How anxiety & depression are linked
Have you ever wondered if anxiety and depression are linked? Or have you been diagnosed with both and wondered how that is possible?
Many in the medical profession will tell you with absolute certainty that both anxiety and depression are mental health issues and yet this is far from the truth. Using the label of 'mental health' has become a pain-free diagnosis for doctors, yet it in no way helps those who suffer from these sometimes debilitating conditions.
"Through my wounds, the universe breathed new life" - Chris McGeown.
Anxiety and depression become linked when you start to consider their origins within the sufferer and these roots become the backbone of the intrinsic link between the two. Both of these conditions join together via their linking of patterns that run through the body, nervous system AND mind, let's take a look at those patterns.
The pattern of physical association
There are many physical 'symptoms' that come with both anxiety and depression, and often these come as the start to the feelings. Sweating, heart palpitations, shallow breathing, tightness in the chest and neck, and a lack of energy along with general aches and pains are all attributed to both anxiety and depression.
Dr Candace Pert was the person to discover the link between the body and mind scientifically. For decades, if not centuries, the medical profession considered the two to be separate entities, working individually. Unfortunately, while Dr Pert's work is verified many times over, many still do not understand the concept. When we start to realise that both mind and body are connected, we can understand why the physical associations play such a massive part in both anxiety and depression.
"The body isn't simply there to carry the head" - Dr Candace Pert.
The pattern of attention
Do anxiety and depression sufferers pay attention to all the positive things in their lives or do they focus on the negative experiences? Following the pattern of paying attention to negative experiences and memories deepens the feelings of anxiety and depression until they become entrenched within the nervous system. Each person has a choice to accept those thoughts and live inside them or disregard them and focus on the positive areas of their life, the areas that can make them grateful.
"Where focus goes, energy flows" - Anthony Robbins.
The pattern of questions and meaning
As human beings, our brains cannot help but answer the questions we get asked - even if we ask those questions ourselves. It is through these internal question and answer sessions with ourselves that we create meanings. We decide in an instant that a particular experience means something positive or negative and those decisions come from the quality of the questions asked.
As an example - when we ask negative questions such as "why does this always happen to me?" the brain has no option but to answer in the same way. One possible answer could be "because you deserve to have this happen to you" which then garners the meaning that we are not deserving of anything better.
The ideal response to having this question as a pattern is to change it, for example - "how can I stop this happening to me and feel a little better every day?" This question offers the presupposition that the experience can be stopped and that the individual can start to feel better each day. These answers create a more positive and empowering meaning to the situation.
"The wise man doesn't give the right answers; he poses the right questions" - Claude Levi-Strauss.
Anxiety and depression are linked via the three patterns of physical association, attention and questions & meaning and these three patterns can be used to break down those conditions and replace them with more empowering and productive strategies for living life.
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About Graham Nicholls
Graham Nicholls is a Strategic Life Coach & NLP Master Practitioner with 15 years experience. He Coaches people all over the world including individuals, business owners & entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and live their lives on their terms. Graham has trained with the worlds top coaches and therapists including Tony Robbins & Chloe Madanes.