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Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety is an important emotion, which is designed to help increase a person’s survival rate. It is defined as negative emotions and consists of fear, worry and sometimes even physical symptoms such as nausea or chest pains. This complex emotion is composed of numerous elements, some of which are somatic or cognitive and thus the body prepares itself to deal with this type of external threat by speeding up the heart rate, slowing down the digestive system, and increasing the blood pressure. While some of these processes are voluntary, many of them are involuntary.
Studies have shown that this is because anxiety comes from two different regions of the brain: the hippocampus and the amygdala. While anxiety is normal, a person who has excessive amounts of anxiety may have a medical issue. This is because those who have too much anxiety usually have a feeling of dread or extreme terror, which in turn, can oftentimes lead to depression, phobias, panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorders. (In a person with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, a person has an obsession or compulsion to a specific type of behavior. People with this disorder have a need to compulsively do something in order to relieve their anxiety)
There are two main types of depression that stem from anxiety: agitated depression and akathitic depression. Both of these types of depression include suffering from a phobia wherein there is an abnormal amount of fear of a specific object or situation. Most phobias are due to a person’s overactive imagination leading to an irrational fear. However, it is important to note that akathitic depression is not as common as agitated depression. Akathitic depression is simply a state of depression, which presents itself as anxiety without the symptoms of panic. Agitated depression is far more common.
Agitated depression is a depressive state, which presents itself as anxiety. It includes suicide, insomnia, unspecified panic and a general sense of dread. This type of depression is treated with antidepressants, however this may only increase a person’s heart rate even more. In such a case an anticonvulsant such as Depakote® and/or lithium may also be administered in order to reduce the person’s anxiety. Of course, therapy is also an important part of the treatment process. Through this therapy a person is helped to get away from the source of their anxiety.
This form of depression is often coupled with panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. A person who has panic disorder has panic attacks, which include dizziness or breathing problems. Panic attacks usually reach their peak within 10 minutes of their onset. These equally affect both men and women. On the other hand, generalized panic disorder is characterized by long periods of anxiety, which are not related to any specific object or situation.
Studies have also shown that even mild symptoms of anxiety can have a major impact upon the course of depression. These studies have also shown that when a depressed person is anxious that person will have a longer course period toward remission and a higher inability to return to their daily routines. This link between anxiety and depression can also be demonstrated biologically in a person’s heart rate. Therefore, anytime that anxiety is present with depression, the anxiety is an important factor to be considered.