Anxiety and Depression like to work together. Understanding their impact and the way they work together can help you to spot the signs early and offer appropriate support. Anxiety and Depression work together to mentally and physically isolate individuals. They combine forces to make people believe that the the only way to deal with potentially stressful situations is to withdraw from them or avoid them. This has the potential to increase both absenteeism and presenteeism.
Anxiety uses the tactic of filling their mind with all of the potential things that could go wrong. These anxious thoughts can be so overwhelming and they can become so preoccupied by the possible negative consequences that they withdraw and become isolated. This can make it difficult to focus on and complete certain tasks at work, as their energy and attention is taken up imagining everything that may go wrong.
Depression prefers a different approach. Depression makes them believe that they will fail and that it will feel too painful. This means that they may not even try. By not trying, they avoid the situation and potential pain of failure but it also reinforces the feeling that they are incapable and won’t be able to cope. Making it even less likely that they will be able to be motivated to try next time.
Anxiety and Depression like to work together for maximum impact. Coping with the physical symptoms of anxiety can cause individuals to feel more depressed. Feeling depressed can lead to increased feelings of anxiety. Both anxiety and depression can cause problems with: Sleep, lack of motivation, productivity, concentration, appetite and isolation. The overlapping of symptoms can make it difficult to understand whether they have anxiety, depression or both.
It is common for someone suffering with anxiety and depression to question themselves and their ability to cope. Anxiety and depression can sap both self -esteem and confidence. This can often lead to a reluctance to seek help. Anxiety tells them it will go wrong. Depression tells them that they’ll be no good at seeking help. That they won’t be able to cope and that it will be too painful. If you can ask them how they are from a place of understanding the impact of anxiety and depression, you are well placed to actively listen and offer appropriate support. As they begin to feel better and less alone, productivity and motivation will naturally increase alongside the decrease in anxiety and depression.