Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are two different mental health conditions that can affect a person’s mood, thoughts, and behaviour. While they have some similar symptoms, they are different conditions and require different treatments.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that can be mild or severe. It is a normal response to stress, and everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. However, when anxiety becomes excessive and interferes with daily activities, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Mental symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • excessive worrying about things going wrong
  • fear of losing control
  • frightening thoughts
  • fear of injury, illness, or death
  • feelings of detachment or unreality
  • racing thoughts
  • situation avoidance
  • poor concentration
  • feelings of confusion
  • becoming easily distracted
  • poor memory
  • hypervigilance regarding potential threats

Physical symptoms include:

  • elevated heart rate
  • palpitations
  • shortness of breath
  • rapid breathing
  • chest pain or pressure
  • feeling of choking
  • dizziness and lightheadedness
  • sweating
  • hot flashes or chills
  • digestive upsets
  • shaking
  • tingling or numbness in the arms and legs
  • dry mouth

Depression on the other hand, is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. Depression is more than just feeling sad or “down in the dumps.” It is a serious mental health condition that can impact a person’s ability to function in daily life. Depression can range from mild to severe, and can interfere with a person’s ability to work, study, and engage in social activities. People with depression may experience the following mental symptoms:

  • persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness or pessimism
  • feeling sad, anxious, or empty
  • irritability
  • loss of interest in hobbies or pleasurable activities
  • thoughts of death or suicide

Physical symptoms include:

  • moving or talking more slowly than usual
  • decreased energy
  • feeling restless
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty sleeping
  • appetite and weight changes
  • aches and pains or digestive issues without another cause

While anxiety and depression can occur together, they are different conditions and require different treatments. People may however experience anxiety and depression simultaneously. In fact, nearly 50% of people with depression also receive a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

The relationship between these two conditions is complicated, and one may occur because of the other. People with anxiety may avoid potentially stressful situations and become isolated, which can then lead to depression.

It is important to speak with a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, as they can help you identify the specific condition and develop a treatment plan to manage your symptoms. Treatment for anxiety and depression may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. It is important to find the right treatment plan for you, as it can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.