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How To Tell Anxiety From Depression

How To Cope With Anxiety And Depression

Anxiety VS Depression (How To Tell The Difference)

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Heres what you need to know if they strike simultaneously.

Do you sometimes worry so much that it interferes with your everyday activities? Or feel so blue that it completely clouds your outlook? Do you often experience these or similar feelings together? Youre not the only one.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , anxiety disorders which include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder are the most common mental health problem among U.S. adults, affecting 18.1 percent of the population each year. And mood disorders which include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder are the leading cause of disability.

Moreover, the incidence of developing depression in addition to an anxiety disorder or vice versa is high. Many people with major depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety, notes Sally R. Connolly, LCSW, in Louisville, Kentucky. And some experts estimate that 60 percent of people with anxiety will also have symptoms of depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness .

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How To Get A Clinical Diagnosis

Theres no single test that can diagnose depression or anxiety. Instead, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and a depression or anxiety screening test. For this, theyll ask you a series of questions that help them get a better insight into what youve been experiencing.

If the results arent clear or if your doctor suspects the symptoms may be the result of another condition, they may order tests to rule out underlying issues. Blood tests can check your thyroid, vitamin, and hormone levels.

In some cases, general practitioners will refer you to a mental health expert, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, if they dont feel equipped to properly manage your symptoms and conditions or if they suspect youre experiencing more than one condition.

Although depression and anxiety are two separate conditions, they share many of the same treatments. A combination of these may be used to treat both conditions at the same time.

Talking To Your Doctor

If you have anxiety, depression, or both, chances are that your doctor will recommend medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Keep track your symptoms and keep a log of how you feel each day, as this can help in the diagnostic process. Its also important to speak up and ask your doctor whether they think you have depression, anxiety, or both. This clarity can help you understand the treatment focus and how to manage your symptoms. For example, a patient who is prescribed an antidepressant like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor may not realize that the medication has been prescribed for their anxiety, as SSRIs are used to treat both anxiety and depression.4 Never hesitate to ask about your diagnosis, as you have a right to your personal health information.

The most important quality that anxiety and depression share is that they are both very treatable conditions. Never hesitate to find people to help you stayed informed and on the right track towards a healthier mind and body. Who can you recruit to help you with your anxiety or depression today?

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Finding The Right Resources To Answer Your Questions And Meet Your Complex Needs

Just as anxiety and depression tend to be worse when occurring together, treatment of these disorders is most effective when both conditions are addressed at the same time.1

Hartgrove Behavioral Health System provides integrated care that treats these and other mental health issues simultaneously. As part of our comprehensive care, medical specialists and therapists work together to help bring healing and balance in our patients lives a feeling of being in charge of their inner self again.

When You Are Confused About Your Symptoms

You know when you have anxiety, depression, and bipolar ...

Questions or concerns about depression and anxiety should be directed to a trusted mental health professional. Therapists are often trained to identify the root causes of issues. Discussing your symptoms in therapy may help you discover the source of the issue that prompted you to seek help. Once you and the therapist identify the issue, you can learn how to overcome or manage it.

Talk therapy can be helpful in identifying the cause of certain symptoms. A trained therapist can help unravel your symptoms and see what may be causing them. Whether you experience anxiety, depression, or both, your therapist can help create a plan for addressing those conditions long-term. This may mean more therapy sessions, a support group, psychoeducation, or medication and treatment with a psychiatrist in conjunction with therapy.

Regardless of what next steps you take, it is important to remember that people experience anxiety and depression differently. Its not always necessary to know every cause of a mental health issue to treat it. But labeling or identifying an issue, especially a root problem, may help reduce feelings of worry or uncertainty in some people. Remember that you are never alone. Any help and guidance for improving your mental health may only be one question to a trusted therapist away.


  • Ankrom, S. . Depression and anxiety. Retrieved from
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    How Often Is Anxiety Misdiagnosed As Depression

    Anxiety disorders can mimic depression, so misdiagnosis is common. The two conditions can also coexist, further confusing the diagnostic process.

    A study carried out in a primary care setting found misdiagnosis rates reached 65.9% for major depressive disorder, 92.7% for bipolar disorder, 85.8% for panic disorder, 71% for generalized anxiety disorder, and 97.8% for social anxiety disorder.

    Be sure to communicate all your symptoms to your healthcare provider to ensure the most accurate diagnosis is reached.

    How To Seek Treatment For Anxiety Or Depression

    There is some good news for anyone who has anxiety or depression. First, you should know that theres help and effective treatment for both conditions. Learning what options are available to you is step one.

    Its important to remember that theres no one-size-fits-all treatment for any mental health condition. It may take some time, and you may need to try a few different routes. With diligence and support, you can find a path that leads you to a healthier, more productive, peaceful life.

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    Benefits Of Journaling For Mental Health

    Maintaining a daily journal is beneficial for your mental health and helps decrease anxiety and stress. Suppose you are in a mental state that you are finding yourself very angry about your relationship and are about to react abusively. But, your abusive behavior may end up ruining your relationship with your partner. So, you have to do something to release your anger.

    With a stress and anxiety journal, you can express your anger with words in your secret diary, which everyone cannot read. Lets figure out the benefits in an organized manner.

    1. You can figure out everything about your life and be sorted out. We often feel problematic to act perfectly in every situation and take the right decision for ourselves. With keeping a stress and anxiety journal, you can write about every aspect of your life and make it easier to find out the right thing for you to do.

    2. Reflecting on your daily habits with journaling, you can easily find out the triggers responsible for your bad practices like watching Netflix for too long, procrastinating, etc. After this, you can change the way of your habits and change them with good habits like book reading, exercising, etc.

