3 Ways My Anxiety Makes My Depression Worse

As an anxious person, my thoughts are frequently my worst enemy.    It has taken a lot of talking with my therapist and persistence to learn how to stop the bad thoughts and let them float off into the ether.

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1. My anxiety is often catastrophic, which makes me freak out about something, and that ends up in depression.  It is a very quick snowball if I don’t cut those thoughts out by realizing that a thought is just a thought- not a feeling or an action. 

2. My anxious thoughts frequently spring from my low self-esteem, as does my depression. … A well of trouble, to be sure.  Sometimes I can’t fend off the anxiousness because it just seems too true.  I can’t stop believing the negative things about myself and it then spirals into depression.

3. Financial and work stressors drive my anxiety as well and if I let them over the mental dam I try to create for these things, then they can trigger a depressive episode.  Instead, I try to stay strong and remember that this is just life and these events don’t control me- they are simply stressors requiring a plan of action.  

I realized several years ago that anxiety drove my depression, but I didn’t take the obvious step of talking to a therapist about ways to control it.  I relied on Clonazepam instead, which helps, but makes me sleepy and that’s not conducive to holding a job.  I was stubborn and didn’t “feel” like talking about myself.  Finally, I listened to my wife and started talking to a therapist.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is very helpful for those of us with anxiety.  I strongly recommend finding a therapist with a CBT background to help you train your mind to stop the anxiety in its tracks. If you can do that, you will find, like me, that the depression will become easier to manage.

Find a Therapist in the Psychology Today locator.

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