Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeDepressionWhat Is The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression

What Is The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression

How Do You Treat Depression And Anxiety

What’s the difference between anxiety and depression?

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.

Show Sources

When To See A Doctor For Anxiety Or Depression

Sometimes anxiety can be self-managed and easily resolved, but it is important to know when its time to see a doctor. If anxiety is affecting more than one area of your life and persists for more than six months, it may be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder or something else serious going on and would be a good time to check in with your doctor.

If you start having any of the symptoms of depression, such as feelings of sadness or loss of interest in daily life, it may be time to see a doctor. Having these feelings sporadically is a normal part of life, but experiencing them frequently may be a sign that you have depression. Depression that goes untreated can become serious and sometimes leads to suicidal thoughts or behaviors. If you have any of these symptoms, its best to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Can You Have Both Anxiety And Depression At The Same Time

Depression and anxiety are often seen as comorbidities, which means that people can experience both conditions at the same time.

Some studies have reported that comorbid depression and anxiety occurs in about 25% of patients in general medical practice settings..

About 85% of people with depression¹ have comorbid anxiety, while approximately 90% of anxiety patients¹ have comorbid depression.

Don’t Miss: Is Cbd Good For Anxiety

What Is The Difference Between Depression And Anxiety

Telling the two conditions apart may be difficult if someone has both, and even if they dont, theres room for error.

A depressed person can be intensely worried about the way their condition is affecting them, and chronic anxiety can make people have some degree of feelings of sadness or worthlessness.

On the other hand, anxiety may cause physical symptoms often associated with depression, like low energy or muscle tension, and it may cause restlessness different from insomnia or make the sufferer have difficulty with activities due to uncontrollable worry.

Its the little specifics about depression and anxiety that make them different. In fact, the difference between anxiety and depression lies in the way that a person experiences symptoms. While symptoms may include indifference or numbness, loss of interest, as well as feelings of anger and recklessness, the specific severity of these symptoms may help to identify whether you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or both.

Still, the two have many things in common and can be hard to tell apart which is why the conditions may often be co-occurring.

Read Also: Can You Be Born With Anxiety

When To Talk To Someone About Your Symptoms

Difference between Depression and Anxiety

Once anxiety or depression impacts your life, you should seek help from a mental health professional. The psychological conditions can lead to social isolation, worsening performance at school or work, and substance abuse as a coping mechanism.

If you rely on drugs or alcohol as a response to anxiousness or depression, consider rehabilitation. The Recovery Village has centers throughout the country that provide co-occurring disorder treatment when a mental illness pairs with addiction. The team of experts can help you attain a substance-free lifestyle and treat your mental condition.

Related: Starting Treatment for Addiction & Mental Health through Teletherapy

If youre looking for healthy ways to manage anxiety and depression, the Nobu app can help. It is free and for anyone that is looking to reduce anxiety, work through depression, build self-esteem, get aftercare following treatment, attend teletherapy sessions and so much more. Download the Nobu app today!

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Now

The Relationship Between Anxiety And Depression

Helpful Links


While anxiety is generally considered a high-energy state and depression a low-energy state, anxiety and depression are more closely related than you might think. A person with depression often experiences a lot of anxiety, possibly even to the extent of having panic attacks.1

Anxiety disorders involve more than common nervousness and worry. They can cause terrifying fear about things other people wouldnt think twice about. Many people with anxiety disorders fully comprehend that their thoughts are irrational. But they still cant stop them. Feelings of losing inner control haunt them. This angst is one of the entry ways for depression.2

Treatment Options If You Have Anxiety:

Wondering how to deal with anxiety? The following treatment methods can help you deal with your anxiety symptoms:

  • Medication: Medication alone is not often a cure for anxiety disorders, but it can help with many symptoms. Prescription medication commonly used to treat anxiety disorders may include anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, or beta-blockers. Choosing the right medication can take time and needs to be done under the guidance of your psychiatrist.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, has been proven effective for people with anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy is directed at your specific anxieties, and its customized to improve your individual needs and goals for therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one type of psychotherapy thats often used to treat anxiety disorders. Through CBT, you learn how to change your thinking and behavior.
  • Support groups: Support groups can be beneficial for some people with anxiety disorders, but this option alone may not be enough.
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, journaling are all great ways to help ease anxiety. Exercise and healthy sleep patterns are other potential options that have shown great success. Again, these techniques by themselves may not be adequate treatment. When used in combination with psychotherapy and/or medication, however, they might be very helpful.

