Misery loves company.
When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, it felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest.
My problems weren't immediately solved, but I felt like I had a game plan. I would take meds and start therapy, and I would get better.
This happened, but it was harder work than I thought it would be, and I couldn't shake the feeling of depression that crept in.
If you think about it, asking if depression and anxiety are linked is something every person doing battle with their anxiety is going to have to face eventually.
Because once you begin to treat the anxiety, you'll actually have the emotional space to deal with the symptoms of depression that anxiety can cause.
Here are 5 ways anxiety and depression are linked.
1. Anxiety ruins your sleep
If you are suffering from anxiety and/or having panic attacks, the chances are high that your sleep cycle will be interrupted.
If you aren't getting enough sleep, your body isn't getting some valuable restorative time that it needs in order to keep you happy, healthy, and well-balanced.
Getting the right amount of sleep (between 6 and 8 hours, though that varies) is important to regulate your serotonin production.
Since serotonin is the hormone that your brains relies on for happiness, getting it in healthy doses is crucial to avoid depression.
2. Anxiety causes circular thinking
One of the most pernicious things about anxiety is the vicious thought cycles it can send your brain on.
While most people have some worries, some time, your's balloon and cycle and don't seem to ever stop.
This endless cycle of worry naturally is going to make you feel less happy and more depressed than you would if you weren't anxious, or were treating your anxiety.
3. Anxiety isolates you
Anxiety keeps you from doing the things you love, and seeing the people you love.
Without these daily bursts of happiness and social interaction, it's totally natural that you would feel isolated, alone, and unhappy.
Anxiety creates one of the major symptoms of depression, zapping away your joy doing things you used to love to do.
4. Anxiety exhausts you emotionally
Dealing with anxiety is a full-time job. Sometimes it can feel like a war.
Confronting the voices in your head and doing the hard work of just living day to day can leave you feeling depleted.
This emotional fatigue can make happiness seem like a distant memory, this is sure to make you feel depressed.
5. Anxiety makes you a perfectionist
A major symptom of anxiety is the deeply rooted need to have everything done PERFECTLY.
But life isn't perfect, it just isn't, and you are going to fail some of the time.
That thought is often too much for people with anxiety to bear.
It can leave them feeling like utter failures, which can lead in turn to feeling depressed.