Anxiety and Depression: Risk Factors and Exercise as Treatment Option

Anxiety and Depression: Risk Factors and Exercise as Treatment Option

Anxiety and depression are two different disorders. However, in most patients they occur together. Hence, if you are anxious, you might also be suffering from depression. Mostly, mood disorders depict both anxiety and depression symptoms. Statistics has it that 60 to 70% of people suffering from depression also show signs of anxiety. Furthermore, those with chronic anxiety show depression symptoms. When anxiety and depression signs exhibit themselves in a patient, the consequences are serious. It affects their functionality at work and in their social relationships.

Are you at the risk of anxiety and depression?

Although depression and anxiety, can affect almost everyone, there are certain factors, which puts some people at greater risk. The family you come from can dictate whether you will suffer these two disorders, now or in the future. If in your family, there is a member who has suffered from anxiety and depression, you are at a higher risk of having the disorder. Depending on the type of the anxiety you have, you can become depressed. For instance, those people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia or panic disorder they also have depression. Also hormones and anxiety are associated together.

No More Anxiety And Depression?

Age is another risk factor. The older you are the likely you are to suffer both disorders. For example, if you develop anxiety at the age of 40, also test positive for depression. In addition, a person who shows symptoms of panic disorder for the very first time when they are 50, might have had depression in the past or may be suffering from the disorder at the time. In most cases, anxiety will come before depression. It should be known that the disorders also affect children and adolescents. This has posed challenges on experts as they try to find treatment for the disorders. Young people are not able to overcome depression or anxiety unless they are subjected to treatment.

Why are anxiety and depression associated?

Anxiety and depression are parallel disorders. Depression causes feelings of despair, hopelessness and anger. Usually, depressed patients feel powerless and they tire fast when they are carrying out their daily activities. On the other hand, a person with anxiety will show symptoms of fear or panic in environments, which would otherwise not affect normal people. They might have anxiety attacks even when there are not triggers. With all these disparities, why then do they occur together?

Research studies show that the two disorders occur together in most patients. 85% of people diagnosed with serious clinical depression were also registered having anxiety disorder. They exhibited symptoms of panic and generalized anxiety disorders. Other disorders of anxiety include post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Since, anxiety and depression are experienced together they have been classified as mood disorders.

When anxiety and depression occur together in a patient, they present a higher level of challenge for the patient and the physicians. The symptoms often have a profound effect and they are also hard to treat. They may take long before they can subside. Depression, which is aggravated by anxiety increases suicidal feelings.

Exercise as a way of overcoming depression and anxiety

While there has been a number of treatment plans for anxiety and depression, exercise is among the most effective approaches. When combined with other treatment options including exposure and cognitive behavioral therapies, exercise can help you to gain your confidence back. You can live normally again. Most of the people suffering from the two disorders do not want to do exercise. What many do not know is that it can help them do away with anxiety attacks and any signs of depression.

Exercise has worked wonders with some health problems such as arthritis, blood pressure and diabetes. Recent research on depression and anxiety have indicated that exercise can help to improve the mood of the patient.

In what way does exercise help in alleviating anxiety and depression?

First, by following a regular exercise routine, your body can be motivated to produce feel-good hormones. They include endorphins, endocannabinoids and certain neurotransmitters. These chemicals calm the mind and shield your mind from anxious thoughts. It also minimizes chemicals in the immune system, which can aggravate depression. The body temperature also increases, which also helps in relaxing your mind.

Another way in which routine exercise can assist you to overcome depression and anxiety is by raising the bar of your self-confidence. This happens when you have set targets for your regular exercise activities. When you meet the targets, it makes you feel good about yourself. Besides, if your depression or anxiety stems from your physical appearance, when you start enjoying the physical benefits of exercise, you will feel more uplifted.

Exercise helps you to shield bad thoughts from your mind. When you are actively involved in exercise, chances are that you will not engage in fear thoughts as well as negative thinking. This can help you to overcome some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety with time. Exercise also enhances your social relationships. It gives you an opportunity to meet with other people. By being around people, you can be able to fight your anxiety and depression. This is because; you will have some people to open up to. Lastly, exercise is a health way of treating depression and anxiety.

What kind of exercise should you do?

Recently, there has been a debate on whether a planned exercise program is the best. Some researchers have recommended that physical activity is important for patients with mood disorders. If you did not know, there is a difference between exercise and physical activity. The former is a structured body movement, conducted to improve physical fitness. On the other hand, physical activity refers to any activity, which works out the muscles and uses energy. The activities can include house chores among others.

Exercise can mean a whole lot of things including the usual laps you do at the gym. You can include playing basketball, running and lifting weights. In fact, any activity, which enables your heart to pump, will work well for your general health. You can combine this, with physical activities such as car washing, gardening and walking. These activities can transform your mood and prevent your anxiety and depression from becoming chronic.

Find YOUR Way To Curb Anxiety and Depression!



Anxiety and depression can lead to serious repercussions when combined. They can affect every aspect of your life from work to relationships. Amid all the available treatment options, exercise has been proven to work magic. It does not matter whether you take on physical activity or structured exercise, it will help you to lighten up your mood. Spare some time for exercise each day and lead an active life.

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