Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health conditions.

In simple terms, anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Depression is a feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness.

While anxiety and depression are often thought of as two separate conditions, they are actually closely related.

Experiencing anxiety over a period of time can lead to depression. In fact, it is estimated that nearly half of people with anxiety also experience depression, and vice versa.

This is known as comorbidity. There are a number of reasons why anxiety and depression are so often linked.

One reason is that they share some of the same symptoms. For example, both anxiety and depression can cause feelings of worry, nervousness or unease.

It can lead to trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, fatigue, irritability, trouble concentrating and thoughts of suicide and death.

Negative thoughts play a role in both anxiety and depression. People with anxiety tend to worry excessively and imagine worst-case scenarios.

Those with depression often have a negative view of themselves, others, and the world around them. These thinking patterns can contribute to both conditions.

Stressful experiences and traumatic events can trigger anxiety and depression. High levels of stress can disrupt our body’s natural stress response, making us more vulnerable to developing both conditions.

Anxiety can sometimes lead to depression due to prolonged exposure to stress.

Anxiety and depression can cause people to withdraw from social interactions and feel isolated.

The stigma around mental health can make it hard for individuals to seek help. This isolation worsens symptoms and increases the risk of both anxiety and depression.

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, it is important to seek professional help.

Despite all the press and media coverage, promoting positive mental health, and the many organisations working to stop the stigma, there are still so many people who feel unable to seek help when they are experiencing issues with how they are feeling.

One common misconception is that people who have depression or experience long-term anxiety, is that they will never feel ‘better’. This is not the case.

There are a number of different treatment options available for anxiety and depression, such as psychotherapy, self-help strategies and in some cases medication.

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, please know that you are not alone. There is help available.

With the right treatment, you can recover and live a full and happy life. The first port of call should always be your GP.

Martin Furber is a therapist qualified in various modalities and an Instructor Member of Mental Health First Aid England.