Depression and Anxiety

It is a common misconception that depression and anxiety are the same. While they are closely related, they are two different conditions. During an anxiety episode your mind may perceive a situation or circumstance that appears to be dangerous or harmful. This perception can be real or imagined. Your body will react according to what your mind perceives by preparing for action. Your blood pressure rises, your heart rate quickens, and there is an increase blood flow to the major organs and muscle groups. You may start to perspire more to help maintain your body temperature. When the anxiety is imaginary and only exist in your mind, then these bodily functions will create unpleasant physical experiences such as sweating, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chills, and nausea.

Sigmund Freud viewed anxiety as a danger signal that results in physical defense behaviors designed to allow your body to overcome the danger that is threatening to you. He further believed that you get these feelings of anxiousness from traumatic experiences and then these feelings are reinforced through classical conditioning. When you experience a situation, something or someone, that you associate with a previous traumatic experience then the anxiety caused by this experience will resurface. From an emotional standpoint you may feel a sense of panic and an extreme reluctance to face the experience. Both types of behavior, voluntary and involuntary, will make you feel like you want to run away or escape. However if you don’t face the anxiety by avoiding it, ignoring it, or just running away from it then you will always reinforce the urge to escape. All that does is make you feel more anxious the next time you experience the same situation.

It is not uncommon at all to experience depression and anxiety together, but currently no direct relationship between the two has been found. As a result, the relationship between depression and anxiety is referred to as comorbidity. This basically means they are unrelated but co-existing. Their symptoms can be independent of each other or they can overlap each other. This makes the initial diagnosis of depression or anxiety very difficult. A study by the National Comorbidity Survey reported that 58 percent of patients and individuals who suffer major depression also experience a life time of anxiety.

Theories do exist regarding the possibility that bouts of depression are similar to anxiety attacks by attempting to avoid potentially harmful circumstances. Anxiety tries to avoid the situation and prepare for physical danger and depression tries to avoid emotional and or psychological threats. Anxiety and or panic attacks result from sudden instances of intense fear and discomfort. These attacks can surface for no apparent reason and will usually elicit the body’s fight or flight response. These attacks usually last roughly ten minutes; however, they can be as short as one minute. In extreme situations these attacks can come and go in cycles and can last for extended periods of time.

If you have had anxiety attacks I’m sure you will recognize some or all these symptoms. Depending on the severity of the attack you may experience dizziness, nausea, sweating, light headed, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, headaches, and tingling or numbness (pins and needles) in your extremities. Usually the anxiety attack is instigated by a sudden burst of fear. However, since fear can arise from many sources the intensity of the anxiety attack can be greatly varied. In response your body will release adrenaline, your heart and breathing rate will increase, and you will start sweating. Sweating is how your body regulates its temperature.

All of these functions aid in preparing your body to react in one of two ways. You will run away, meaning avoiding the anxiety at all costs, or you will stand your ground, meaning face your anxiety head on. This is known as the flight or fight response to dangerous, threatening, and stressful experiences. All of these conditions have an effect on different organs and parts of the body. A number of different things happen, there is a significant increase in your heart rate causing palpitations, and hyperventilation or rapid breathing will decrease carbon dioxide in the lungs and blood. Now you become light headed and dizzy and experience tingling and numbness. The extra jolt of adrenaline narrows the blood vessels resulting reduced blood flow and causing headaches.

If you’re thinking about getting professional help, you may want to become familiar with treatment options that are available. Depending on the seriousness of your anxiety disorder or depression, sometimes all you really need is a lifestyle change. If that doesn’t work for you then consider behavioral therapy and medications. Currently the most popular method, or what is considered mainstream, is a combination of prescription medications and a professional behavioral therapist. Be advised though, this treatment methodology has some controversy. There seems to be a certain degree of ambiguity, while some studies reveal that this combination is more effective than either method by itself. However some studies show that the majority of individuals feel they receive more benefit from medications than they do from behavioral counseling treatments. When considering professional treatment there are other factors that you will need to take into consideration such as genetics and environmental conditions. If you work closely with your counselor or therapist he or she should be able to determine the best treatment combination for you.

Remember, anxiety is a physiological reaction caused by the sympathetic nervous system. Since this system is always active at the base level, termed the sympathetic tone, it becomes more active in stressful situations. At this point the flight or fight response happens. There does not have to be an outside influence in order to cause anxiety as it is based on irrational and illogical fears. Panic attacks are also a product of the sympathetic nervous system; however, they are usually brought on by outside circumstances. Usually panic attacks in general arise from a sudden fear. It replaces your normal way of thinking because they usually happen in circumstances that you may think to be health and or life threatening. Often times people will confuse stress with panic attacks. While stress induced situation can cause a panic attack, generally stress is brought about by a psychosocial experience. Panic and stress do play a very vital role in your natural survival instincts.

It is also important to remember that anxiety does not always arise from fear or the need to take defensive measures. Some individuals will try to escape those experiences that make them anxious, even though that may bring temporary relief, usually those experiences will become intensified when faced with a similar experience. It is always best to try and work through the anxiety so you won’t have those feelings again, or they will be less intense the next time should that experience arise again.

The most common types of depression usually results from a feeling of anxiety. In actuality, it isn’t so much about being depressed as it is an anxiety disorder. Generally when an anxiety has passed, the depression usually passes also. This also happens when you become overly anxious about something. However this can help you to adjust to the stress that comes from being anxious. It helps you prepare or ‘get keyed up’ to face a difficult situation, such as meeting someone for the first time or anticipating a job or any other type of interview. In some ways this could be beneficial to you, but when this anxiety is allowed to manifest itself into depression, you then may need professional help to alleviate this problem, and get back on track.

To be in compliance with United States Federal Trade Commission Regulations, I must tell you that I, or my publishing company, may receive a commission from the sale of these products or programs. It takes a great deal of time to research, investigate, assemble, and publish, and to be honest, the few dollars  in commissions I, or my company, make in bringing you the best of the best in programs are what keeps my company going.  Allow me to take this time to thank you for reading this article and reviewing the following offers.


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