Anxiety vs Depression: Know the Similarity and Difference
The terms “anxious” as well as “depressed” get unnerved around a lot in an informal conversation, and for good reason: the two are common emotions that a person may experience, which occurs routinely in response to high-stakes or most likely dangerous circumstances (in the case of anxiety) or upsetting, dissatisfying conditions (in the case of depression).
The association between these emotions and their related clinical conditions, anxiety disorders as well as mood disorders - is complex and rather idiosyncratic. For one individual, anxiety might bring about escaping and isolation, and isolation, consecutively, might bring about a lack of opportunity for enjoyable experiences and then, low mood. For other person, feeling down may zap them of the energy to do things they characteristically enjoy, and attempts to re-connect with the world after being out of practice may give rise to some sort of nervousness.
Having a perception of the differences between the two emotions and characterizing the seriousness of the problem can help you to decide how to go about feeling better.
The Association between Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression share a biological source. Constant states of anxiety or low mood – similar to those experienced by individuals with clinical anxiety and mood disorders - include modifications in neurotransmitter function. Low levels of serotonin are found to play a key role in both, as do other brain chemicals such as dopamine and epinephrine.
While the biological underpinnings of these troubles are comparable, anxiety as well as depression is intentionally experienced in a different manner. In this way, these two states may be believes to be the flipsides of the same coin.
As stated above, anxiety and depression can crop up sequentially - one in reaction to the other, or they can co-arise as well. When anxiety and mood problems reach the verge for clinical diagnosis at the same time, the specific diagnoses are measured as comorbid conditions.
Let’s see some distinctions in Psychological Features
Anxiety and depression have separate psychological features.
Mental markers of anxiety may involve:
- Concern related to the immediate or long-term future
- Irrepressible, at times racing, thoughts regarding if something is going wrong
- Thinking that it is better to keep away from circumstances that could bring about the feelings of anxiety with the intention that the feelings and thoughts don’t “get totally out of hand”
- If thoughts in relation to death are present, they are about fearing death as a result of perceived danger of physical signs or predictable dangerous outcomes
Based upon the nature of the anxiety trouble, these mental markers may differ slightly. For instance, a person with generalized anxiety disorder may be anxious about a variety of topics, events, or activities. A person with social anxiety disorder is more prone to fear negative assessment or denial by others and to be worried about meeting new individuals or other socially challenging circumstances. Obsessions - impractical thoughts or mental impulses (at times with a magical quality) that jut over everyday worries - are the characteristic mental sign of anxiety in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Simply put, those with anxiety are psychologically worried with anxious thoughts to an extent that is inconsistent with definite risk or in situations where there is really nothing wrong.
Mental markers of depression may involve:
- Hypotheses that the future is discouraging
- Disbelief that positive experiences will take place in the future - for themselves, for others, or for the world - and thus that “it is not worth trying” to think or feel in a different way
- Thought of insignificance
If thoughts about death come into mind, they may originate from a persistent belief that life is not worth living or that the person is a burden on others. In cases of moderate to severe depression, more definite suicidal thoughts can be present.
In major depressive disorder, these kinds of thoughts are unrelenting most of the day, more days than not for weeks on end. If a person wavers between a very low as well as very high mood states, then a diagnosis of bipolar disorder may apply. On the other hand, for any variation of a mood disorder, the low mood state is most probably to be characterized by the type of thinking as stated above.
Distinctions in Physical Features
The physical state of anxiety can be stated in general as that of discriminating arousal. Specific features may include:
- Augmented heart rate, blood pressure, sweating
- Muscle tension
- Trouble while falling or staying asleep because of racing thoughts or other physical signs
- Gastrointestinal problems (for instance, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation)
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble while concentrating due to state of agitation or racing thoughts
Depression is first and foremost characterized by alterations in usual physical processes from baseline, such as:
- Physical pain (unidentified)
- Moving or talking more slowly than usual
- Loss of appetite or significant increase in appetite
- Lack of energy
- Sleeping much more or much less than is characteristic as a result of ruminative thought processes or low energy
- Trouble in concentrating, focusing, and memory because of ruminative thought processes or other physical signs
In the end, the physical signs of either anxiety or depression can be draining for the afflicted person.
How severe are your signs?
It is not odd to experience short periods of low mood or anxiety, chiefly in response to certain life stressors (for instance, loss of a loved one, receiving a diagnosis of a physical illness, beginning of a new job or school, experiencing financial troubles, etc.).
To meet the diagnostic verge of an anxiety disorder, on the other hand, the signs must be constant enough (often for several months) and disturbing.
The diagnosis of mood disorders occurs when the connected signs crop up more often than not for at least a couple of weeks.
To start the evaluation of the severity of your signs:
- It is important to augment your mental health knowledge by reading about typical presentations of mild, moderate, and severe versions of a problem such as those of depression or anxiety.
- Keep a tract on your psychological as well as physical signs for a week or two to get a precise illustration of fluctuations in mood and anxiety.