Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeDepressionWhat's The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression

What’s The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression

How Stress Depression And Anxiety Are Interrelated

Anxiety and Depression: What’s the Difference?

Nearly half of those experiencing depression also suffer from severe and persistent anxiety. Such people often feel anxious and worried. Any of the symptoms can easily trigger the other, with anxiety often preceding depression. People with acute depression, post-traumatic stress disorder , and other mental and behavioral health problems are prone to developing depression.

Common symptoms include:

  • Sweating and dry mouth

It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Anxiety, depression and stress just about everyone feels these emotions at some time. All are common reactions to lifes challenges, from losing a loved one to going through a divorce. On the surface they can look a lot alike, but there are distinct differences.

What Differentiates The Two Disorders

The primary symptoms, beginning with psychological first, are the most reliable approach to distinguishing between the two illnesses.


  • Worry about what will occur and what could occur in the future.
  • Worrying thoughts or the feeling that something horrible may occur.
  • You feel you must flee or avoid things that could worsen your anxiety.


Don’t Miss: How To Get Over Health Anxiety

Depression And Anxiety Are Intricately Connected

It would be ideal if there were a full proof way to determine whether someone has anxiety or depression, but this is not the case. It is possible to have both anxiety and depression some people may have developed depression due to their anxiety problems.Patients can contact a best doctor for anxiety disorder in India who will lead the path for their betterment.

It is not as simple as declaring, You have anxiety or You have Depression, because it is possible to experience both simultaneously. This could be considered a comorbid condition if both are present simultaneously. Because both disorders share similar causes, difficulties, etc., the symptoms of one disease may manifest in the other.

Do Something You Have Control Over

What is the Difference Between Anxiety and Depression?

Regaining some control in the moment could help overwhelming feelings feel a little easier to cope with.

You dont have to take any major action, but accomplishing a short task, such as making your bed, taking a shower, or unloading the dishwasher, can help boost a sense of accomplishment. It could also offer a temporary distraction.

Recommended Reading: What Foods Are Good For Anxiety And Stress

Theres Help If You Need It

Anxiety and depression are very common conditions, and mostly very treatable. If you or someone you know is struggling with mood or some of the symptoms mentioned here dont worry about labelling the experience as either anxiety or depression. The important thing to know is that youre not alone and help is available.Contacting your GP is a great place to start, or you can reach out to some of the organisations below.In a crisis, contact Lifeline in Australia on 13 11 14

Whats The Key Difference

Clinical depression is essentially one condition, though it has a range of symptoms and can feel very different to different people.On the other hand, anxiety is an umbrella term that covers a range of more specific conditions. The most common is generalised anxiety disorder , but it also includes phobias, panic disorders, adjustment disorder, and stress reaction.

You May Like: Is B12 Good For Anxiety

Similarities Between Depression And Anxiety

Depression and anxiety can impact your life in similar ways. Both can cause intense fears, an inability to be present and productive in work and life, a persistent feeling of hopelessness, and feeling alienated from those around you.

Common symptoms between the two conditions include physical pain and discomfort, changes in sleep patterns, decreased energy, irritability and frustration, and difficulty focusing and remembering things. These symptoms can have a huge impact on your relationships, school, work, and leisure.

A common feature of both depression and anxiety is rumination on negative thoughts. Rumination involves negative thought patterns that often occur on repeat and reinforce the condition.

In depression, guilt and self-blame can be powerful themes. Rumination often involves going over past events critically and blaming yourself for things that are likely outside your control.

For instance, you may ruminate on guilty thoughts for not attending a social event due to low energy, which leads to increased feelings of depression.

For anxiety, rumination is often focused on the future. You may try to discover all the possibilities of something going wrong and be unable to stop thinking about them, despite them being outside your control.

A study in 2017 reported the significance of worry and rumination in reinforcing anxiety and depression,² respectively.

How To Know If You Have Anxiety Or Depression

What’s the Difference Between Panic Attacks, Anxiety Attacks, and Panic Disorder? 1/3 Panic Attacks

Despite being different conditions, its so common for anxiety and depression to occur simultaneously. Therefore, knowing which you have can be tricky. The answer may be both.

