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The Relationship Between Anxiety and Depression

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

Anxiety and depression are two natural emotions. Anxiety occurs as a response to situations that are potentially dangerous, like skydiving, or that are considered high risk, such as gambling. Depression can occur due to disappointment, such as a canceled vacation or upsetting circumstances, like the death of a loved one. In addition, although these emotions are completely natural, there are criteria that indicate an individual’s depression or anxiety has progressed to a level in which the emotion is considered a mental health condition. Furthermore, about half of the individuals diagnosed with one condition also have the other. Therefore, if you notice symptoms associated with either condition, you may want to enter the search term — an anxiety depression therapist near me — to find an experienced mental health professional in your area.

The Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression in the US

The 2021 State of Mental Health in America Report states that since March 2020 more than eight out of the 10 people who took their depression screening survey had symptoms that consistently fell within the moderate to severe depression category. Furthermore, in September 2020, more than eight out of the 10 people who took their anxiety screening survey received scores indicating that they had moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety.

According to statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults (aged 18 and above) or 18.1 percent of the U.S. population annually.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

These conditions are frequently interconnected. Some symptoms do overlap between the two, but each condition also has its own set of symptoms. Each emotion’s set of symptoms influences the other.

The symptoms of depression include:

  • Constantly feeling sad.
  • Disinterest in activities that you once enjoyed.
  • Feeling nervous or irritable.
  • Difficulty focusing and making decisions.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • A feeling of guilt or worthlessness.
  • Not getting enough sleep.
  • Getting too much sleep.
  • Weight loss.
  • Weight gain.
  • Suicidal ideation.
  • Feeling fatigued.
  • Frequently thinking about death.
  • Lack of energy.

If you notice any of these symptoms, search online using the term — depression help near me — to find a therapist in your area.

Since anxiety takes on many forms (e.g., social anxiety disorder [SAD] and generalized anxiety disorder [GAD], etc.) the symptoms an individual with anxiety experiences can vary.

The most common symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder include:

  • The inability to control one’s thoughts.
  • Excessive worry (usually for irrational reasons).
  • Difficulty falling asleep.
  • Trouble staying asleep.
  • A feeling of restlessness and agitation.
  • Aching muscles.
  • Muscles that remain tense.
  • Trouble staying focused.

The Cyclic Relationship Between Anxiety and Depression

If a person frequently feels anxious, his or her daily life may become strained, which can result in the individual experiencing symptoms associated with depression.

An individual who is depressed may begin experiencing the symptoms of anxiety simply because of the way he or she feels.

These Mental Health Conditions Share a Biological Basis

Continuous states of low mood or anxiety as experienced by those who have mood disorders and clinical anxiety result from changes in the function of their neurotransmitters. Certain brain chemicals (e.g., epinephrine, dopamine, low serotonin levels etc.) are thought to contribute to both of these emotional states.

What Makes an Individual More Likely to Develop These Conditions?

Having an anxiety disorder in and of itself puts an individual at a higher risk for the onset of depression.

Risk factors associated with depression and anxiety include:

  • Traumatic experiences.
  • Environmental stressors.
  • Genetics.

Treatment Options

Both of these emotional states can make daily life difficult, however, effective treatments are available. These treatments include medication and therapy, or a combination of the two.


Medications to treat anxiety include SSRIs, benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclics. MAOIs and SSRIs are also effective for treating depression.

Medications to treat depression include a tetracyclic antidepressant, SNRIs, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), a noradrenergic antagonist, dopamine reuptake blockers as well as 5-HT1, 5-HT2 and 5-HT3 receptor antagonists.

Therapy for Anxiety and Depression

Whether an individual is experiencing one condition or both of these conditions, there are numerous methods of therapy available.

Methods for addressing both conditions include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), interpersonal therapy and psychoanalytic therapy. In addition, at Harmony Bay Wellness there are therapies designed to address depression (e.g., behavioral therapy, etc.) and anxiety (e.g., holistic therapy programs like yoga, etc.).

Individuals who are experiencing the symptoms associated with depression, anxiety or both of these conditions, just search online for a — depression and anxiety therapist near me. If you need an anxiety and depression treatment center in South Jersey, contact Harmony Bay Wellness at 855-765-6399.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.