The DIFFERENCE between anxiety and depression

There are some similarities and differences between anxiety and depression and it is good to know such, as both conditions are quite common.  It is important to know if you are struggling with anxiety or depression so you can get the help you need, as there are many helpful treatments available.

Anxiety is a state where a person is in a state of worry, tension and apprehension. It is a psychological response and/or emotional response to known or/and unknown causes that may range from a normal reaction to an extreme dysfunction (this is indicative of an anxiety disorder) that affects, adherence to treatment, decision making, and/or quality of life. It may also impair the normal functioning of a person.

In the worst case scenario a person may develop one of the anxiety disorders, which are a group of mental disorders that are characterized by intense anxiety or by maladaptive behavior designed to relieve the anxiety. They include:

  1. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  2. Panic disorder
  3. Separation anxiety disorder
  4. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  5. Social anxiety disorder
  6. Agoraphobia
  7. Substance-induced anxiety disorder
  8. Specific Phobias
  9. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety and Depression

  • Feeling powerless
  • Feeling apprehensive
  • Having a sense of impending danger, doom, or panic.
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Feeling tired or weak

Treatment Of Anxiety

Anxiety can be treated medically, independently or with psychological counseling. Ultimately, the treatment method depends on the patient's preferences and the cause of the anxiety. More often the treatments will consist of a combination of behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and medications (these include Diazepam, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Clonazepam, Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, and Escitalopram).

See the anxiety and depression test page

Sometimes anxiety and depression go together. Also, alcoholism or other coexisting conditions can have a very strong effect on the person, so treating the anxiety disorder sometimes has to wait until the other coexisting conditions are brought under control.


Depression is a mental disorder that presents with loss of interest or pleasure, disturbance in mood, feeling of low self-worth or guilt, decreased energy, disturbed appetite or sleep, and poor concentration. Anxiety and depression may also occur together. The above problems can become recurrent or chronic and lead to substantial impairment in an individual’s ability to take care of their everyday responsibilities. When depression is at its worst, it might lead to suicide. The different forms of depression include:

  1. Major depression
  2. Persistent depressive disorder
  3. Psychotic depression
  4. Postpartum depression
  5. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  6. Bipolar disorder

Signs And Symptoms Of Depression

  • Persistent anxious, sad feelings.
  • Decreased energy and fatigue.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or helplessness.
  • Restlessness or irritability.
  • Feelings of pessimism or hopelessness.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities that were once pleasurable, this includes sex.
  • Difficulty in remembering details, making decisions, and concentrating.
  • Excessive sleeping, insomnia, or early-morning wakefulness. 
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Headaches, aches or pains, cramps, or digestive problems that don’t stop even with treatment.

Treatment Of Depression

Depression can be effectively treated even in people with severe depression, yet the treatment is usually more effective if it’s started earlier.

A depressed person has to first visit a doctor or mental health specialist. Certain medical conditions such as viruses or a thyroid disorder and some medications can cause the same symptoms like depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing an interview, a physical exam and lab tests. If the doctor doesn’t find any medical condition that may be causing the depression, he or she then does a psychological evaluation.

The doctor may refer the depressed person to a mental health professional, who would discuss with him or her the complete history of his or her symptoms. The mental health specialist may also discuss with the depressed person on his or her family history of depression and mental disorders, and his or her drug abuse. It is important that the patient be completely open and honest about his or her life and symptoms, so the professional can make a correct diagnosis.

Once diagnosed, a person with high anxiety and depression can be treated using several methods. The most common treatments are psychotherapy and medication, which have had fairly good success at keeping symptoms at bay or eliminating them all together.

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