Anxiety Related Conditions

What Conditions Appear with Anxiety

If you have an anxiety disorder, there is a good chance that you may have co-existing anxiety or mental health disorders, such as panic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But, psychiatric disorders are not the only conditions that can appear with anxiety. These are some of the common conditions and disorders that often present with anxiety. 


Depression is a common mental illness that affects many people. For some, the experience is temporary and in response to a situation. For others, the depressive experience is more constant and not directly triggered by a specific event.

Are Anxiety and Depressive Disorders the Same?

It is common for people to have anxiety and a depressive disorder 1. These conditions co-occur so frequently that some experts believe they are different types of internalizing disorders. 

Anxiety and depressive disorders do not have to co-occur at the same time. You can develop anxiety before depression or have depressive episodes at the same time 2

These conditions co-exist in people differently. However, it is common for symptoms to overlap.

Some people have more significant depressive symptoms, while others have more significant anxiety symptoms. It’s also possible to present with symptoms of both disorders, but not severe enough to have one diagnosis over the other. When this happens, you may have the condition, mixed anxiety-depression. 

Depression Affects More than Your Mood

Depression affects people differently. Although it’s common for people to have mood changes, like going from being outgoing to withdrawn, sad, or agitated, depression affects more than your mood. Being depressed can cause you to lose motivation or interest in hobbies or daily activities. Depression can also affect your concentration, memory, sleep, and appetite 2. 

Chronic Illness

The same risk factors that cause anxiety disorders in the average person can also cause anxiety in people with known or suspected chronic illnesses. It’s also possible for their medical condition to create high degrees of despair, hopelessness, and co-existing anxiety and depressive disorders. There are several explanations for this. Sometimes, people with chronic illnesses can feel stressed about their condition or discouraged by their response to treatment. Their health condition may also cause a great burden on their life 3

For some people, the opposite is true. They have a mental health condition that increases their risk of developing a chronic illness. Having co-existing mental and physical health conditions can make your symptoms more pronounced or harder to control. 

Chronic health conditions associated with anxiety disorders:
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

People struggling with drug or alcohol addiction often experience co-existing psychiatric conditions, like anxiety disorders, mood disorders, or other mental illnesses.  4. However, for others, having a psychiatric condition plays a huge role in developing an addiction or relapsing  5

Medications used for treating addiction may not work with comorbid conditions. Medications used to manage mental health conditions can interact with drugs and alcohol. However, few treatment options, like cognitive behavior therapy, may help with both 5

If you have an anxiety disorder and struggle with addiction, speak with your healthcare provider to determine your best treatment options. 

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are psychiatric conditions that negatively affect the way you eat and view your body 6 .  Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes you to become obsessed with your food – how often and much you’re eating. Bulimia is an eating disorder that causes you to eat and purge by vomiting, laxatives, fasting, or extreme exercise 7.

Health experts know that eating disorders are associated with high rates of co-occurring mental health disorders. For instance, having an eating disorder increases your risk of experiencing mental health symptoms, like suicidal thoughts, especially if other factors are present (i.e., history of abuse, emotional problems, genetic risks) 8.

The Takeaway

Having a comorbid condition or disorder can delay how soon you get your diagnosis 9 10. It can also complicate treatment, worsen your existing symptoms, or create more of an impact on your social and work performance. Contact your healthcare provider if your anxiety becomes complicated by a co-existing condition or if you experience disruptive anxiety symptoms