What are the differences between depression and anxiety?
Both depression and anxiety can affect a person’s health at the same time. In some people, anxiety results in isolation which leads to a low mood because of a lack of enjoyable activities. However, in some people, anxiety may destroy someone’s energy to perform their favorite tasks. As a result, these people struggle hard to get back to the world after their absence. This results in nervousness. So how to deal with depression and anxiety?
It is very important to understand the relationship and difference between these two conditions. It will help you to determine the condition, its severity, and treatment. Both anxiety and depression can occur simultaneously.
Studies have shown that almost 50 percent of people with one mental disorder can have other conditions too. Each condition has its own causes, but its symptoms and treatments can be related.
What are the symptoms of depression and anxiety?
Anxiety and depression share some common symptoms, but few differences will help to distinguish between these two. Their treatment also varies according to the severity and type of the problem.
Feeling low, distressed, and sad are common in most individuals. But if these symptoms persist, then it can be alarming. The main symptoms of depression include:
- Fatigue, low energy, and laziness during most of the day
- Difficulty in making decisions, concentering or remembering the things
- Upset stomach, loss of appetite, and other gastrointestinal problems
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Mood swings, anger, sadness, irritability, helplessness, guilty, and thoughts of death are some other common symptoms of depression.
Anxiety can strike anybody at any time, and it is quite usual for a person to experience it before a major event. It can be devastating if it persists and interferes with your routine tasks, thoughts, and decisions. Common symptoms caused by anxiety include:
- Muscle cramps and tightness
- Racing heartbeat
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Grinding teeth
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble recalling
- Panic and distress
How to self-examine the symptoms of anxiety and depression?
Everyone knows what is normal for them. If you are facing something unusual or experiencing behaviors that are not typical, then it means there is something to get worried about. Here you need to self-examine your symptoms before reaching out to a doctor.
There are several online self-examine tests, apps, and books available that will help you better understand your conditions and practice different skills to target these symptoms.
Depression and anxiety medication
Both depression and anxiety can be treated side by side because the two conditions have almost the same symptoms. One medication can be helpful to treat both conditions. But for that, you need to consult your doctor first.
- Usually, antidepressants are used to treat both anxiety and depression. There are many types of these drugs, but their use depends upon the type and severity of your condition. There are certain risks associated with these drugs, so it is highly advisable to seek the advice of a doctor before starting these drugs.
- Antianxiety drugs are usually used to treat the low to mild symptoms of anxiety. These are not much effective for depression. Also, these drugs should be taken only for a short duration because of their addictive nature.
- In case, antidepressants fail to work, mood stabilizers are used to treat anxiety and depression.
When to consult a doctor?
It is quite normal to have depressed or sad feelings occasionally, but if these symptoms persist, then you need to talk to a doctor. If your symptoms last more than two weeks, then it is surely an indication of anxiety or depression.
If you are not feeling well, feeling helpless, having disturbed sleep patterns, and mood swings, then make an appointment to see your doctor.
Explain everything with your doctor, be honest, and let your doctor fully understand your conditions to get the best possible treatment.
How can I manage my symptoms?
In case, if you are experiencing the problem of anxiety and depression, you must see your doctor first. In addition to that, you may follow different strategies to make yourself comfortable as much as you can. These strategies will help someone find relief from the symptoms of anxiety and depression. These strategies may not work equally well for everyone or possibly may not work each time.
- Keep one thing in mind, that both anxiety and depression are medical disorders. They have no concern with the failure or success of an individual. Do not feel sorry for what you have not done, you have not achieved or accomplished.
- When you are undergoing the condition of anxiety or depression, keep yourself busy with things that you have control over. Do things that make you happy. Complete a task to rearrange your bookshelf or organize your wardrobe. That will give you a feeling of accomplishment.
- Make a routine and stick to it. Making a routine will help you control the symptoms of anxiety and depression by giving you a sense of control.
- Improper sleep patterns can have a severe impact on worsening your anxiety conditions. It is quite important to stick with a proper sleep routine. Fix your time, turns off the light, make yourself comfortable, and remove all the objects that may distract you. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep and stick with that schedule.
- Nourish your body by eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, salads, nuts, and nutritious homemade drinks. Develop the habit of a morning or evening walk. It is one of the most effective ways to alleviate your mood, control blood pressure, provide energy, and treat anxiety and depression. Alternatively, you can try relaxation techniques like yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation to make you feel comfortable.