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Can You Experience Depression and Anxiety Together?

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Dec 15, 2022

Can You Experience Depression and Anxiety Together?

Many people may have some form of anxiety or depression. However, many people may not realize that it is possible to experience depression and anxiety together. To help you learn more about the conditions, here are some facts you ought to know.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of anxiousness, nervousness, or fear, and a person who has an anxiety disorder would have extreme symptoms for 6 months or longer. The symptoms can often begin at childhood or adolescence and usually continue into adulthood.

There are many different kinds of anxiety disorders. This includes generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, etc. And it is important to know that you can have more than one kind of anxiety disorder. They can overlap.

Other than fear and anxiousness, symptoms of anxiety include rapid breathing, sweating, and trembling, among others. It can also make it hard for a person to focus on things that are not related to what they are worried about; they may feel restless or tired, which can lead to insomnia.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mental health condition that is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. It often causes a person to feel a huge amount of despair, isolation, and sadness. It would be important to note that depression is not the same as being sad or lonely because of difficult life experiences such as a breakup or a loss of a loved one.

Like anxiety, depression can disrupt a person’s life. It can affect the way a person functions, feels and thinks. Additionally, there are many different kinds of depression, such as major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, etc.

A person may also experience a variety of symptoms if they are depressed. Most common symptoms of depression include restlessness, agitation, lower sex drive, oversleeping or insomnia, thoughts of suicide or death, tiredness, etc.

depression and anxiety together

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Anxiety and Depression?

It can often be difficult for many people to spot the difference between depression and anxiety because the symptoms can be similar. While most people think the main difference may be stress and sadness, the symptoms can still overlap, and a person can have both conditions.

For a simple marker, anxiety is usually defined by worry about the long-term or immediate future. Uncontrollable thoughts that something would go wrong may also disrupt a person’s life, even if nothing is wrong.

For depression, a simple mental marker would be thoughts of thinking that the future is hopeless, worthlessness, etc. People with depression may also assume that things will not get better, for the world, themselves, or their relationships.

Additionally, people with depression no longer take delight to things and activities they previously enjoy doing. They also feel hopeless or down most of the day, almost every day.

Overlap of Depression and Anxiety

While there are differences between the two conditions, a person can have both at the same time. Around 45% of people that have one mental health condition also have one or more other conditions. So, many people who get diagnosed with anxiety can often be diagnosed with depression, and vice versa.

Notably, anxiety can be a symptom of major depression. Moreover, anxiety disorder  can trigger bouts of depression.

When a person has both conditions, they may have mixed feelings. They may have brief periods of feeling anxious. Then the next they may feel very down on their luck. They may worry about many things yet they’ll feel as though they are unable to do anything about it.

If you get diagnosed with both conditions, there will be overlapping of symptoms. For example, you may have impaired sleep; you might oversleep on some days,  and on some days you may not be able to sleep at all. Additionally, irritability is a common symptom that people with both conditions may have.

What Happens if You Ignore It?

There are some side effects when you ignore either or both conditions. For instance, if you ignore your symptoms of anxiety, you can develop depression. Untreated depression can also lead to anxiety.

For anxiety and depression, both conditions can lead to suicidal behavior and thoughts along with substance abuse. Interestingly, both conditions can weaken the immune system which could make a person more prone to infections. And these conditions can make a person feel fatigued or tired.

How Can I Treat It?

If you experience depression and anxiety together, it would always be best to seek professional help to help you with your symptoms of one or both conditions. A professional could help you determine the cause and what treatment would be ideal for you.

However, there are still many other proactive ways to help treat your conditions while you get professional help. For instance, knowing that it is not your fault you are feeling that way is a good way to acknowledge and accept your feelings. And while this may be hard, it is also good to try to realize that you need help and a little push to feel better.

You may also feel overwhelmed or feel like you cannot do anything. When you are in this state, try to do something you have control over. For instance, you can do a small task like washing the dishes or making your bed. While they are small things, they can help you feel like you have control over your life.

Creating a routine and sticking to it is also a good step. It can help you look forward to new things and help you feel more productive. While it may be difficult to get used to a new routine, it could help you feel more active.

Finding healthy coping mechanisms is also a great way to help you manage your anxiety and depression. For instance, you can try jogging, using a stress ball, listening to your favorite music, etc.

Key Takeaways

Depression and anxiety can overlap in some people. It is important to know more about these conditions and learn how you can treat them to improve your quality of life. You can try to address issues on your own. However, it is recommended to consult a professional to safely deal with any underlying concerns.

Learn more about a Healthy Mind here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jezreel Esguerra, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Dec 15, 2022

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