Anxiety and depression do not have many things in common. In fact they are very different and yet it is not unusual that anxiety and depression occur at the same time.
If we think about it, it might be even logical that after experiencing a horrible depressive episode one can develop a fear from becoming depressive again.
This is only one scenario of how depression and anxiety can collaborate and support one another. Some professionals believe that anxiety precedes depression and there are many cases that confirm that theory. On the other side there are many other cases that do not support that theory.
One thing, however, is certain and that is that anxiety and depression do collaborate and have a strong "relationship". If we compare symptoms of depression and symptoms of anxiety we will see how different these disorders are. This is the reason why it is sometimes very tricky and difficult to treat mixed anxiety and depression.
Treatment of Mixed Anxiety and Depression
First question is which disorder came first. As we know there is no golden rule that can tell us which disorder always comes first so an effort has to be made to find that out. This you can find out with help from your therapist. After knowing which disorder came first the treatment can begin.
Sometimes even professionals have problem distinguishing anxiety from depression and vice versa. The good news is that treatment that is usually used targets both anxiety and depression at the same time.
There are tree ways-methods to treat anxiety and depression when they occur together:
1. First anxiety is treated and than depression.
2. First treat depression and than anxiety.
3. Anxiety and depression are treated simultaneously.
There has been success with all three methods however mixed anxiety and depression is best treated when anxiety and depression are targeted at the same time.
The most popular and very successful psychotherapy for treating anxiety and depression simultaneously is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Interpersonal therapy is also successful as well as some other therapeutic methods however cognitive behavioral therapy has some advantages when treating mixed anxiety and depression.
Cognitive behavioral therapy usually lasts for about 12 to 16 weeks and after that period of time patient usually feels much better and is ready to continue his/her life without psychotherapy.
It is not unusual that anxiety or depression reappears. When that happens the therapy should be repeated and some things should be done for prevention purposes.
Medication for anxiety and depression is used in some moderate and in almost all of the severe cases together with psychotherapy. Medications should never be taken without a professional supervision and without the psychotherapy that goes along with taking the medication. Also, when taking the medication for anxiety and depression, alcohol and drug abuse must be stopped.
Alcohol abuse is very common among people that suffer from anxiety and depression and it must be addressed properly. Alcohol counseling is mandatory if a patient has problem with alcohol. Also it is recommended that patient continues alcohol counseling after the psychotherapy is over.
Medication for anxiety and depression should be taken for six months or longer. In many cases medications are not necessary but in many other they are. A patient should never stop taking medications without consulting his or her therapist. Medication must be taken seriously because if abused in any way they can cause damage. Needless to say, medications should never be taken on your own.
I said this many times and it is never enough. There are no magic pills that will cure you from anxiety and depression. Meds can easy your pain, they can relieve you from some of your symptoms, they can even make you feel better for a short period of time but that’s it. The only thing they are doing for you are giving you a better chance to combat your illness.
Symptoms are not your illness. Your illness was there long before the symptoms showed up. If you want to live your life without anxiety and depression you have to face them and change things that have led you into their gloomy arms. Symptoms are a call for change. Make sure you do something about it, instead of living your life the same way you did yesterday.
There are many ways to fight anxiety and depression and not all of them are good. To have a good therapy means to have a good therapist but most of all it means to have a strong will and desire to get better.
In order for anxiety and depression to be part of your yesterday you need to start making changes in your life today.