Many people feel anxious or depressed at times. Losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, giving a speech, and other difficult situations can lead a person to feel sad, lonely, scared, nervous, or anxious. These feelings are normal reactions to the stressors of everyday life. But some people experience these feelings daily for no apparent reason, making it difficult to carry on with normal, everyday functioning.
While anxiety and depression are two separate conditions, it is not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), nearly half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The good news is both disorders are treatable, separately and together.
The ADAA reports anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million people ages 18 and over. If you experience anxiety that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable and overwhelming, leaving you feeling an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can be disabling. When anxiety interferes with normal daily activities, you may have one of several types of anxiety disorders.
The ADAA defines depression as a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. When these feelings last for more than two weeks, and when the feelings interfere with daily activities such as taking care of yourself or your family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, it's likely a major depressive episode.
Unfortunately, too many people don't seek treatment for either condition, even though they are both highly treatable. If you think you might have an anxiety disorder or depression, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Visit our Mental Health Care page for information regarding benefits and coverage for these conditions.