Depression and anxiety are among the most prevalent mental health illnesses. They are two distinct mental conditions. However, their symptoms, triggers, and treatment regimens frequently coincide.

Only an experienced anxiety psychiatrist can diagnose whether or not you're afflicted with anxiety or depression. In some instances, patients can experience both at the same time.

Learning about the key differences between anxiety and depression can give you a better understanding of your condition and proper treatment.

What's The Difference Between Anxiety Disorders And Major Depression?

Despite the overlapping commonalities, anxiety and depression have distinguishing symptoms.

Patients who are depressed glide in their movements and have muted reactions. They are less likely to be concerned about the future because they are resigned to believing that their existence is pointless.

On the other hand, those who suffer from anxiety disorders are agitated and have uncontrollable thoughts. They are often worried about their actions' outcomes, often resulting in erratic and uncontrollable behaviors.

The Critical Relationship Between Anxiety And Depression

Many people diagnosed with depression experience anxious distress besides having no drive or a low mood. They tend to worry a lot and often feel restless and frustrated. They always think that something terrible will happen to them or that they will lose control of any situation.

People who experience the combined symptoms of anxiety and depression are at higher risk for suicide. They need consistent and more intensive treatment. If you're confronting the symptoms below or know somebody who is, seek the support of a mental health professional, particularly a psychiatrist. They will be able to assess the condition further and create the most suitable management plan for it.

Early Psychological and Physical Signs Of Anxiety Or Depression

When diagnosing depression or anxiety, most psychiatrists often watch out for the following behavioral and physical symptoms:

  • Lack of drive or avoidance of habits or interests
  • Racing thoughts
  • Excessive worry and fear
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fast heartbeat or increased heart rate
  • Chest tightening
  • Shaking or feeling jittery
  • Constant negative thoughts
  • Isolation
  • Reccurring feelings of loneliness
  • Inability to focus and make sound decisions
  • Change in personality, e.g., suddenly being withdrawn

Serious Signs and Symptoms: Generalized Anxiety Disorder And/Or Major Depressive Disorder

Patients who suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder often manifest the following signs and symptoms for more than six months.

To be classified as depression and anxiety, the symptoms must have adverse effects on a person's social, occupational, and personal functions.

  • Muscle tension
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling of overfatigue or constantly feeling tired
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Sudden significant increase or decrease in weight
  • Recurring thoughts of self-harm or death

People who exhibit these symptoms may also be diagnosed with panic disorder, chronic depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or a depressive disorder caused by another illness. If they also have manic symptoms, they may also be considered for bipolar disorder.

More importantly, if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, immediately call the nearest suicide prevention organization for help. You can also reach out to the following:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine - 800-950-NAMI (6264)

These similarities and differences between anxiety and depressive disorders are just scratching the surface. Only a trained and licensed psychiatrist can make a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis.

They will use psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral, and talk therapy) and/or psychopharmacology (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, beta-blockers, and other antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs) for treatment.

Lifestyle changes, including an improvement in diet and eating habits, leveraging support groups and internal networks, and avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs, can also be used.

Consult a Trusted Anxiety Psychiatrist

Are you struggling with anxious and depressive traits? Do you want a definite diagnosis between anxiety and depression from a psychiatrist? Reach out to Luminous Vitality Behavioral Health today.

Our resident doctor and primary care physician, Dr. Ronald Lee, provides in-person and telehealth psychiatric consultations to treat depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other mental disorders. Dr. Lee is a certified anxiety psychiatrist with an educational background in medicine at the top institutions in the United States, including Harvard Medical School, Georgetown University, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Michigan.

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