Also Check: Can Caffeine Make Anxiety Worse

Physical Signs Of Depression

  • Fatigue: People with depression often find themselves feeling tired and drained. They experience physical and mental exhaustion, which impacts their day-to-day lives.
  • Poor quality sleep: This can be either having low quality sleep, insomnia or sleeping for long periods of time and still waking up tired and unrested. Poor sleeping patterns can also be a result of medications that one might be taking to manage depression.
  • Headaches: Some people experience headaches due to the emotions that are associated with depression.
  • Low sex drive: Low sex drive is yet another sign of depression. Depressed individuals might have fluctuations in their sex drive, and in some cases, they can entirely lose interest in sex. This can cause anger and frustration as these people feel like they are failing to sexually satisfy their partners.
  • Changes in appetite: Depression can result in a loss or a significant increase in appetite.
  • Muscle ache: Research has shown a link between depression and muscle pain. When depressed, people often tighten their muscles resulting in muscle ache.

Helpful Lifestyle Changes You Can Employ

What is the difference between anxiety & depression?

Whether you are experiencing depression or anxiety or both, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help supplement the treatment plan put together by your provider.

Sleep: Improving sleep habits helps give your brain a chance to clean house, reset and start fresh each day. For an easy, free and relaxing way to set your melatonin cycles up for healthy sleep, visit our page on morning light.

Exercise: A good reminder that exercise releases endorphins decrease stress and assists in ridding us of toxins.

Healthy Diet: An insulin-resistant diet will support your bodys energy reserves and cut down on over-spiking and dropping of blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to those jitters and getting hangry. Avoid processed foods, flours, and sugars as much as possible, opting for whole foods like low-sugar fruits and vegetables, organic/ethically raised protein sources and healthy fats from nuts, avocados, and olives.

Stop Bad Habits: Smoking, drinking, and recreational drug use can all be contributors to anxiety and depression symptoms and can interfere with treatment protocols such as medication.4

Also Check: How Do I Know I M Having An Anxiety Attack

They Also Share The Ability To Recover

The good news is that both are generally treatable. There are several ways to ensure that you’re able to control and even cure both anxiety and depression, provided you make the commitment to improving your mental health in the long term. No matter how hopeless it may feel, there are actual, effective ways to improve your mental health in the long term, provided you’re prepared for a few bumps that may occur along the way.

Was this article helpful?

Try To Eat Balanced Meals

Nourishing your body with whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, can help you get the nutrition you need and it could also help improve your symptoms.

Caffeine, refined sugars, and processed foods, on the other hand, could potentially worsen symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

You dont need to cut these out of your diet entirely, but try to balance them with nutrient-dense foods when possible.

Recommended Reading: What To Do When You Get Anxiety

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

Types Of Anxiety Disorders

Depression vs Anxiety

Several different disorders fall under the anxiety umbrella. The following are some of the most well-known:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Generalized anxiety disorder involves chronic feelings of anxiety and exaggerated worry these feelings are generally unprovoked.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder : People with OCD experience recurring, unwanted thoughts and/or perform repetitive behaviors to provide temporary anxiety relief failure to perform these behaviors tends to increase anxiety symptoms.
  • Panic Disorder: Panic disorder involves repeated and unexpected episodes of fear or panic these feelings are accompanied by physical symptoms like heart palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder : PTSD typically develops after exposure to a terrifying event in which harm may have been threatened or occurred triggering events include assaults, natural disasters, accidents, and military combat.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: People with Social Anxiety Disorder experience overwhelming anxiety and feelings of self-consciousness that occur during everyday social situations it can be limited to individual situations like speaking in front of a crowd, or it can be so broad that symptoms are triggered whenever other people are around.

You May Like: Does Medicare Cover Counseling For Anxiety

What Is The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression

Part of the reason why anxiety vs depression can be difficult for many people to identify is that there are overlapping symptoms in the two conditions. Also, keep in mind that many people diagnosed with major depressive disorder may also have an anxiety disorder. In fact, nearly half of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

So, what is the difference between anxiety and depression?

