Depression and anxiety can take place simultaneously. In fact, it is been approximated that 45 percent of individuals with one mental health condition satisfy the criteria for two or more disorders. One study discovered that half of individuals with either anxiety or depression have the other condition. Using an anxiety and depression test can be useful to decide if you have one or both of these conditions. I use hypnotherapy to help people with anxiety and depression, my treatment could help you as well.
Even though each condition possesses its own causes, they might share related symptoms and treatment methods. Continue reading to find out more, including some links to online anxiety and depression tests, strategies for management and what to anticipate from a medical diagnosis.
Use an anxiety and depression test to see the symptoms of each condition
Some symptoms of depression and anxiety overlap, including difficulties with sleep, irritability, and problems concentrating. But there are many crucial dissimilarities that help separate the two.
An anxiety and depression test can focus just on depression
Feeling down, sad, or distressed is normal. It may be concerning feeling that way for several days or weeks on end. An anxiety and depression test will ask about physical symptoms and behavioural shifts caused by depression. These can include things like:
- Reduced energy, chronic fatigue, or feeling lethargic often
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or recalling
- Pain, aches, cramps, or gastrointestinal troubles with no apparent cause
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Trouble sleeping, waking up early, or oversleeping
An anxiety and depression test will examine psychological symptoms of depression, which includes things like:
- Reduction in interest or no longer finding enjoyment in activities or pastimes
- Chronic feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
- Anger, irritability, or restlessness
- Feeling guilty or suffering from feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Suicide attempts
An anxiety and depression test can focus on anxiety symptoms
Anxiety, or fear and worry, could happen to anybody every now and then, too. It’s not out of the ordinary to experience anxiety, for example, before a major event or important decision. But, chronic anxiety may be incapacitating and cause irrational thoughts and fears that affect your daily life. Physical symptoms and behavioural changes due to generalised anxiety disorder include things like:
- Feeling fatigued very easily
- Trouble concentrating or recalling
- Muscle tension
- Racing heart
- Grinding teeth
- Sleep difficulties, including difficulties falling asleep and restless, unsatisfying sleep at night
Psychological signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
- Restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge
- Trouble controlling worry or anxiety
- Suicide prevention
If you believe someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or harming another person:
- Call 999 or your local emergency number.
- Remain with the person until help arrives.
- Remove any dangerous objects, knives, medications, or other items that could cause harm.
- Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, raise your voice with the person.
An anxiety and depression test, a self-help test can help you recognise the signs. It is important to understand what’s normal for you. If you are going through feelings or behaviours that aren’t normal for you or if something appears off, this might be a sign you need to get help from a healthcare provider. It’s always much better to discuss what you’re feeling and going through so that treatment can start early if it’s required.
With that being said, some online self-diagnosis anxiety and depression tests are available to help you better determine what may be happening. These assessments, while helpful, aren’t a replacement for a professional diagnosis from your medical doctor. They can’t take other circumstances that might be impacting your wellbeing into consideration, either.
Here are some links to self-help anxiety and depression tests
Use an anxiety and depression test to direct how you manage your symptoms
In addition to a professional treatment plan from your doctor, these approaches may help you find relief from symptoms. It’s essential to understand, though, that these suggestions may not be suitable for everyone, and they may not work each and every time.
The goal of managing depression and anxiety is to develop a number of treatment options which can all work together to help, to some degree, whenever you need to use them.
1. Allow yourself to experience what you’re feeling and understand that it’s not your fault
Depression and anxiety disorders are medical conditions. They are not the consequence of failure or weakness. What you feel is the outcome of root causes and triggers, it is not the result of anything you did or didn’t do.
2. Do something that you have control over, like making your bed or cleaning and tidying up your home.
In the moment, regaining a bit of control or power may help you manage overwhelming symptoms. Complete a task you can manage, such as neatly restacking books or sorting your recycling. Do something to help give you a feeling of achievement and power.
3. You could also develop a morning, evening, or even daily schedule
Routine is sometimes beneficial for individuals with anxiety and depression. This provides a framework and a sense of control. It also allows you to create space in your day for self-care strategies which can help you manage symptoms.
4. Do your best to stick to a sleep routine
Aim for seven to eight hours every night. More or less sleep than that may complicate symptoms of both conditions. Insufficient or poor sleep may causecomplications with your cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous symptoms.
