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What's The Difference Between Anxiety and Depression?

These are two of the most common mental health problems, but they can have different effects on individuals. Below is a brief description of what you might experience.

What is Anxiety?

We all experience worry and fear from time to time. However, an anxiety disorder may emerge if these feelings don't go away or if they are excessive.

You may be suffering from anxiety if you experience the following symptoms often:

  • Stress about the future, whether it's immediate or long-term

  • An uncontrollable thought races through your mind about something that is about to go wrong

  • Avoid situations that might make you anxious so your feelings and thoughts don't take over

  • Think about death in terms of an expectation of physical symptoms or outcomes that may be dangerous

  • Physical symptoms including insomnia, fatigue, muscle tension, headaches, chest pain, and trouble concentrating

Symptoms of anxiety can vary depending on their nature. A person with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may worry about various topics, events, or activities. On the other, with social anxiety disorder (SAD), an individual is more likely to fear negative appraisal or rejection by others, while meeting new people or being in other socially challenging situations is more difficult for an individual.

There are certain mental impulses, or obsessions, that extends beyond ordinary worries. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) sufferers experience them as the hallmark mental manifestations of anxiety.

What is Depression?

In the case of depression, it is more than feeling down or having a bad day or “the blues.”. The feelings of sadness or apathy experienced by those who are clinically depressed last for several days, weeks, or even months. It is more likely than not that they will feel these feelings throughout the day.

Depression impairs daily functioning and can leave someone feeling hopeless and worthless.

Depression and depression-related disorders can take many forms, just as anxiety does. Among them are:

Depression may lead to:

  • Feeling down

  • Shame, guilt, or feelings of worthlessness

  • Inability to engage in enjoyable activities

  • Oversleeping or insomnia

  • Moving at a slower pace

  • An absence of energy

  • A change in appetite

  • Having difficulty concentrating

  • A suicidal thought or behavior

When a person has the major depressive disorder (MDD), these types of thoughts persist most of the day and in many cases for weeks at a time. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder may be made if a person fluctuates between low and high mood states. It is likely that the low mood state is caused by the type of thinking described above, regardless of the type of mood disorder.

How Are Anxiety and Depression Different?

In general, depression and anxiety are distinguished by their symptoms. Depression is a feeling of sadness that persists for an extended period of time. Additionally, you lose interest in the things you once loved and have no or little energy. People who suffer from depression may even contemplate hurting themselves or suicide.

Anxiety involves an inability to control fear or worry. Your worry may surface during everyday activities like meeting new people, depending on your type of anxiety.

Can You Have Both Anxiety and Depression?

A lot of people experience both depression and anxiety at the same time. In about 60% of anxiety sufferers, there are also symptoms of depression. Depression and anxiety can exacerbate one another or prolong the duration of each other.

It is possible that the same genes cause both conditions. There may be similar brain structures or processes involved in anxiety and depression. Also, anxiety and depression are frequently caused by stress or trauma during childhood.

You may be more likely to suffer from depression if you suffer from anxiety. Experts say not doing what you fear can make you feel depressed.

How Do You Treat Anxiety and Depression?

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, there is good news. The first thing you need to know is that both conditions can be treated. Your first step should be to learn about the different options you have available to you.

However, all mental health conditions cannot be treated with a single treatment plan. There may be several paths to try, and some will take longer than others. Choosing a path that is conducive to a healthier, more productive, peaceful life is possible if you are diligent and receive support.

You have the following treatment options if you suffer from anxiety:

  • Stress management and relaxation techniques. You can reduce anxiety through relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and journaling. Exercising and getting enough sleep are other options that have been proven to be effective. However, these treatments may not suffice on their own. They may, however, be highly effective if used in conjunction with psychotherapy and/or medication.

  • Psychotherapy. People with anxiety disorders can benefit from psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. In psychotherapy, your specific anxieties are addressed, and your goals for therapy are personalized to meet your needs. One type of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy aims to influence the way you think and act.

  • Support groups. People suffering from anxiety disorders may benefit from support groups, but that option alone may not be sufficient for some.

  • Medication. Anxiety disorders are not often cured with medication alone, but they can ease many symptoms. Anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, or beta-blockers are common prescription medications used to treat anxiety disorders. You should seek the guidance of your psychiatrist when choosing the right medication.

If you have depression, you have the following treatment options:

  • Psychotherapy. Those who are clinically depressed often benefit from therapy. The services of a licensed therapist can assist you in learning coping skills and identifying and changing behavior patterns that contribute to depression. You can manage stress, improve your relationships, and ultimately live a healthier life with the help of in-person or online therapy.

  • Lifestyle changes. It is possible to reduce depression symptoms by making small lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating right.

  • Medication. There are a number of antidepressants that can offer relief to those suffering from depression, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). The mood and energy levels of your body can be improved by them. Medications should be taken exactly as prescribed. And, theymust not be stopped without consultation with a licensed psychiatrist.

The sooner you begin treatment, the higher your chances of success. If your current treatment is not relieving your symptoms or causing side effects, tell your doctor. Finding the right treatment for you may take a few attempts.

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