Depression and Social Anxiety: What is the Correlation?


Depression and social anxiety are two of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the U.S. About 6.8% of the American population is affected by social anxiety, and about 6.7% of adults experience major depression every year. Many of the men and women who struggle with social anxiety develop extreme fears about being around people; the anxiety may be due to the possibility of judgment or failure. In the end, the fear causes distress and leads to these individuals completely isolating themselves from others. This self-doubt may lead to the development of major depression.

We typically see these two mental health disorders studied independently of each other, but a new study suggests that they may be more interconnected than we realize. According to a study by Washington University, there are overlap symptoms, referred to as “nodes,” that prepare a bridge between the two mental health disorders. The researcher and her team determined the list of bridge symptoms to be as follows:

  1. Feeling anxiety when faced with an embarrassing situation with a particular person—a public figure or famous personality, a stranger, or a potential romantic relationship
  2. The anxiety felt when having to speak with one of the above individuals
  3. An inability to feel happiness at any time, shown by not being “able” to feel cheerful, glad, or the sensation of laughter
  4. Irritability and bouts of extreme emotion
  5. Intense feelings of depression, like there is no way out and, if there was, they don’t deserve it
  6. The feeling of worthlessness—this is a key bridge symptom
  7. Crumbling under stress, feeling as though they are falling apart

Surprisingly, it wasn’t depression and social fear that were the two most interconnected symptoms. Rather, worthlessness was the core crossover symptom. It is not known whether social anxiety causes depression or vice versa, but researchers suggest that treating specific symptoms versus global disorders could help create a more holistic sense of wellness.

If you are seeking advice on treatment for depression or anxiety, the first line of defense includes talk therapy, anti-depressants and other drugs, and holistic treatments. Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, helps by giving patients a means to cope with symptoms, without medication. Holistic treatments may involve treatments like acupuncture or EFT tapping. However, if nothing else seems to work, ketamine infusions may be the life-changing option you’re hoping for. These infusions are given in series, under medical supervision. They provide fast-acting, effective relief of depressive symptoms, as well as the symptoms of anxiety. In our patients, we have seen a 70% success rate—with lasting results for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression.



Do you want to learn more about what ketamine could do for you or a loved one? Please, contact our Lake Tahoe area ketamine clinic today for more information and to schedule a free consultation. Our highly experienced staff is here to answer any questions you may have, in hopes of reducing your anxiety and depressive symptoms, and to see you get back on the path to a fulfilling life!

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