irritability, as well as physical symptoms such as headaches, appetite loss, and insomnia.

Both depressed and anxious people may cope by becoming avoidant – that is, they steer clear of potentially stressful situations, which might appear as a kind of shutting down to their friends and loved ones. There are different theories about why anxiety and depression occur together. One theory is that they have similar biological mechanisms, which of course leads to comorbidity. Another theory is that because of the overlapping symptoms, many people meet the criteria for both diagnoses.

As anxiety and depression have been increasingly recognized as existing alongside each other, so too has it become more common to treat them together. In some cases, the symptoms of one disorder may be so overwhelming that it must be treated first before addressing the other disorder. As it happens, certain types of medication and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) are effective treatments for both anxiety and depression.  Best practices over time have recognized that medication alone is not a long-term, effective solution because it can only address the chemical issues that may cause or exacerbate these problems.  CBT and talk therapy help get to the root cause of anxiety and depression, as well as provide coping strategies for symptoms.

With treatment, the heavy weight of both anxiety and depression can be lifted. Early intervention can prevent issues from worsening later in life.  Whatever the diagnosis you’re attempting to treat – anxiety, depression or both – the most important thing you can do is seek professional treatment as early as possible.

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health, Michigan Psychological Care is here to help. Our team of clinicians is ready to listen to your concerns and help you recover. We offer individual, family, and group counseling as well as a variety of therapeutic measures to aid in treatment. Contact us today!

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