The Differences between Anxiety and Depression

By Funmi Salami

A person with anxiety doesnt necessarily have depression and a person who is depressed doesnt always experience anxiety. However, given the similarities in physiological states of those with anxiety and depression, and also given the similar types of environmental triggers, it is no surprise that a person with anxiety is often depressed as well.

Symptoms of depression include intense feelings of sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness for weeks, months or even years.

Typically, a person suffering from depression will experience the afore mentioned symptoms throughout the day, with the morning hours generally being the most intense. In addition to the earlier mentioned symptoms, a person who is depressed may also experience, fatigue, feelings of guilt and insomnia or hypersomnia. In addition, lack of concentration and indeciveness are also symptoms that may impair the affected person. In most cases, a depressed individual will stop participating in things they once found pleasurable and instead experience restlessness, irritability and thoughts of death or suicide. A significant weight loss or weight gain in a short period of time can also be endured by someone plagued with depression.

Scientists believe that mood disorders are a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. The brain contains neurotransmitters that secrete or receive chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin which regulate mood and emotions. Studies indicate that those with depression are lacking one or both of these chemicals or have a defective neurotransmitter. In either case, the fact still remains that there is a lack of something in the brain which then results in a mood disorder.

Environmental triggers of depression include stressful events and medications whether legal or illegal. In addition, someone who displays a pessimistic personality is also likely to be afflicted with depression.

Anxiety can also cause depression because a person with anxiety tends to be very pessimistic and worries about unrealistic scenarios that are overwhelmingly negative. Sometimes anxiety can make a person lonely or difficult to understand, which may aggravate depression. In addition, feelings of hopelessness about their situation can lead to depression. Being both depressed and anxious increases the likelihood that a person will have suicidal or violent thoughts.

There is a bright side however, both disorders can be treated and are generally treatable with the same methods. Treatment for these disorders can include cognitive behavior therapy or psychotherapy as well as medications. These methods allow the patient to recognize symptoms and deal with them in a positive way as well as learning how to prevent them all together.

If you believe you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of either of these disorders, seek the assistance of your mental healthcare provider. - 30540

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