Anxiety, by definition, is a heightened state of fearful awareness with heart and thoughts racing. Depression, on the other hand, is a dulling of all interest and an inability to concentrate, a lack of energy, and a real sense of not being able to accomplish anything.
Due to these diverse mood descriptions many may be surprised to learn how often depression presents itself as a secondary disorder in an individual who is already suffering with chronic anxiety. Normal sleep patterns are seriously disrupted for the individual suffering with this combination of mental disorders aggravating the depressive lack of energy, and contributing to more confusing thought patterns.
Alcohol abuse can quickly become a factor in this combination of disorders, since the sufferer may initially feel they are receiving some relief from their discomfort by drinking to help induce sleep, etc. As in nearly any other instance you can think of, dependency on alcohol never helps a situation in the long run, quite conversely, it adds another dimension to the struggles to overcome.
Extreme anger is another symptom of this combined disorder, the person may be very quick to rage, and slow to calm down. Many people in both verbally and physically abusive relationships could be helped much sooner if they were able to convince their partner to be tested and then treated for a mental disorder.
The person with this combination of anxiety and depression is not processing information correctly, and may believe others are against them, and blame especially those closest for their feelings. Unexpected situations are a fact of daily life, but for the individual struggling to make sense out of their uncontrollable apprehensions, in combination with an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness, any change in a routine, or small disappointment may send them into a downward spiral of anger, and aggression with no sensitivity towards the damage they are causing those around them.
Being anxious and or depressed most of the time makes enjoying life and experiencing any consistent sense of satisfaction unattainable. The obsessive worry and fear, the inability to rationally address any issue at hand, combined with a body that is running at it's lowest level of productivity, all this magnifies the individual's feelings of helplessness.
The all consuming dread and general gloom and doom attitude eat away at any desire to cultivate friendships, appreciate a hobby, or even take a walk. `If only’ can be a prevailing thought, as the unfortunate person struggles to make some sense out of their despair.
As troubling as these collective disorders are, there is help readily available for those who need it. It would be very wise for the loved one of an individual presenting these behavioral patterns to become as educated as possible in both of these two areas of related disorders.
Perhaps only then, when the anxious and depressed person is approached in love and concern from a caring person, will they be ready to seek help. If allowed to continue on in the self deprecating and negative life styles these disorders breed, the anguished individual will very possibly go on to add even more disturbing symptoms and phobias to their already distressing repertoire.
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