Anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders in America. Despite the two conditions overlap and comorbidity, let’s explore the causes and symptoms to better understand the differences.
What is depression?
Depression is a mental condition that leads to ongoing episodes of sadness. Depression is categorized by chronic and persistent sadness. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain; however, researchers do not have a concrete answer as to what causes this imbalance. Genetics play a significant role in depression symptomology. If one is predisposed to depressive symptoms due to genetics, if one encounters certain stressors, a depressive episode may be triggered. These stressors could include, death, loss, isolation, divorce, COVID-19, stress, and/or career stress. Those suffering from a depressive episode may experience the following symptoms, loss of enjoyment, decrease in appetite, insomnia or trouble sleeping, hopelessness, and/or suicidal thoughts. Remember that bad days and tough times are a part of life. It can be difficult to decipher everyday sadness from a true case of depression. Although depressive symptoms and triggers are unique for everyone, a few ways to lessen the symptoms and keep your brain more chemically balanced include, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising often, and practicing stress management. Treatment options for anxiety include attending therapy and counseling and taking prescribed medication. Both treatment options can be utilized in combination.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental condition that often co-occurs with depression. Anxiety is categorized by chronic and persistent anxiousness. The condition is categorized by a frequent pattern of phobias, panic attacks, and occasionally post-traumatic stressors. It is important to differentiate everyday stressors or nervousness to persistent anxiety. Individuals with a history of isolated and repeated trauma have a higher risk of developing anxiety. Common triggers that contribute to the effects of anxiety include life changes and uncertain or high-pressure situations including, death, loss, trauma, isolation, and other stressful experiences. Those suffering from a anxiety may experience the following symptoms, constantly feeling restless or tense, having a sense of impending danger, increased or irregular heart rate and blood pressure, hyperventilation or irregular breathing, feeling tired or weak, trouble concentrating. Treatment options for anxiety include attending therapy and counseling and taking prescribed medication, which can be utilized in combination. You can also ease your anxiety by practicing self-care regimens including, breathing exercises, meditation and minimizing caffeine and alcohol intake.
Knowing the difference between anxiety and depression will increase ability to recognize the warning signs in yourself and loved ones. Remember that both anxiety and depression are common and treatable. You can feel confident knowing that the effects of anxiety and depression can be managed with the right therapy, medication, and/or support.
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