Anxiety and depression are similar conditions chemically, since both illnesses have a decrease in effectiveness of neurotransmitters in the body. Low serotonin levels, as well as dopamine and epinephrine levels, play an important role in the development of both anxiety and depression. Since both conditions affect the same neurotransmitters, they can also share certain symptoms. These transmitters are highly influential in the body, which is why it is possible for both conditions to occur at the same time. Both anxiety and depression are frequently treated with similar methods which explains why the disorders are often confused for each other.
Anxiety and depression are highly treatable, but the first step to recovery is to seek medical attention. All doubts, insecurities, experiences, feelings, thoughts, and worries must be honestly told to your doctor or therapist in order for treatment to be effective. If you are confused about the symptoms that occur with depression or anxiety, it is best to consult with your doctor to reach an appropriate diagnosis. It is your doctor's job to reach the correct diagnosis and recommend the most effect treatment to manage your symptoms and manage your condition.
After Getting a Diagnosis
If your doctor wants to see you on multiple occasions before prescribing medication, this is a good sign. This indicates that your doctor is patiently and diligently studying your condition. It's most beneficial to see your doctor on a regular basis if you are taking medications, so you can discuss side effects as well as effectiveness of the medication.
If Depression is Caused by Anxiety
When an individual's depression is a response to his or her anxiety, they will no longer have the energy or motivation to overcome the anxiety disorder. In this case, either medication or cognitive behavioral methods can be used to help overcome depression.
If Anxiety is Caused by Depression
If an individual experiences severe depression before the diagnosis or development of an anxiety disorder, it typically means that the body's reaction to depression has resulted in the development of anxiety. This depression, called primary depression, is likely to require medication treatment.
The Bottom Line
Oftentimes anxiety disorders and depression can be treated similarly depending on the symptoms that are manifested. In most cases, a combination of psychotherapy and medication treatment have proven to be effective. There are several forms of psychotherapies available, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. These treatments focus on taking certain steps to overcome anxiety and depression, as it works to replace negative, unproductive, and possibly destructive thought patterns.
Other proven psychotherapies include interpersonal therapy and problem-solving therapy. Pharmacologic treatment, such as the use of SSRIs and SNRIs, can also be useful.