    3. You can manage your regular to-do list with your daily journal. By doing that, you can increase the chance of fully utilizing your every day. It will give you a sense of achievement in life.

    How To Manage Your Symptoms

    Anxiety vs. Depression: How to Tell the Difference

    In addition to a formal treatment plan from your doctor, these strategies may help you find relief from symptoms. Its important to know, though, that these tips may not work for everyone, and they may not work each time.

    The goal of managing depression and anxiety is to create a series of treatment options that can all work together to help, to some degree, whenever you need to use them.

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    What If Your Loved One Doesnt Want To Be Helped

    This can be frustrating and challenging if you want to support them, but they keep telling you they dont want any help. Its really important to show respect and empathy in these situations so you dont cause that person to withdraw entirely from you. Let them know that youre concerned based on how they have been acting and ask them how they are doing. Check to see if something has happened that caused the change in behaviour. Ask them how you can best support them. And then ask them if they have thought about speaking to a professional and why that might be beneficial.

    How Do I Know If Im Depressed

    People often say things like I feel so depressed or thats depressing, but the truth is that depression is a well defined mental disorder, including nine different symptoms. Worth noting is that its not enough to experience the symptoms to be diagnosed with depression. There are several depression criteria to consider.

    Well start with the symptoms of depression. The DSM-5 is a handbook, frequently used by mental health professionals in the US and all over Europe. It contains lots of facts about depression, including the symptoms:

    • Depressed mood: Feeling blue most of the day, nearly every day.
    • Loss of interest and pleasure: Markedly reduced interest/pleasure in all activities most of the day.
    • Changed appetite or weight .
    • Sleep disturbance .
    • Moving more slowly than usual or making meaningless movements due to anxiety .
    • Lacking energy: Feeling tired nearly every day.
    • Having difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions.
    • Having suicidal thoughts or sometimes wishing you were dead.

    Lets continue with the depression criteria. Its not enough to experience some of the symptoms to receive a diagnosis of depression. The following conditions also apply:

    Depression can be tricky to recognise and diagnose because there are so many symptoms and criteria to consider. The next paragraph includes a commonly used online depression test, which gives you an indication of the severity of your depressive symptoms.

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    The Relationship Between Depression And Anxiety Is Complicated

    While it would be great if there were a fool-proof way of telling you whether you have anxiety or depression, it’s not quite that simple. One person can easily have both anxiety and depression, and some people may have developed depression symptoms as a result of their anxiety disorder.

    It’s a bit more difficult than saying “you have anxiety” or “you have depression” because it’s possible to have combinations of both. This may be called a “comorbid” condition when you suffer from both conditions simultaneously. Symptoms of one or the other may bleed into whichever disorder you have, because both share similar causes, issues, etc.

    Are There Different Kinds Of Depression

    Diagram of Depression symptoms â Stock Photo © vaeenma ...

    Being depressed can mean many things. Sometimes, depression is not visible to other people. The depressed person carries symptoms around like a terribly heavy backpack but still manages work and relationships. Sometimes, depression is apparent for others and the symptoms make it impossible to manage life in the usual way. Depressive symptoms can be divided into three categories: mild, moderate and severe depression.

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    Ways To Stop Anxiety From Damaging Your Life

    Stress and anxiety is an all-natural response to anxiety and also worry. It can be caused by lots of things, consisting of:

    Anxiety can create numerous troubles in life, such as clinical depression, sleep problems, and also drug abuse. Nonetheless, there are ways to curb anxiety and also lead a healthy life.

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    It’s Easy To Overlook The Clues That You May Need Help For One Of These Common Conditions

    The signs of mental illness aren’t always obvious. Subtle changes in mood or behavior are often attributed to aging, just like weaker muscles and fuzzy thinking. “There’s a tendency to dismiss it as, ‘Well, of course I’m worried, I have heart disease,’ or, ‘Of course I’m sad, I’m not as relevant as I once was,'” says Dr. Michael Craig Miller, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

    But depression and anxiety do not need to be routine parts of aging. Getting help for these feelings can help you maintain your health and enjoy life to the fullest.

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    Key Differences Between Depression And Anxiety

    Although the above lists have a few common symptoms, the main differences could be viewed as polar opposites. Depressed people tend to move more slowly with dull and lifeless reactions. People with an anxiety disorder are more keyed up, oftentimes moving quickly and having racing thoughts.

    The way these two groups react to the future is quite telling as well. Anxious people fear the future, worry about events that havent even happened yet while those suffering depression are more resigned to a dismal future without happiness or hope.3

    How Do You Treat Depression And Anxiety

    HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M GETTING BETTER? (Depression, Anxiety, Depersonalization)

    It can be harder for doctors to diagnose and treat depression and anxiety when they happen together. That’s why it’s important to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms.

    The treatment for both anxiety and depression involves talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the main talk therapies. It teaches you how to think and behave differently to stop triggering your anxiety or depression.

    Antidepressants are medicines that treat depression. They change the balance of chemicals in your brain to improve your mood. Anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers are treatments for anxiety.

    The sooner you start treatment, the more likely it will help you. Let your doctor know if the treatment you’re on doesn’t relieve your symptoms or if it causes side effects. It may take a few tries to find the treatment that works best for you.

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    What Might Indicate That Both Anxiety And Depression Are Present

    Traits that may signal the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:

    • Irrational worries or fears that wont go away
    • Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing or abdominal pain
    • Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
    • Changes in eating habits either too much or too little
    • Trouble remembering, making decisions or concentrating
    • Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
    • Loss of usual interest in activities or hobbies
    • Feeling often tired and cranky
    • Inability to relax and live in the moment
    • Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control2

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