Its normal to experience symptoms of anxiety during stressful times, like if youre moving or about to give a big presentation. But if youre noticing youre feeling anxious for a more prolonged period of time, it might be helpful to consult with a trained mental health professional for an assessment. From there, you can ask for treatment options and recommendations. Theres lots of support out there for you, and you deserve it, Kate Rosenblatt, MA, LPC, LMHC said.

Diagnosis of either anxiety or depression requires a persistent time period of experienced symptoms and an appointment from a licensed therapist. Anxiety symptoms will likely be present for several months, and depressive symptoms generally must exist for at least several weeks. Additionally, symptoms must cause impairment. That is, they need to be interfering with your daily life and your ability to function.

Wondering if you have anxiety? Take our free anxiety test. If youre wondering if its depression, you can also take our depression test.

Also Check: How To Ease Anxiety Naturally

How Are They Related

Both depression and anxiety are very common and often happen together. About 60% of people with anxiety also have symptoms of depression, and vice versa. Each condition can make symptoms of the other get worse or last longer.

The same genes may be behind both conditions. Anxiety and depression could also stem from the same structures or processes in the brain. Stress and trauma early in life can trigger both depression and anxiety.

If you have anxiety, you may be at greater risk for depression. Experts say avoiding the things you fear might lead to depression.

You Dont Have To Deal With Depression And Anxiety Alone

Dealing with anxiety and depression can be overwhelming but you dont have to manage those symptoms on your own. Getting support can help you find relief.

Our qualified and compassionate therapists at Empire Psychological in Hamilton, Ontario, are here for you whether you need us in person or online, during the evenings or on weekends.

Don’t Miss: How Do You Know You Have Social Anxiety

Key Differences Between Anxiety And Depression

While anxiety and depression have a few symptoms in common, there are far more obvious differences. When you are struggling with depression, everything is slowed down. Your reactions are less animated and dulled, and in general you move slowly. Those with an anxiety disorder are just the opposite, as anxiety makes you more amped up, with thoughts furiously racing through your brain.

Mood Disorders Similar To Depression

Whats The Difference Between Anxiety And Social Anxiety

Indeed, sadness, depression, and anxiety are often triggered by life events – and the symptoms are not easily separated out, says Andrea Fagiolini, MD, a psychiatrist and medical director of the Bipolar Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“We see this very frequently,” he tells WebMD. “Financial, relationship, and family problems – all these can trigger anxiety and sadness, so we consider these feelings to be normal. They are not normal when the feelings are extremely intense, when they impair everyday functioning, affect quality of life. When all that is happening, it becomes difficult to solve the very problems that started the depression.”

In addition to anxiety and depression, there might be something else going on — bipolar disorder. This is a condition that involves shifts in a person’s mood from severe depression to manic phases – with soaring highs, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, impulsive decisions, reckless behavior, and poor judgment. In many cases there is normal mood in between the phases.

You May Like: How To Tell If Nausea Is From Anxiety

Anxiety And Depression Differences:

While excessive stress is the reason for anxiety and depression, it typically disappears when the relevant stressors disappear. However, chronic stress often escalates into worry or depression, which is why its important to eliminate or reduce stress at the initial stage.

Both anxiety and depression are outcomes of chronic stress. However, anxiety is generally considered a high-energy state, whereas depression a low-energy state. In short, a depressed individual often experiences a lot of anxiety, possibly even to the extent of having mild to severe panic attacks.

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

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?

The Relationship Between Depression And Anxiety Is Complicated

Anxiety VS Depression (How To Tell The Difference)

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.

You May Like: Is Xanax Good For Anxiety

Causes And Effects Of Anxiety

Individuals with a history of isolated and repeated trauma have a higher risk of developing anxiety, especially military personnel and those who were abused as children. Like depression, certain stressors like loss, stress and big life changes plus uncertain or high-pressure situations can trigger anxiety attacks.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Constantly feeling restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trouble concentrating

Depression and anxiety are diagnosed similarly. There is a fine line between being anxious and having an anxiety disorder, and it takes thorough evaluation for psychiatrists to effectively form a diagnosis and treat it accordingly.

