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Are anxiety and depression related?


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Answered 2008-08-24 00:09:58

== == Both depression and anxiety disorder can come from a common source, namely seratonin imbalance. Seratonin is a neurotransmitter produced by the body that does an amazing little balancing "dance" to get just enough across the synaptic gap and still save some for later. When too little is available, or too much goes across the gap, the result is worse than a noise phone line or a cell phone conversation with only a bar or two of signal, and neurons don't have time to say, "can you hear me now?" Seriously, though, treatment for depression and anxiety can be as simple as taking a pill every day. Some people are uncomfortable with these pills, known as antidepressants, because many feel that medical dependence is identical to addiction. It isn't. Just like a diabetic is not "addicted" to insulin, so a person with serotonin imbalance is not "addicted" to antidepressants; in both cases the extra material is merely medically necessary. On a personal note, I've fought with depression and anxiety for most of my life. Only about 7 years ago did I discover that it was chemical, not mental. Yes, there is a mental side to both depression and anxiety; when your body makes you feel a certain way, you'll treat situations in such a way that they'll make you more depressed or anxious. I finally had to get help after nearly passing out at work due to a panic attack, a condition also associated with serotonin imbalance but not necessarily the same as anxiety in all cases. Now that my body is able to deal with its issues, my mind can deal with the rest. This is not something you should self-treat, though! While some people can get relief through herbal remedies such as St. John's Wort, more often than not this requires prescription-strength treatment and careful monitoring, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. You won't necessarily have to go into a hospital or other "institution," although if your medication gets way off balance (which can happen due to life changes, pregnancy, interactions with other medications, and other issues), you may have to be hospitalized temporarily for treatment. I haven't had to do this yet, but I caught it in time, and I stay in touch with my internist to make sure everything's OK. My internist is also well-versed in these things; not all are. It sounds rougher than it is, really. Joe is absolutely right! It's as easy as being diagnosed and given an antidepressant and working with your doctor and following orders. Some people don't have to be on antidepressants for the rest of their lives (I'm one of the fortunate ones). While doing so through medication therapy is also helpful to take "Cognitive Therapy Course" by Belinda Basset and it worked! I can play one of her tapes in my car. I suffered from stress (also known as anxiety) when my father had his stroke and between working, helping my mother out with my father and just getting married I basically was burning the candle at both ends. I really didn't know what was happening to me. Probably getting anxiety (panic attacks as well that turned into Agoraphobia) saved my life and made me realize I had to start adjusting my stress and learn how to do that. I now look at problems in my life in a more healthy way and don't waste my energy on "what ifs" or "I could get anxiety back again." yes depression leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to depression.

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