Are Anxiety and Depression Related?
I’m a therapist not a scientist, so my non-scientific answer is – they can be. But equally they can be completely unrelated too.
Depression does not cause anxiety, and anxiety does not cause depression. You can absolutely have one without the other.
If we start with talking about depression then we can begin to see how being anxious over a period of time could result in feeling depressed.
I believe that depression is very much about protection and safety. Our unconscious minds are all about keeping us safe. Constantly throughout the day they are looking at what is happening around us and comparing that to our past experiences. They then look out into the future at all the possible outcomes. This allows us very quickly (and unconsciously) to choose the safest next steps to take.
Suppose for a moment that our unconscious mind does this but when it looks out into the future all it sees is more bad stuff. It looks dark and bleak.
You can see how when this happens a ‘sensible’ unconscious mind might choose not to move forward. Instead it might choose to withdraw in on itself. You may feel low energy and lack motivation to do anything. Ultimately you may choose to stay in bed and pull the duvet over your head.
Your unconscious mind has completely withdrawn into protection mode – depression.
Let’s relate this to anxiety.
At the moment you are stuck in a cycle of anxiety, worry and overthinking.
When you look back into your past experiences you find a history of worry and even panic attacks.
So you look into the future to predict a way forward and all your unconscious mind can find is the possibility of more worry, anxiety and panic.
Does that look like a positive future? Are you drawn forward to experience more of the same?
Probably not. It is perfectly understandable for your unconscious mind to want to protect you from this. As we saw above, the ultimate protection is to withdraw inside into depression. So this is why anxiety and depression are often related.
Using Cognitive Hypnotherapy I can help you with both. In fact research shows that Cognitive Hypnotherapy is effective for both anxiety and depression. You can read more about the research, which I took part in, here.
If you want to find out more about how I can help you then you can contact me via email. Or use the following link to book something directly into my diary.