The Anxiety & Depression Connection

The Anxiety & Depression Connection

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In this episode, we are going to discuss the connection between anxiety and depression. It is quite common for people to experience both anxiety and depression, and it can be confusing on the proper treatment to seek out.  In the episode, I explain the importance of identifying which feeling is primary and which is secondary and focusing your energy on addressing the primary symptom. 

Enjoy the show.




All right. Hello


And welcome to this episode where we're going to talk about anxiety and depression. And so my name is Matt Codde. I'm a licensed clinical social worker and the founder of restored minds. And on this episode, I really want to dive into the anxiety and depression connection, um, because you know, there's a good chance that, you know, most of us have experienced these two feeling States. Um, it just varies to the, the degree at which we've experienced them, right, because there's a broad spectrum of anxiety and there's a broad spectrum of depression. You know, there's a low level kind of low grade just feeling down or I'm feeling a little depressed and then there's, you know, debilitating depression where you just can't get out of bed. And then there's with anxiety. There's a low kind of like jitteriness, right? Like, you know, even something that we'd feel before, like not necessarily even bad, just like something we'd get excited about a date or presentation at work.


And then there's, you know, full blown, panic attacks, right. And everything in between. And, you know, I, I think that a lot of people that at least that I talk with that, you know, reach out online. Um, one of the things that, that we do is we assume that all these feeling States are bad. Right. And because they're bad, we are more hypervigilant to when we experience them. And then when we don't want to experience them, we try to suppress them, which then actually makes them worse and prolongs our experience. Right. Um, you know, Carl Young famously said, you know what, you resist persists. Right. And when it comes to anxiety and depression, um, if you experienced, if you're experiencing both of them, one of the most important things is to understand is that, um, we need to realize which one's the primary and which one's the secondary, right.


Because it can happen where, um, and, and also kind of like, was there any kind of event that led up to that feeling state? Right. You know, because with, let's just use depression as an example. Um, w which, again, depression is a symptom of, of high levels of stress, right? That's a body is actually, you know, can get depressed from a very high, high level of stress. It's a stress-related disorder. Um, which most people don't realize. Right. Um, and so when it, when it comes to depression, like if there's an actual event, like a very, you know, tragic event that happened, or a big loss or some kind of major transition, and then you, you know, feel depressed after, I mean, obviously that, that would be the catalyst event. Right. You know, let's say like losing a job and then the catalyst event would make you feel, you know, or put you into a state of depression right.



In that stress of that event actually is what would, would cause that, right. And that would be the primary symptom. And then what happens sometimes is people will get anxious about getting depressed. Right. And so there'll be really anxious. Like, am I going to feel depressed like this? How long am I going to feel like this? Right. And the anxiety will start to fuel that. Right. And if we flip the other way, right. A lot of people that have a lot of anxiety will often get depressed about feeling anxious, right. Because when we are, when we're in an anxious state, it can be very uncomfortable. And being in that state of stress can actually lead to feelings of depression. Right. And that's why, when it comes to treating this, um, or, you know, really working through these issues, it's important to realize which one is the primary and which one is the secondary in your life or at this state of your life.


Right. Because, well, you know, you can experience both, right. So I think I just want to go ahead and start off with that one point right there of just identifying the primary and identifying the secondary. Because when you treat the primary, usually the secondary will alleviate, right. So people who have, let's say OCD, it's very common that people in a, in a state of OCD, especially for prolonged period of time, we'll, you know, be in a state of depression. And that's actually in many cases, oftentimes what they're seeking help for. And so if you're someone who works with someone, it's so important that you understand, Hey, like, okay, like realizing why the person's depressed, because if they're depressed because of the OCD, if we try to treat them, treat the depression, it's not going to help them because the OCD is still going to be there.


Right. And this is the same way if they're anxious, but they just had this major life change and we're not going through that process correctly, treating the anxiety is not going to help them either. And so realizing how these connect and play off each other is important, you know, because we want to make sure that you're getting the right kind of assistance at the right period and time of your life. And in realizing that they're both tied into stress in general, right. And, and that high high levels of stress are going to, in many cases, lead to a feeling of depression. In fact, I think it was Jim Carrey, the actor, um, you know, he said, he said it really well, like, um, when you're in a state of depression, right, it's your body going into deep rest. Right. And I believe I'm quoting that correctly.



