A match made in heaven.
From all the people I’ve spoken to about mental health since I started Little Thoughts, it seems that in many cases if you’ve got depression you’re blessed with the joys of anxiety too. And vice versa. So the question I ask is, do they cause each other?
From my own experience, anxiety became a real problem for me once depression was in full swing. Upon my first panic attack I had no idea what was happening, and it wasn’t until I looked back on the situation that I realised that that’s what it was. You may have read about this situation in my post about antidepressants, but if not, the gist of it is basically that the way I was feeling during a particularly bad depressive episode caused an almighty panic attack. I didn’t know how I was going to control my thoughts and couldn’t see a way out, which caused me to frantically panic about whether I’d be able to get through it. After that, whenever I felt the wrath of depression hit again I would panic that the situation would be the same as that night. This then meant that whenever I was feeling low, I’d become incredibly anxious too. I didn’t want to be in that situation again.
It works the other way, too. Anxiety is incredibly draining and a low mood is inevitable. After a few months of experiencing this, I ended up expecting these situations to arise because I know that being anxious is going to cause feelings of depression, and that feelings of depression are going to cause anxiety. I associate one with the other and end up anxious about getting anxious. Nowadays, this is my main problem. I’ve learnt to control my thoughts and feelings better now, and I don’t suffer from anxiety as badly in situations that I would have done a year ago. My main concern now is anxiety about anxiety. When I’m out or away from home, one of the first things that comes into my mind is what if I get anxious? What if I have a panic attack and I can’t go home? Then I start getting anxious about whether I’m going to get anxious.
What do you think? Are depression and anxiety products of each other? Do you get anxious about getting anxious? I’d love to hear other people’s views and experiences with this!