While there are many common symptoms between anxiety and depression such as fatigue, changes in appetite, and difficulty concentrating there are also some blatant differences. For example, excessive worry is more common with anxiety, whereas thoughts of suicide are more prevalent with depression.

Anxiety and depression also fall into different classifications of disorders. Anxiety is its own class, and depression is a separate mood disorder. Finally, another difference between the two conditions is that theyre sometimes treated with different medications.

To best understand the differences listed above, its important to review these disorders in-depth.

Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.

Don’t Miss: Does Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure

Anxiety Vs Depression: What Is The Difference

Approximately 40 million adults in the United States struggle with anxiety, and more than 16 million adults struggle with depression.

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health challenges people in the U.S. face. Theres still a lot of confusion surrounding these two conditions, though.

For example, many people have found themselves asking questions like, Is anxiety and depression the same thing? and What is the difference between anxiety and depression?

If youve asked these kinds of questions yourself, keep reading. Youll find answers to what you need to know about anxiety vs depression.

What Causes Depression

Anxiety and Depression: What’s the Difference?

Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. While it may occur at any age, it often begins in adulthood. As with many anxiety disorders, depression in children and adolescents may present itself as irritability more than low mood.4

As mentioned above, depression is often spawned from an anxiety disorder left untreated.

Don’t Miss: How To Fix Anxiety Naturally

Role Of The Pharmacist

Your pharmacist has the right knowledge to support you on your mental health journey. Furthermore, your pharmacist is one of the most accessible health care professional, that you usually see more often than others. Your pharmacist can:

  • Detect the first signs and symptoms of a disorder
  • Refer you to the appropriate healthcare professional
  • Provide advice on how to better manage your symptoms
  • Provide information and advice on your medication or treatment
  • See if any medication you are taking can interact with over-the-counter medication or natural health products
  • Track your progress during treatment
  • Adjust or recommend adjustments or substitutions for your treatment according to your symptoms and possible side effects.

If you have any questions on anxiety or depression or if you think you are suffering from one of those conditions, do not hesitate to visit your pharmacist. Your pharmacist can guide you and refer you to the appropriate mental health resources.

The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.

You May Like: What Types Of Anxiety Are There

Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, , social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

For people with anxiety disorders, the anxiety is often persistent and can get worse over time. The symptoms may interfere with their daily life.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Excessive fear and worry

If you experience these symptoms for six months or longer, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Read Also: What Is Good For Anxiety Over The Counter

Whats The Difference Between Depression And Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are distinct mental health disorders. Each has its own set of symptoms.

For example, someone with anxiety may experience excessive fear or worry, while someone with depression may experience persistent feelings of hopelessness.

However, they are often interconnected. Someone with depression can experience anxiety symptoms as part of their mood disorder, and someone with a persistent anxiety disorder can develop depression over time.

Managing Anxiety And Depression

Anxiety Induced Depression Pasadena Villa

A therapist can offer more guidance on treatment options for anxiety and depression, but you can also take steps to cope with symptoms on your own.

The strategies below may not always help, but trying different approaches at different times can help you learn more about what works for you. That insight can guide you toward a personalized toolbox of coping strategies, so you always have options to consider when feeling distressed or overwhelmed.

Your therapist can also offer suggestions for new strategies to try, plus offer tips on putting them into practice.

Read Also: Is Yawning A Sign Of Anxiety

How Are Depression And Anxiety Connected

Almost half of the people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety. The two conditions are closely related as they have the same biological basis.

Individuals diagnosed with both disorders exhibit changes in their neurotransmitter function. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation, is often affected. Several brain chemicals such as dopamine and epinephrine are also involved in both depression and anxiety.

Depression and anxiety can occur in response to the existence of the other, or they can co-occur. In the United States, about 40 million adults are diagnosed with anxiety, while around 16 million have depression.

Sally R. Connolly, LCSW and therapist, says the two conditions are a cycle when you are anxious, you feel like you have a problem and you are the reason why everything is not going well. Consequently, you are likely to get depressed.

Anxiety and depression can also occur together with other diagnoses such as burnout and substance use disorder.

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?

More on this topic

Recommended Reading: How To Treat A Teenager With Anxiety

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -