Anxiety and depression. Deadly friends.

It’s one thing if anxiety occurs under the influence of external stimuli or due to the temperamental features. But it’s quite another when the anxiety becomes pathological, which prevents you from living a normal life. In this case, we are talking about mixed anxiety and depression.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression

Nowadays, the number of mental disorders has dramatically increased. And very often they are found in combination of anxiety and depression with the following symptoms:

  • persistent and excessive worrying;
  • always expecting the worst;
  • feeling of insignificance, low self-esteem;
  • pessimistic view of the future;
  • fatigue and weakness;
  • cautious attitude towards other people and events;
  • irritability and easy crying;
  • concentration difficulties, feeling of emptiness;
  • sleep disorders (insomnia, disturbed sleep, excessive sleepiness).

Patients with anxiety and depression are in a constant expectation of something bad to happen. They are afraid of real or imagined threads. The slightest discomfort is regarded as a symptom of the fatal illness.

The feeling of foreboding causes increase in anxiety and psychological discomfort leads to a real physical ailment, which is manifested by:

  • chest pain;
  • excessive sweating;
  • headaches;
  • digestive disorders;
  • dry mouth, etc.

On the background of insomnia the patient’s condition is worsening. All this may result in delirium with suicidal behavior.

Development of the mixed anxiety-depressive disorder

  1. Generalization and aggravation of the anxiety symptoms:
  • nervousness and restlessness;
  • groundless worrying and overexcitement;
  • difficulty falling asleep and nightmares;
  • fear and depression at the mere thought of decision making;
  • negative thinking;
  • self-accusation.

A special group of anxiety and depression symptoms are observed in elderly people:

  • tormenting sense of foreboding;
  • groans, multiple repetitions of short phrases (like “I’m dying”, “it’s awful”, “this is terrible”, “I can’t stand it” etc.);
  • pronounced motor excitement or lethargy.
  1. Overlay of other psychopathological anxiety symptoms in depressed patients.

Depending on the type of disorder the distinction is made between the obsessive, somatized and hypochondriacal depression.

The clinical picture of obsessive depression has the following symptoms:

  • guilt and a sense of worthlessness;
  • uncertainty about the correct decisions;
  • attempts to anticipate the negative consequences of the future decisions;

Somatized depression is accompanied by somatic anxiety:

  • focus on the slightest physical ailments;
  • a sense of threat in relation to ones own health;
  • expectation of inevitable serious illness.

Somatized depression may mimic the symptoms of other internal organs diseases. Often these patients are diagnosed with different vegetative and endocrine disorders, such as:

  • vegetovascular dystonia;
  • atopic dermatitis;
  • anorexia;
  • ovarian dysfunction and menstrual disorder;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • bulimia;
  • irritable bowel syndrome and other psychosomatic disorders.

Hypochondriacal depression is characterized by a combination of depressive symptoms and panic attacks, exaggerated assessment of the real or imagined physical disease.

Treatment of anxiety and depression include:

  • activation of natural defenses (immunomodulators, physiotherapy);
  • drug therapy (anti-depressants, tranquilizers, antipsychotics);
  • physical therapy (ECT);
  • phytotherapy (herbal sedatives and hypnotics);
  • psychotherapy, aimed at correction of the distorted thinking, eliminating the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.