How to differentiate between anxiety and depression can we understand our emotions?
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How to differentiate between anxiety and depression can we understand our emotions?

Depression and anxiety are generally known as common mental disorders. People are generally confused that both depression and anxiety are similar, as it shares some symptoms same. But mental health professionals clearly say “It is not true, Depression and anxiety is not similar and both have distinct symptoms, causes, and treatment”. Due to this unawareness, people may undergo inappropriate treatment which may result in complications in mental health. Let’s see the differentiation between depression and anxiety.


In an overview, Depression is a mood disorder that shows the prolonged feeling of distress and loss of interest. It is a common but serious mood disorder that affects human cognition, behavior, and emotion. The prevalence of depression is 5% of adults in the total population. Depression is common in all age groups. But, the adult age group occupies a higher percentage that constituting 5% of the total population. Nowadays, depression is considered to be occurring in even children. Depression can co-occur with other physical impairments most common among mid-agers

Symptoms of depression

Although depression may occur only one time in a lifetime, it may give multiple episodes during a lifetime. During these episodes, the following symptoms will exist.

  • The feeling of sadness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Loss of interest in any activity
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • A feeling of guilt, worthlessness,
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Sleeplessness or oversleeping
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Struggles in decision-making and problem-solving
  • Felling of restlessness
  • Laziness
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Avoid social situation
  • Frustration
  • Low tolerance


Not every person shows all the above symptoms. The occurrence of the above symptoms may vary from person to person. The treatment of depression is based on the severity of the above symptoms.


The causes of depression are as follows,

  • Family history and Heredity
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Physical illness and medication
  • Traumatic events
  • Grief (loss of a loved one)
  • Poverty
  • Personality traits
  • Medication and substance use


As we see before, treatment of depression is based on the severity of symptoms. The treatment may exist in the following ways.

PSYCHOTHERAPY – this is an evidence-based treatment in which the clients are allowed to understand their problem and the therapist will help them to overcome depression. E.g.  CBT.

COUNSELLING – This treatment is the most prominently used therapy in which counselors help depressive people by listening to their problems and providing proper knowledge to get out of depression.

MEDICATION– Depression can also be treated by proving medication. Medication includes,

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
  • Atypical antidepressants
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).


Anxiety disorder is a typical mental disorder that shows the symptoms of fear, restlessness as well as increased heartbeat, and sweating. Individuals with anxiety disorder experience feeling fear or anxiety which interferes with the normal functioning of the human being. The prevalence of Anxiety disorder is 12% which ranges from mild to severe. There is a gender difference in anxiety disorder. Women tend to show higher susceptibility than men. It is evident; that panic disorder may associate with agoraphobia – fear, and avoidance of situations that might provoke anxiety stimuli.


  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling of choking
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Abdominal distress or nausea
  • Shortness of breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Avoiding social situations.


The causes of anxiety disorder may be

  • Genetic characteristics
  • Biological reason
  • Cognition or thinking pattern
  • Environmental factors such as
  • Socio-economic factor
  • Family background
  • Childhood experience
  • Trauma


Early recognition and appropriate treatment are mandatory to enhance the quality of life of people with anxiety disorder. The untreated anxiety disorder may lead to extreme health risks and associate with other mental disorders. The treatment includes,

EXPOSURE TECHNIQUE- In this, with the proper guidance, people are exposed to a fearful situation where they are advised to practice relaxation techniques at the same time.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY This therapy includes, providing knowledge about fearful stimuli in the aspect of cognition, behaviour, and emotion and making them understand and helping them to overcome by providing some techniques.

SOCIAL SUPPORTProviding social support may rescue people from an anxiety disorder.

DRUG THERAPYAnxiety disorder can be treated by providing medications.


According to psychologists,  A mental health disorder characterized by having prolonged extreme sadness and loss of interest in any kind of activities is called depression on the other hand anxiety disorder is characterized by intense, excessive worry and anxiety about everyday events which also as extreme heart rate and breathing and believed that depression and anxiety can occur simultaneously  – anxiety can become part of one’s depression at the same time extreme anxiety can lead to depression.

Mental Health professionals mentioned that the treatment for depression and anxiety disorder may be similar and are equally effective in both conditions. At the same time, there will be slight differences in applying those treatments to both. They also suggested that For people who have doubt about whether they have an anxiety disorder or depression, their advice is that, if significant enough to disrupt daily life and require professional help, they should be seeking treatment significant enough to disrupt daily life, require professional help, rather than splitting hairs on the diagnosis.                       

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