Can Anxiety Make You Depressed (or Vice Versa)?

A rogue potato tries to escape into the tomato bin

Anxiety and depression are intricately linked, which is why the same types of therapy and the same classes of medications are often used to treat both disorders.

In my practice, I have noticed that many clients that have self-diagnosed as depressed are actually experiencing anxiety. Similarly, many clients who identify as anxious are often depressed. Here, I will explain the connections between anxiety and depression, and why one can lead to the other.

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Why Are We So Afraid to Feel Happy?

A woman with smeared eye makeup holds a piece of paper with a smile on it in front of her face

Many people struggle with the fear of success, fear of closeness, or fear of happiness. Let’s say your father suffered from depression and ranted about the workplace being a dog-eat-dog environment where everyone has to watch his back.

As a child, you, like all kids, want to think of your father as intelligent and perceptive. You listened to him and thought that his worldview made sense. Even if you later realized, as an adult, that your father was a very negative and depressed person, his impact on your own worldview may be very difficult to change.

Although it isn’t rational, many people subconsciously steer themselves away from experiences where they feel good about themselves, or where they end up feeling happy. But why is this and what can you do about it?

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How Childhood Attachment Styles Influence Your Adult Relationships

A mother monkey holds her baby lovingly

If you have noticed that your intimate relationships have been stressful or unfulfilling, it might be time to think about your attachment style. Attachment style derives from your earliest experiences with your parents.

Knowing the effects these parenting styles have on you as a child helps you better understand the roots of potential relationship issues, and where to begin when addressing these issues — whether on your own, or with the help of a therapist.

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How Imposter Syndrome Torpedoes Our Success

A dog wearing glasses with a fake nose

You go forth into the world to follow your dreams and shine your beautiful light — only to feel like a fraud on the inside. You begin working on something, and self-doubt and anxiety creep into your brain. So, you choose over preparation and exert overreaching effort. You may even accomplish your goal through luck. But truly, you just want relief, and it comes only temporarily, until you push back any form of positive feedback — resulting in a loop back to anxiety and feeling like a fraud.

This is the cycle of imposter syndrome.

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What is Catastrophic Thinking? (And How to Stop)

A woman looks pensive in the dark with colored light around her body

When your thoughts start spiraling, getting off the “staircase” can feel impossible. One terrible notion leads to the next: If I can’t get this report done in time, you might think, then I’ll be fired. And if I’m fired, I’ll have nothing to do all day. If I have nothing to do all day, I’ll fall into a video game and beer hole. If I fall into a video game and beer hole, then my wife will leave me. And then…and then…and then

Does this process sound familiar? This anxiety spiral — also known as “catastrophic thinking” or “magnifying,” — often occurs alongside anxiety and depression. Think of your brain as a rocky mountain: one single distressing thought loosens an avalanche of related anxieties.

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Why It’s Healthy To Lower Your High Expectations in College

A woman stands over a balcony with a graduation cap and gown on

A group of us were getting together for the first time since graduation, reminiscing about our earlier selves.

“We were all horrible in college,” my friend said recently over drinks. “We were so status-obsessed and trying to keep up with everyone else who was status-obsessed.”

Another friend, sipping his beer, put it more succinctly: “We were all so depressed in college.”

He meant this literally.

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6 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Anxious College Self

A woman writing in a notebook with a chunky sweater and some coffee

For many people, college is a time when they come into their own. College gives you the opportunity to not only further your education but also to grow as a person. I realize hindsight is 20/20, however.

Now that I’ve been out of school for a few years, and have a better handle on my mental health, there are certainly a couple things I would’ve done differently.

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4 Ways to Deal with the “September Scaries”

A woman with a clear umbrella reaches out to a yellow leaf

Unless you’re an extreme pumpkin spice latte enthusiast and all-around summer hater, you’ve probably experienced the “September Scaries.”

Unlike the Sunday Scaries, which roll in every week around 7 p.m. on Sunday, September Scaries hit (thankfully) only once a year as fall draws near. There’s just something about September that feels daunting and draining. This exact sentiment may have led to a Grammy for Greenday, whose song “Wake Me Up When September Ends” appeared on their award-winning album.

September Scaries are especially real for those who are still in school, returning to the world of homework and research papers. But, adults who work all year round aren’t immune to the September Scaries.

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August Anxiety: Why We Get Anxious at the End of Summer

A hand giving a peace sign to the sunset

It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy, right? Not necessarily.

If you find the back-to-school blues affecting you this month — despite no school to go back to and no life changes since June or July — you’re not alone. There’s evidence that the return of chillier weather, including shorter days as we edge toward winter — can raise anxiety levels among adults and school-age children alike.

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3 Ways City Living Increases Your Anxiety

Times Square New York City

Many are drawn to big cities for their vibrant culture and promise of better career opportunities — just ask the 80 percent of the U.S. population that lives in an urban area. And while the allure of “city lights” can both inspire and provide an escape from the monotony of more rural environments, the constant crowds, congestion, and noise can actually trigger and worsen a person’s anxiety.

It is widely understood that many who live in a city experience daily stress, such as public transportation issues and rapidly rising rent costs, but research reveals the stress of urban living is more than just a daily annoyance — it significantly impacts a person’s mental health. So what is it about the city that makes a person’s anxiety spike?

There are three primary ways.

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