When Depression Stems From Anxiety
If you are someone who sufferers from long-term anxiety there is a very good chance you also experience low moods or even clinical depression. When mood suffers a vicious circle ensues where continued anxiety makes mood worse, and a low mood makes anxiety worse. In this post I’m unpacking the association between anxiety and depression and asking why anxiety can lead to low moods.
Low moods can refer to a variety of symptoms but the more common ones will include a lowering of motivation and general sense of feeling emotionally flat and thinking of yourself in a more negative fashion. You may have given up all hope of things improving and your general sense of optimism will be at an all time low. Although you feel tired and sleepy a lot of the time you may find your sleep pattern disrupted. Given the chance you may nap during the day and at night may have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Anxious people tend not to have high levels of confidence and when anxiety tightens the noose around the few things you enjoy doing you begin to question your own capabilities. Plus of course anxiety is very tiring and the more tired we become the more likely it is that our mood gets dragged down.
With anxiety comes avoidance of the objects or situations that feed the problem. Life becomes narrower and more restricted. The less there is to do, the less rewarding life becomes and as a result mood starts to suffer. When we feel flat and sad our thinking is affected. It becomes harder to get things into perspective and to think rationally and it is much more likely that thoughts become negative and self-defeating in nature.
There is however a difference between low mood and depression although you may find it challenging to spot these differences. Essentially, there are three things to look out for. First, low moods tend to be more responsive to change and don’t hang around for weeks on end. Secondly, depression is pretty consistent for most of the time. Thirdly, depression affects people at a much more fundamental level. It can mean that even the simplest tasks seem too much to manage and feelings of guilt, worthlessness and possibly thoughts of death or suicide creep in.