There is a close link between anxiety and depression.
Many people with depression will also have some symptoms of anxiety and people with anxiety disorders can feel depressed and hopeless about life.
Anxiety is a broad term covering a variety of sub-types including: *external links take you to a variety of well known sources of quality information about these specific conditions.
- Body Dysmorphic disorder
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Health anxiety
- Panic disorder
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
How anxiety can affect your life
Like depression, anxiety can affect your ability to cope with life. It often causes physical symptoms such as tiredness, palpitations, sweating and pain. Pain often comes from muscle tension.
Many people with anxiety say that they find it difficult to control. People who experience panic attacks for example can suddenly be overcome with feelings of absolute fear.
For other people, anxiety can be triggered quickly making it hard to know why it is happening and when it might occur. This can be very disruptive. People with anxiety may try to avoid situations they find stressful or places where they have felt stressful in the past.
What stress and anxiety feels like
- your heart pounds
- you get hot and sweaty
- you get butterflies in your stomach
- you feel really tense
- it becomes harder to concentrate on one thing
- you become irritable
- you forget things more often than you would normally.
Treatment and support for anxiety
Much of the information in the treating depression section will also be helpful for anxiety.
Talk to your GP. Anxiety and depression are among the most common reasons people go to their doctor, so your GP should be used to talking about it. There are a number of things they can discuss with your to help minimise levels of anxiety. This might include self-management techniques, self-help books, medication or psychological therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.
It is also possible to identify the things that are causing your anxiety, and look at how to make changes in your life to either reduce these feelings. Certain ‘triggers’ may cause panic and with help you can learn to manage these situations. Ask your GP what options might be best, or contact a support organisation like Action on Depression for more information.
Self-help for anxiety
We offer a course based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) called Living Life to the Full. It is a life skills course that teaches how you can tackle problems and respond to difficult situations in your life. We currently offer these course in Lothian, the Highlands and East Ayrshire, or you can do it online from your own home with telephone support.
Where to get more help
- You can learn how to control anxiety using Anxiety Control Training from Living Life to the Full. This is available to download from www.llttf.com or email Action on Depression for more information.
- Anxiety UK is a national charity support people with anxiety.