Fighting Anxiety and Depression: Part Three


Treatments can be targeted to both anxiety and depression, if the therapist and the client deem it necessary. In some people, drugs may be prescribed to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain which contributes to depression, and therapy may also be administered to help the person deal with the anxiety (as well as the depression). Drugs are usually prescribed along with “talk therapy” or another form of therapy.

Getting treatment for depression, whether there is a co-morbid anxiety disorder or not, is very important. Depression puts a person at greater risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. While long-term anxiety is harmful to overall health (including putting people at a higher risk for heart disease and illness), depression which is not properly treated can be deadly in a more direct way. People suffering from depression may feel so desperately hopeless that they believe there is no way for them to escape their unhappiness except to end their own life.

Depression can also cause people to neglect their health (e.g., not eat healthy foods, not eat enough in general, not exercise, not take medications they need for physical ailments, etc.).

Treatments for anxiety disorders and/or depression include medication, talk therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy (“CBT”).

A psychiatrist or physician can prescribe medications, if necessary, for people who suffer from anxiety or depression. This treatment is usually recommended in conjunction with some kind of therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, is used to help people eliminate or greatly reduce negative thought patterns or beliefs which contribute to depression and anxiety by causing them to feel overly hopeless or anxious. Some people with anxiety disorders or depression may benefit from simply having someone to express their feelings to, which is why talk therapy (also known as “psychotherapy”) can be helpful.

Photo Credit: skoeber via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: skoeber via Compfight cc


Lifestyle changes can also enhance the positive effects of professional mental health treatment. Creating a realistic exercise and dietary plan and sticking to them both can help to reduce stress in people who have anxiety or depression. This is because doing exercise also causes endorphins to be released, which enhances mood. Eating whole grains, vegetables and certain fruits can also help to improve mood. Eating lean protein can also be beneficial to mental and physical well-being.

Setting aside time to relax, engage in enjoyable pastimes, and visit with family and friends can also be very beneficial for highly anxious or depressed people. This is an especially helpful strategy for people who are depressed, because these individuals have a tendency to shun contact with others when they are feeling hopeless. Being around other people or doing things that are productive can help take the depressed or anxious person’s mind off his or her negative thoughts or worries.


If you or a loved one is struggling with an anxiety disorder or depression, talk to a licensed mental health worker. No one should have to deal with anxiety or depression on their own, and you do not have to.

Although treatment can be difficult and frustrating at times, finding a trustworthy and compassionate psychiatrist or psychologist can be extremely helpful. Seeking out credible resources on anxiety and depression can also help you to find valuable information on both conditions and learn healthy coping strategies.

If possible, you should also look in to forming or joining a support group for people with anxiety and/or depression. This can provide you with friends and acquaintances who understand how you feel and will urge you to succeed. Talking with your family and friends can also relieve some of the pressure and isolation anxiety and depression can cause you to feel.