Depression typically involves strong feelings of sadness or upset that do not go away and interfere with a person’s life. Depression is different from feeling “down,” having a bad day, or experiencing loss (such as the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, etc.). Depression is usually more severe and lasts for longer periods of time. People who are depressed often cannot identify the specific causes of their sadness. Activities which used to be pleasurable no longer are, and a person may isolate themselves and become less active. Depression often includes negative patterns of thinking, such as being overly self-critical, having low self-esteem, feeling hopeless, or experiencing frequent thoughts of death. In more severe cases, a depressed person may experience changes in sleep (often insomnia), poor appetite, and low energy. Depression that is severe enough can be diagnosed as major depressive disorder.
It is common for people who have severe anxiety to experience depression as well. People with depression are most likely to also be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder, but other anxiety disorders are not uncommon. In any case, the co-occurrence of depression and an anxiety disorder usually requires more intensive treatment, sometimes including medication.
The Anxiety Treatment Center of Austin does not treat depression as a primary clinical concern, but does see patients with co-occurring depression and anxiety. It can be recommended that patients with significant depression seek additional treatment for their depression from an outside provider. Patients who are currently in treatment for depression but require additional treatment for anxiety may also be accepted. Lists of resources for depression and treatment information are presented below.