In a December 26th article appearing in Big Think, author Stephen Johnson writes about seven symptoms believed to play the role of a "bridge" between Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and social anxiety disorder. The new research shows that the symptoms of one disorder can bridge the two conditions and cause the second illness.
The seven potential “bridge” symptoms that researchers focused on in their study between depression and social anxiety are:
1. Anxiety when in an embarrassing situation with a specific person (an authority figure, a stranger, or a possible romantic figure)
2. Anxiety when having to speak in front of a specific person (same categories as above)
3. The intensity of feelings of depression
4. Inability to feel happy (unable to laugh easily or feel cheerful)
5. Feelings of worthlessness
7. Unstable mood, like "going to pieces" when under a great deal of stress
Until this study, prevailing wisdom had been that one illness couldn't create the other. This new finding suggests that by focusing treatment on the bridge symptoms, some of the debilitating effects may be reduced.
About the study:
- Taken from a sample of 130 women ages 18 to 59
- Many suffered from one or both disorders
- Results were taken from inventories on social anxiety and depression
"A bridge symptom can be conceptualized as a stepping-stone in a pathway from one disorder to another; the presence of this symptom increases the likelihood that an individual will develop the secondary disorder," the researchers wrote, adding later: "For example, one such pathway might begin with a person who becomes socially fearful, then starts avoiding social situations, and then develops a depressed mood as a result of the social isolation."
In speaking with TMS Solutions Co-founder and CEO Christopher Blackburn about this connection between the two disorders, he isn't surprised. TMS Solutions provides TMS therapy for treatment-resistant depression where other methods have failed to provide life-changing results. Blackburn frequently finds that MDD and anxiety travel together.
Blackburn added that while transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is only indicated for depression at this time, the patients they treat in their six clinics seem to have a reduction in both their anxiety and depression symptoms up to 80% of the time.
TMS is now covered by all major insurance companies and Medicare. If you or someone you know suffers from either of these two disorders, and lives in Colorado or Washington, click the button below to find out how TMS Solutions can help.