Does Depression Put You at Higher Risk for Anxiety?

Feeling down in the dumps, and, anxious and nervous too? Unfortunately, all too commonly, sufferers of depression don’t just have to contend with the heavy weariness of depression, for many, anxiety is a constant companion as well.

According to a recent study published in Psychological Medicine, people suffering from depression are often at higher risk for anxiety disorder (AD) as well. The study, entitled “Depressed mood enhances anxiety to unpredictable threat.” was conducted by Oliver J. Robinson of the National Institute of Mental Health’s Section on Neurobiology of Fear and Anxiety in Maryland 

Depression in itself is a condition that can affect all aspects of life from mental health to social interaction to physical well-being. Coupled with anxiety, patients often have decreased treatment response rates and higher suicide rates as compared to those with depression or anxiety alone. 

“Clarifying the causes of comorbidity is a crucial step towards an improved ability to treat the underlying abnormalities,” said Robinson.

 Previous research suggests that depression and anxiety often occur together because one increases the risk of the other. The neurocognitive effects of depression makes those depressed more susceptible to anxiety. 

Next Time Depression or Anxiety Rolls in, Roll out Your Yoga Mat

Exercise is one of the most effective medicines for preventing or treating depression. Studies at Duke University found that after only four weeks, patients of depression who exercised daily instead of taking medications improved 95-100% as compared to the group that did not exercise. 

Cardio is not the only way to exercise- one study found that stretching for 15-20 minutes alone could decrease depression by 30%. Imagine what a full hour of yoga can do for depression! Yoga has been shown, both in studies and ample anecdotal evidence, to be an active way to control your life and positively affect your mood.

One study from Boston University monitored 34 participants that either walked or practiced yoga for twelve weeks. The group that practiced yoga demonstrated better improvements in both depression and anxiety and had an increase in GABA brain levels, which directly correlate to emotional health. 

See here for more information on yoga as a resource against depression and anxiety.


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