Anxiety, depression – are they both the same thing? Both are generally distressing emotional states to deal with, but there are key differences between them, and they are different conditions. Depression prompts feelings of reduced energy, sadness, and despair. Anxiety engenders feelings of worry, dread, and nervousness. It is possible to have both conditions at the same time and while it is normal to feel depressed and anxious every now and then, persistently experiencing these emotions could be a sign that you may need treatment. Here, we go through the symptoms of depression and anxiety and discuss how they may be treated.
When you are depressed, your symptoms could include:
- A loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy doing
- Sadness, anxiety, hopelessness
- Sleeping either too much or too little
- Eating more or less than you once did
- Trouble concentrating
Generally, for depression to be diagnosed, you would need to experience symptoms throughout the day, and nearly every day over two weeks. These symptoms, however, can be prompted by physical issues, such as thyroid problems. If that is the case, you would benefit from visiting a doctor who could treat the issue instead. This should relieve your symptoms.
Like depression, it is normal to experience anxious feelings now and then. If you notice that these feelings are persistent and interfering in your daily life, however, you should seek help. The symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling constantly on edge
- Feeling sweaty or shaky
- Feeling out of control
- Overwhelming feelings of worry
The Relationship Between Anxiety and Depression
Both depression and anxiety are differentiated primarily by their symptoms. However, these conditions can often be concurrent, with about 60% of those who experience depression also reporting symptoms of anxiety, and vice versa. Symptoms of depression can also be aggravated by symptoms of anxiety, and the reverse also holds. Both anxiety and depression could be genetic or triggered by stress and trauma experienced early in life.
Treating Depression and Anxiety
It can be harder for both depression and anxiety to be diagnosed and treated if they are concurrent. This is why it is essential that you reveal all your symptoms to your doctor so that they can make an accurate and comprehensive initial evaluation. Depression and anxiety treatments involve medication or talk therapy, and sometimes a combination of both. The main form of talk therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches you how to restructure your thought patterns and behaviors so that you can stop triggering your depression and anxiety. Meanwhile, antidepressants are medical treatments for depression. They alter the chemical balance of your brain to improve your mood. Anxiety medication includes antidepressants, beta-blockers, and anti-anxiety drugs.
If you have noticed symptoms of anxiety and depression in your life, it is time to seek help. You no longer have to live in fear, sadness, or hopelessness. Instead, there are treatments available for you to be able to experience a better quality of life. Take the first step to regaining your mental health today by reaching out to a mental health provider.