5. Try to eat something healthy, including fruit and vegetables
When you’re feeling depressed or anxious, you may grab for comforting foods like pasta, chocolate and sweets to alleviate some of the tension. However, these foods provide little nutrition. Try to help nourish your body with sfresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
6. If you’re up for it, go for a walk around the block
Studies suggest exercise can be an effective treatment for depression since it’s a natural mood booster and releases feel-good hormones. Even so, for a number of people, exercising or going to the gym can trigger anxiety and fear. If that’s the case for you, seek out more natural ways to move, such as walking around your neighbourhood or looking for an online exercise class or video you can do in your own home.
7. Do something that you know provides you ease and comfort, such as watching a favourite film or reading through a magazine
Allow yourself time to focus on you and the things you actually like. Down time is a great way to let your body relax, and it can distract your brain with things that bring you a boost.
8. If you haven’t left the house in a while, think about doing something you find calming, like getting your nails done or getting a massage
Relaxation techniques can boost your quality of life and may decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Find an activity that seems right for you and you can practice frequently, such as:
9. Reach out to someone you’re comfortable speaking with and talk about whatever you feel like, regardless of whether that’s how you’re feeling or anything else.
Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can offer a natural boost and let you find a dependable source of support and encouragement.
When to talk to your doctor
Symptoms that last two weeks or more might be an indicator you have depression, anxiety, or both. An anxiety and depression test can indicate if symptoms are serious. More serious symptoms may include:
- Difficulties with sleep
- Unexplained emotional changes
- Sudden loss of interest
- Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
If you’re not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. It’s important to be open and frank so they can fully understand what’s taking place and get a clear picture of what you’ve been feeling.
How to get a clinical diagnosis
There’s no single anxiety and depression test that can diagnose depression or anxiety. Instead, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and a depression or anxiety screening test. For this, they’ll ask you a series of questions that help them get a better insight into what you’ve been experiencing.
If the anxiety and depression test results aren’t clear or if your doctor suspects the symptoms may be the result of another condition, they may look to other tests to rule out underlying issues. Blood tests can check your thyroid, vitamin, and hormone levels.
In some cases, a GP will refer you to a consultant mental health expert, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, if they don’t feel equipped to properly manage your emotional symptoms and conditions or if they suspect you are experiencing more than one condition.
What to expect from treatment
Although depression and anxiety are two separate conditions, they share many of the same treatments. A combination of these may be used to treat both conditions at the same time.
Each type of therapy has unique characteristics that make it more suited to some people and not others. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). With CBT, you’ll learn to adjust your thoughts, behaviours, and reactions to be more even and rational.
Interpersonal therapy. This type focuses on learning communication strategies that can help you express yourself better.
Problem-solving therapy. This therapy focuses on using coping skills to manage symptoms.
Several types of medication may be used to treat depression, anxiety, or both. Because the two conditions overlap in many ways, one medication may be enough to treat both conditions. Your doctor may prescribe:
Antidepressants. Several classes of this drug are available, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Each carry unique benefits and risks. The type you use will depend largely on the severity of your symptoms.
Anti anxiety medications. These drugs can help reduce symptoms of anxiety but may not help with all symptoms of depression. Some of these medications should only be used for a short amount of time due to risk of addiction.
Mood stabilizers. These drugs may be used to stabilize mood when antidepressants don’t work by themselves.
Hypnotherapy isn’t widely used in psychotherapy treatments, but research suggests this alternative approach may actually help ease some symptoms of both conditions. This includes loss off focus, greater emotional control, and better management of feelings of self-consciousness. I use hypnotherapy for both anxiety and depression. Hypnotherapy can be used to both look at causes and reducing the effects of depression and anxiety.
The bottom line
You don’t have to live with unusual feelings, thoughts, or other symptoms of either depression or anxiety. Take an anxiety and depression test, but also talk with your doctor if these feelings or changes last longer than a week or two. Early treatment is the best way to manage the conditions and find treatments that are effective in the long-term.
Finding the right treatment for you may take some time. Most medications require two weeks or more to be effective. Likewise, you may have to try several medications to find the right option for you. Your doctor will work with you to find the best option. As mentioned I use hypnotherapy to help people with anxiety and depression.