While depression and anxiety are two medical conditions, they sometimes overlap in their symptoms, causes, and treatments. Read how the two situations vary here
When you ask someone to name two common problems with mental health, they would probably think of anxiety and depression. Although they are commonly referred to in conversation, people sometimes still fail to determine the difference between these two conditions. This is because most anxious people often develop depression and vice versa. Around 50% of people diagnosed with depression also have an anxiety disorder diagnosed1. Moreover, it is necessary to have an accurate diagnosis and treat the right conditions.
In addition to their low mood, most people with depression may experience what is known as “anxious distress.”2 People with anxiety sometimes feel stressed, lousy and have trouble concentrating because they are so much worried. You are deeply afraid that something bad will happen or that you may lose control of yourself. Individuals who have anxiety with depression may be more at risk of suicide or need more intensive treatment, so Identifying these symptoms together with depression is also crucial.
Above all, a doctor or mental health professional will check if your symptoms meet the criteria for a depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Major Depression
- depressed mood
- lack of interest in enjoyable activities
- increase or decrease in appetite
- insomnia or hypersomnia
- slowing of movement
- lack of energy
- feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- trouble concentrating
- suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
For a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, five or more of these signs have to be felt for at least two weeks. Some of these signs may also be associated with chronic depressive (dysthymias), premenstrual dysphoric (dysthymias) or other disorders. You can also meet bipolar disorder requirements if they also have mania symptoms.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- excessive worry
- being easily fatigued
- trouble concentrating
- sleep disturbance
- muscle tension.
If you have endured these symptoms more than six days and cause distress in your everyday life, a generalized anxiety disorder may be diagnosed. Certain examples of anxiety disorders include fear about separation, panic or phobia.
If you compare the two symptom lists, you can see some overlap. Sleep problems, concentration problems, and fatigue are both signs of anxiety and depression. Irritability can also occur in forms of anxiety or depression (instead of low mood).
Nevertheless, there are some distinctive features. Depressed people move slowly, and their responses can seem muted or dull. Those with fear seem to be kept safer as they battle to control their races. The trait is the appearance of fear of the future in people who are nervous. Depressed people without fear are less likely to be worried about future events, as often they resign themselves to thinking that things will continue to be terrible. In other words, they can predict the future based on their current feelings.
Talk to your doctor
If you’re afraid, depressed or both, your doctor may prescribe medicine, therapy or a combination of both. Follow the signs and keep track of how you feel every day, as this can help with the diagnosis. It is also important to talk to your doctor and ask them if they think you have depression, anxiety, or both. Such transparency will help you understand the purpose of your diagnosis and how your symptoms are handled. For example, a person who has prescribed an antidepressant, such as an inhibitor of selective serotonin recuptake inhibitors (SSRI), may not know that medicine is prescribed of anxiety because SSRIs are used to treat anxiety as well as depression.
Anxiety and depression share the most important quality, both of which are very treatable conditions. Do not hesitate to find people to help you stay informed and on the right path to a healthy body and mind. Who can you hire today to help you deal with your anxiety or depression?