Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder is a mental health condition in which an individual experiences symptoms of depression and symptoms of anxiety at the same time. Unlike Major Depressive Disorder, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, an individual with Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder may not meet all of the diagnostic criteria for either a mood disorder or an anxiety disorder. Regardless, Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder is a serious and debilitating mental health condition, and the mood and anxiety symptoms in combination can be very difficult for the sufferer to cope with.
Often, the individual’s depressed and anxious feelings feed one another; for example, depressive symptoms may cause a person to postpone or avoid activities, causing them to feel pressured and anxious when they are no longer able to put them off. Similarly, anxiety may cause individuals to avoid activities which they would normally enjoy, increasing feelings of depression. Individuals may be experiencing Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder if the symptoms have lasted at least four months, and interfere with work, school, or social pursuits. Symptoms of Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder vary from person to person, but may include one or more of the following:
- Excessive worry about a number of topics
- Feelings of loneliness or isolation
- Muscle tension or soreness
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
- Lack of energy or motivation
- Persistent tiredness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of worthlessness, or negative self-image
- Troubled sleep
- Increased or suppressed appetite
- Frequent crying
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
We use Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) in the treatment of Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder, as this is the therapy treatment which has proven most effective for a range of anxiety disorders. Through ERP, individuals learn to face their anxious triggers while decreasing their use of worry to cope, helping them gradually gain their lives back from anxiety. We also incorporate Behavioral Activation Therapy for Depression in the treatment of Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder. Behavioral Activation Therapy is a powerful tool whereby individuals gradually increase their engagement in enjoyable, valued activities to alleviate symptoms of depression. Finally, we also offer treatment options which make use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and other third-wave techniques, which have proven very useful in helping individuals with Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder learn to accept anxiety, sadness, and other emotions as a part of life, rather than fighting their feelings and ultimately increasing their distress.
We at The OCD & Anxiety Center specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders of all types and have the necessary training and resources to deliver evidence-based treatment to Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder sufferers of all ages. If you or someone you know would benefit from our Mixed Anxiety-Depressive Disorder treatment services, please reach out to us at (630) 522-3124 today!