Health & Wellness

Could I Have Both Anxiety and Depression?

There are a lot of misconceptions around what it's like to have both of these mental health conditions at the same time. Let's clear some of those up.
Could I Have Both Anxiety and Depression?

Photo credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Blink Health

By 

Blink Health,   

Jun 9, 2020 • 4 min read

Share Blog on FacebookShare Blog on TwitterShare Blog on LinkedInShare Blog via Email

In medicine when someone experiences two conditions at the same time, doctors call it a “comorbidity”. Depression and anxiety have long been thought of as comorbid, but increasingly research suggests that these two conditions may be even more closely linked. 

Depression and anxiety are not the same, but they share a lot of biological mechanisms and symptoms, and many people experiencing one condition will also experience the other. Doctors don't know exactly why they so often occur together, but theories include: the possibility that receptors in the brain that trigger anxiety and depression have connected pathways; that similar symptoms make them more likely to be diagnosed together; and that both are triggered by external stressors.

So what does it mean to have anxiety and depression together, and how are these conditions treated? Here is an overview of both, how they are similar, and your treatment options to consider.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder, affecting around 40 million people in the U.S. every year. While some stress can actually be healthy, constant or seemingly uncontrollable stress that interferes with daily tasks signals an anxiety disorder.

It’s important to separate everyday anxiety — such as being stressed about an upcoming job interview or a big deadline — from an anxiety disorder. The former is a natural response to difficult situations, while the latter can be debilitating.

Symptoms of anxiety disorders (including panic and phobia disorders) include: 

  • Feelings of restlessness or being “on edge”

  • Fatigue and irritability

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Sleep problems

  • Racing heartbeat, sweating, and shaking

  • Shortness of breath

  • Feeling out of control or having a sense of impending doom

What Is Depression?

Most people will also experience depression, and feeling sad sometimes is normal. However, when feelings persist for more than two weeks and you lose interest in everyday activities, it could be a depressive disorder.

Symptoms of depression include: 

  • Feeling sad, anxious, and empty

  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic about the future

  • Irritability and restlessness

  • Loss of interest in daily activities

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things

  • Sleep changes

  • Appetite or weight change

Treating Both Conditions Together

There are medications available to help those who suffer from anxiety and depression at the same time. These drugs generally work by affecting neurotransmitters, the tiny chemical messengers brain cells release to communicate with each other. 

The most common anxiety and depression medications include: 

  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like duloxetine (generic Cymbalta) increase serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that regulate mood and energy) levels in the brain by preventing them from being reabsorbed into the cells that released them.

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like sertraline (generic Zoloft) are like SNRIs, but only prevent the reabsorption of serotonin (not norepinephrine).

  • Benzodiazepines like diazepam (generic Valium) suppress anxiety-provoking nerve activity in the brain by enhancing a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).

  • Tricyclic antidepressants like desipramine (generic Norpramin) are similar to SNRIs, but come with more side effects and are usually only prescribed when SNRIs aren't an option.

To determine which medication is right for you, your doctor will take symptoms and side effects into consideration, along with any medication interactions and additional health conditions you have. Cost and health insurance can play a role, as well as whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Before taking any medication for anxiety or depression, talk to your doctor about all the drugs available, side effects, risks, and benefits. Finding relief from anxiety and depression is possible with the right care and the right medication. If your treatment plan includes new medications, check to see if your prescription is available for less with Blink Health

· · ·

This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 1407 Broadway, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018, 1 (844) 265-6444, www.blinkhealth.com.

· · ·

Try the app now

FAQs • Contact Us
Our support team is available Monday through Friday 8AM - 10PM EST, and Saturday and Sunday 9AM - 7PM EST.

Blink Health will always honor the price reflected at the time you purchased your medication. Your final price is based on the medication you pick up at the pharmacy. If you pick up a different form, dosage, or quantity, you will be charged or credited the difference. Blink Health reserves the right to cancel a transaction and refund you if the underlying cost of the prescription drug changes significantly after you have purchased your medication. Blink Health reserves the right to change its prescription drug prices in real time based on supply and demand trends and other factors. Any savings claims made by Blink are based on U.S. retail prices without prescription drug coverage. *Retail Prices (Cash Prices) vary among pharmacies. The Retail Prices displayed are estimates based on multiple sources, including price lists, historical claims and data provided by pharmacies. Our Price Match Guarantee covers generic drugs. Additional conditions apply. For more details visit our Price Match page. †Delivery may be subject to delays. Free shipping is available for most orders through USPS first class shipping. If an order is placed, or if a delivery period falls, on a USPS holiday, the delivery time window will be extended by additional days, as applicable. No deliveries on Sunday or USPS holidays. Home delivery orders ship from a licensed, US based pharmacy after a valid prescription has been received. No home delivery orders will ship without a valid prescription written by a prescriber. Blink Health's pharmacy team will transfer prescriptions from other pharmacies or prescribers. Home delivery orders may be subject to delays if those pharmacies or prescribers do not immediately respond to requests to transfer prescriptions to Blink Health's pharmacy team. ‡Promotional offer excludes opioids, E.D. (i.e. sildenafil, tadalafil and generics Viagra and Cialis) and hair loss medications (i.e. finasteride, generic Propecia), and any orders that include online doctor visits for E.D., hair loss, birth control, cold sores, high cholesterol or acid reflux. Cannot be combined with other offers. Blink Health is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the pharmacies identified. The pharmacy trademarks and logos above are the property of their respective owners. Blink Health is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medication or prescription.

Disclosures: Blink Health is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. Users are obligated to pay the price presented during the checkout process. Blink Health is available to users at participating pharmacies only. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. Our address is 1407 Broadway, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018, 1 (844) 265 - 6444, www.blinkhealth.com.