The treatment methods for anxiety disorders are almost identical to those of depression.

  • Medications, like antidepressants, are used to treat anxiety disorders, as well.
  • Psychotherapy helps patients find the root of their problems and make peace with their past.
  • A combination of both forms of treatment is, once again, most effective.

You can also ease your anxiety on your own by performing breathing exercises, meditating and minimizing your caffeine and alcohol intake.

The Differences Between The Two Disorders

The best way to understand the difference between the two disorders is with the primary symptoms, starting with the mental symptoms.


  • Apprehension over what’s about to happen and what could happen in the future.
  • Worried thoughts, or a belief that something could go wrong.
  • Feeling like you need to run away or avoid things that could cause further anxiety.


  • Feeling of sadness about the future, as though it’s hopeless.
  • Listlessness, and a lack of belief that positive things will occur.
  • Little worry, but instead a certainty of future negative emotions. Possible suicidal thoughts.

Those with anxiety often find themselves feeling like something bad might happen and they’re worried it will. Those with depression often assume a bad future and don’t expect anything else or think there’s anything worth preventing.

Depression can occur after someone experiences anxiety, because someone that deals with severe anxiety may end up feeling drained and hopeless once their anxiety or anxiety attack is over. That’s why the two conditions can be difficult to tell apart. Similarly, those with depression can still fear certain things getting worse, despite already being of the belief that the future is less positive or bright.



  • Severe lack of energy or drive.
  • Flat affect along with slowed thinking and behaviors.
  • Severe appetite changes, headaches, and sleep problems.

Don’t Miss: How To Soothe Your Anxiety

What Does Anxiety Feel Like

Anxiety feels different for everyone, but it generally makes you feel tense and unable to relax. This is usually accompanied by a sense of dread or worry that you cant get rid of, and you might not be able to stop yourself from dwelling on a bad experience from your past or worrying about things that might happen in the future.

Obviously we all worry from time to time, but if your anxious thoughts are uncontrollable and regularly keep you awake at night or stop you from enjoying your life to the fullest, you might be suffering from anxiety.

Anxiety can have a physical effect on your body, too. Your breath and heartbeat might speed up, and you might feel restless and unable to sit still. You can also feel dizzy or have a churning feeling in your stomach, and could suffer a headache, sweating, and hot flushes.

Anxiety can also bubble over into a fully fledged panic attack.

What Is The Difference Between Depression And Anxiety

How Anxiety and Panic Attacks Differ

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 It Comes To Mood And Feelings

Depression is defined by having a low mood and/or a loss of interest or enjoyment in most activities, for two weeks or longer.If were talking about generalised anxiety disorder , its defined as having excessive anxiety and worry on most days for six months or more, and difficulty controlling these feelings.

– bowel problems – tightness or pain in the chest- a fast/racing heartbeat- shortness of breath.Keep in mind that any of these symptoms can point to signs of other problems with your physical health. So, if youre concerned, please speak with your GP.

The Main Difference Between Anxiety And Depression

Depression and anxiety often occur hand-in-hand, and there is some overlap in their features. Both conditions involve the experience of negative emotions and distress.

Although the experience of depression and anxiety is different for each individual and there are many psychological theories regarding the development of each, we can identify some general differences between the two.

Depression may be brought on by the loss of something important, like a goal. When it happens, you overanalyze the loss and come up with a strategy to produce a new goal or attainment. This kind of overanalyzing a situation is associated with anhedonia.

Anhedonia, a condition where you find it hard to feel pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, reduces your motivation to participate in activities. This may be an unconscious effort to conserve your energy, avoid further disappointment or discomfort, or avoid any goals that may seem unattainable to you.

In contrast, anxiety usually comes about when you perceive or face a threat to yourself. You respond to this threat by becoming hyper-focused on it, to the point of blocking everything else out. This is all in an effort to be able to rapidly notice if the threat becomes a reality, and then to avoid the danger it brings.

In broad terms, in depression there is often an emphasis on loss and a focus on the past, whereas anxiety is associated with a fear of something coming to pass and a focus on the future.

Read Also: Why Do I Feel Anxiety In My Stomach

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -