Anxiety Induced Depression

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
Depressed woman

Anxiety induced depression can leave you feeling helpless and hopeless. You may wonder if you will ever feel normal again. Understanding how anxiety plays into depression will help you seek the treatment you need to feel like yourself again.

Understanding Anxiety Induced Depression

Anxiety can make you feel anything but depressed. You may be hyperactive, paranoid and uneasy about otherwise non-problematic situations. However, as your anxiety takes a hold of you, you may find that you don't have control over any of your fears and worries. You may start to resent yourself for not being able to calm yourself down and stop getting anxious about the littlest of things.

If you have behaviors because of your anxiety, such as excessive hand washing, checking behind yourself repeatedly or some of the other obsessive-compulsive symptoms, you probably feel frustrated because you need to do them even though you know it's unnecessary. This lack of self-control is what makes you feel helpless, and helplessness can make you feel as though you will always follow the pattern of behavior no matter what you do.

Depression Symptoms from Anxiety

Many of the symptoms of depression dictate what an anxiety disorder can make you feel like. Depression can make you feel helpless, hopeless, guilty, and shameful. It can cause a lack of enjoyment in activities you once enjoyed, an increase in physical ailments, changes in your appetite and sleeping patterns, and you may have an overwhelming sense of sadness, which makes you cry often or feel overwhelming dread. These symptoms have a dramatic effect on other areas of your life such as relationships and your job.

The symptoms of anxiety disorder are not the same as depression symptoms; however, some people do confuse their depression with anxiety. That's because their depression starts with an anxiety disorder. As they become more anxious, they become depressed, instead of thinking their disorder has evolved into or has precipitated another, they believe it is just a part of being anxious.

The Anxiety-Depression Cycle

Depression can stem from anxiety, which can, in turn, lead you to become anxious. When you can't control how you react to situations, you may start to feel helpless and hopeless. Since you can't help feeling the way you do or control your actions, you feel guilty or ashamed. This lessens your self-esteem, which makes you start thinking badly about yourself, which could make you eat either more for comfort or less because of an uneasy stomach. You may start to sleep more because you don't feel up to dealing with the worrisome situations you encounter every day.

Alternatively, your anxiety may be so high that you can't sleep at all and thus, you are sluggish and fatigued throughout the day. Your tiredness, unwillingness to deal with unexpected situations and having obsessive negative thoughts won't allow you to enjoy time that you normally would have found fun and fulfilling.

Since your body is in constant state of distress, it has limited time to recover. This constant state of anxiety can make you feel ill more often. You may have body aches, an increase in common colds or flu or you may begin developing serious medical problems such as heart disease. These health problems can further exasperate your anxiety causing you to fear that something more serious may be happening inside you or that you will die from a heart attack or other medical issue. These worries can wear you out making you feel even more depressed about your life.

Depressed and Anxious

What to Do if You Think You Are Depressed

Contact your mental health or medical professional about your symptoms. Anxiety induced depression is common, and you may need to add an anti-depressant to your anti-anxiety medication. If you seek counseling for your anxiety, speak to the counselor about how you are feeling because of your anxiety. The counselor will help you work through the perception you have about your anxiety and help you relieve some of your depression because of it.

Anxiety Induced Depression