Depression and anxiety can occur at the same time. In fact, it is estimated that 45% of people with anxiety disorders meet the criteria for a depressive disorder and vice-versa for primary depressive disorders. Each condition has its own cause, but similar symptoms and treatments can be shared.
Symptom Overlap and Differentiation
Some symptoms of depression and anxiety overlap, such as sleep issues, irritability, and concentration problems. However, there are some key differences that will help to distinguish between the two.
- It’s normal to feel irritated, sad or angry. It can be about feeling this way for days or weeks.
- Loss of enjoyment in activities.
- Feeling down or depressed all day.
- Changes in appetite and sleep
- Thoughts and feelings of inappropriate guilt.
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Low interest in sex.
- Loss of energy, tiredness or fatigue.
- Crying more than usual.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
Stress, fear, and worry are necessary for natural survival. It is common to be concerned before attending a major event or making an important decision. But chronic anxiety can lead to irrational thoughts and fears that hinder and disrupt everyday life. Physical symptoms and behavioral changes caused by generalized anxiety disorders include:
- Nervous or uncontrollable worry
- Heart pounding
- Difficulty relaxing
- Feeling on edge or keyed up
- Worrying about things you can and cannot control
- Feeling unsteady
- Indigestion and Diarrhea
- Reoccurring thoughts that don’t make sense
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling Faint or shaky
These symptoms are common and cover different types of anxiety and depression. People with emotional and behavioral problems such as depression and anxiety suffer from some of or all of these listed symptoms. A very strong study shows that mental health therapy can alleviate many of the causes of these and other symptoms. If you have been struggling with anxiety or depression for several weeks, months or years, it is best to consult a mental health professional for more comprehensive assessments and treatment recommendations.