Anxiety and Depression

black and white of man standing in front of a large windowDepression and anxiety are like brother and sister. For many folks, it seems like you cannot have one without the other. It is often hard to distinguish what came first.

So often, people want their symptoms to just go away. NO MORE ANXIETY. But the reality is, certain levels of anxiety are normal and serve a purpose. Anxiety serves us well when we are going out to our parked car and decide to wait for a friend to walk out with us. Anxiety can actually help keep us safe in a lot of instances and inform us of what we need to pay attention to.

When anxiety doesn’t serve us well is when it impacts our daily life to the point where we cannot go out to the car, go out at night, go to work, go to school, be with friends, and so on. When it gets in the way of things we really want to do, anxiety is a problem.

Depression follows suit. When it gets in the way of doing the things we want to do and people we want to be with, it is a problem. When we can’t get out of bed, can’t put food in our stomach, feel like we are so agitated we want to rip someone’s face off, that can be seen as a problem.

Some people are so anxious they start to feel depressed, while others feel so depressed they start to become anxious.  When getting in the way of life, it is important to talk with someone about their symptoms and come up with a plan when someone is ready for change.

We cannot change someone unless they want it, but it doesn’t mean therapy cannot be advantageous if someone is stuck in their ways. Therapy can help clarify with someone what stage they are in the change process, give a different perspective, and help motivate someone.

The great thing about anxiety and depression is they are both highly treatable using a variety of methods. I’m a little partial to therapy, not only because I am a therapist but because I have seen it be very effective in treating these issues.

It is important if someone is experiencing anxiety and/or depression to get a medical evaluation from their doctor to rule out any medical conditions. Certain conditions can be masked with anxiety and depression so it is very important to start with a check-up.

Like most brothers and sisters, they go their separate ways as life progresses. Wouldn’t it be nice to have depression and anxiety get old and move on? I thought so.