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Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction

After a while, anxiety can take a huge emotional toll, and depression often sets in. There is no convincing reason as to why anxiety and depression often co-exist, but you can find relief from both with the right treatment.

Anxiety is much more than just nervousness and worrying. It can cause terrifying fear about things that other people wouldn't give a second thought to. Many people with anxiety problems understand that their thoughts are irrational, but they still can't stop them.

Anxiety and depression are an important part of addiction. They can lead to addiction, and addiction can lead to anxiety or depression. People sometimes use drugs and alcohol to escape the feelings of anxiety or depression. Approximately 15 to 30 percent of addicts suffer from both addiction and underlying depression. This is sometimes called a dual diagnosis. People who have both depression and addiction often have a repeating pattern of staying sober for a while and then relapsing because they feel awful.

Anxiety and depression have a problematical relationship: the incidence of developing depression in addition to an anxiety is high. People who are depressed often feel anxious and worried, so one can trigger the other. People who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorders, and anxiety are likely to also develop depression.

These are signs that a person may suffer from both anxiety and depression:

·         Constant, irrational fear and worry

·         Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, hot flashes, sweating, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing

·         Insomnia

·         Changes in eating, either too much or too little

·         Difficulty with memory, decision making, and concentration

·         Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness

·         Loss of interest in hobbies and activities

·         Feeling tired and cranky

·         Inability to relax

·         Panic attacks

The Road to Recovery

Both anxiety and depression should be treated together. Effective treatment strategies include:

·        Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is often used to treat anxiety disorder with depression. CBT can teach people to manage their fears, anxieties, and depressive symptoms by figuring out what's really causing them; people also learn how to take control of their emotions.

·        Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which include practicing meditation and mindfulness. Both can ease symptoms of both anxiety and depression and improve your quality of life.

·        EMDR therapy has been shown to be an effective means of dealing with depression, anxiety and addiction.

·        Addiction Counseling is extremely important because it is virtually impossible to deal with depression and anxiety, when the mind is clouded.

No one has to suffer from anxiety disorder or depression, and certainly not both. People with these problems need help in getting out of this vicious cycle and should speak with whoever can help whether it be a psychiatrist, therapist, or other healthcare professional about their symptoms, and start treatment before depression has a chance to set in.