So I apologize if I'm not. Um, but that idea that your body's just so tapped out, that it needs to kind of like calm down, shut down to, you know, almost recuperate and recover and realizing that these feeling States while uncomfortable, you know, while, while really tough to go through are a normal part of being human. Right. You know, like anxiety, anxiety is a normal part of being human, feeling, depressed, feeling sad. There's a, there's a normalcy to it, right. It's not that you should always be in that state if you're in this state for a long period of time. Right. That's obviously a problem. And that's how we actually qualify it as a problem. Right. Because, you know, if someone loses a S like a family member, like has some kind of, um, you know, major life event, and then they feel depressed, it's like, well, that's like, of course, right.


Like, like we would expect that. Right. And, and, and that's where we need to be careful about judging our feeling States as quote, good or bad. Right. Because it, again, it's not that feeling these ways is necessarily a sign that there's a serious problem. Right. It's more that it can be just a very natural reaction to things, you know, things happen and you can feel anxiety. Like that's a normal thing, but it's actually, when we try not to feel these, that we actually fuel them and perpetuate them and often make them worse. And, you know, I mean, there's so many different cases of this, so I'm not gonna pretend to, um, you know, try to list them all. And there obviously are serious situations that like, where you, you know, you should get help. Right. I mean, of course, but we also need to just it's.


So the key point that I really want to talk about with this stress and anxiety, I'm sorry, anxiety and depression connection is first figuring out which one is the primary and which one's the secondary. Okay. And then seeking the help for the primary, right? The, the one that's the first symptom. And then also really normalizing the idea that these are feelings that will probably cross your path at some point in life where, you know, like, I mean, it's just, it's just a, not an inevitability, but I mean, it's something that is a normal experience. These feeling States are normal, and it's something that you will go through and work through though. And the more and more you're willing to experience them and actually allow them to surface that actually is what allows you to go through them. Right. And our results. And the thing I really want to point out is that our resistance to these uncomfortable feelings is actually what perpetuates them and in men, in most cases.


Anyway. So, um, when you're, when you're in these kinds of feeling States, right. Understanding which one you're working on first and obviously using the correct tools at that time. Right. You know, and, and using the tools to go through it, but also not only trying to get rid of that feeling state. Right. Really kind of noticing like what happened that caused it. Right. Um, was there, was there a leading event that a catalyst, an event that actually is directly related to this feeling state, you know, because of the many times people are just unaware of that, you know, they'll have this major life event and then they'll show up and say, well, you know, I'm feeling really depressed and they can't put those together. So really kind of asking yourself, like, when did this start, how long has it been going? Um, you know, did, did something trigger this, right.


And just becoming more attuned to like what you're experiencing and, and also just taking care of yourself when you're in these States is really important as well, and not trying to rush out of them. Right. Because again, the harder you try to get out of them at, in most times it works in a paradoxical effect. So again, making sure that you're, you're, uh, targeting the right one, if you're, if you're dealing with both of these and then also working through it on, on the correct path, in the correct timeline to not, instead of trying to just get yourself out, because what happens is when you try to just get yourself out of a state of anxiety and depression, you're constantly evaluating if you're depressed or if you're anxious, because you see that as a problem. And then what happens is, is that the more you notice it, the more upset you get at it, and the more reactive you get at it.


And then it just starts to build and build and build and build. So really giving yourself permission in many cases, to feel uncomfortable, feelings is such a powerful technique and process, um, when it comes to dealing with things like anxiety and depression, because again, normalizing it right. And again, telling yourself like, no, you know what, in this world, you're not only supposed to feel the feeling of happiness 24 seven, you know, it's like there are things that are going to happen and giving yourself permission to go through those things. Right. And, and to use those as growth opportunities, um, I think is a very, very powerful and very real thing that, um, most of us don't know how to do right. Or that we're all still learning how to do, I should say. And in the more and more we can practice that, um, we won't be as reactive to the feelings in the future.


And we'll give ourselves permission to kind of allow our bodies to process what they need to process. So hopefully you found this helpful today. And, uh, again, if you did, we'd really appreciate your support by liking and subscribing, as well as, um, you know, subscribing on iTunes and, um, you know, leaving a comment, letting us know any kind of videos and, or, uh, episodes you want us to make in the future. And as well, we have some additional resources to help you out on your journey [email protected]. We have some links right down in the video below or in the notes below where you can get access to those. And again, they're free, you can download them or go through some of our additional trainings, um, just to support you on this journey. So thank you so much for taking the time to hang out today. And I look forward to seeing you guys in the next episode, take care.


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