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Friday, December 10, 2010

Depression Or Anxiety?

 By Karina Knight

Photo: healthspablog.org

For common people telling the difference between depression and anxiety is extremely difficult, but in fact these two are very different from each other.
As one of my friends says - every depressed person is the same, but anxiety is very individual. And he knows what he is talking about; he's been battling his anxiety for years. Anxiety and depression are often mixed up, because they often come in 2-for-1 package. Anxiety produces a lot of fear which can lead to a major depression.
So what are the differences and similarities of anxiety and depression symptoms?
Differences:
Anxiety
  • Fear of death
  • Overwhelming fear, panic, excessive nervous energy
  • Constant tension, difficulties with breathing, nausea, diarrhoea, palpitations, agitation
  • Constant worry about doing something just right
Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling of sadness, doom, lack of energy, loss of hope
  • Body moves slowly, lacks proper motor functions
  • Lack of interest and ambition in anything
Hey, it looks like it's impossible to miss the difference in signs, doesn't it? But let's have a look at the rest of them, and you'll see where the catch is.
Similarities:
Anxiety
  • Excessive guilt, worthlessness (because of inability to overcome the anxiety)
  • No appetite or sexual interest
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Inability to function normally, fatigue, lack of concentration (due to paralyzing fear)
  • Struggling to sleep (panic attacks, tension)
  • Headaches, tension, muscle pain
Depression
  • Excessive guilt, worthlessness
  • No appetite or sexual interest
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Inability to function normally, fatigue, lack of concentration (due to lack of emotional and physical energy)
  • Struggling to sleep or oversleeping
  • Headaches, tension, muscle pain
You see? Unless your doctor is digging deep into the causes of your mental and physical changes you are more likely to be diagnosed with the depression than anxiety.
What does it mean for you? Nothing major in a short run, unless you decide that taking some antidepressants is enough. I highly recommend going into therapy - a skilled specialist will spot your anxiety and help you to change the diagnosis and maybe even your antidepressant drugs.
My friend said cognitive-behavioural therapy helped him a lot, as in short sessions you are taught where your thoughts and fears are coming from and given the techniques of how to fight your anxiety.
The fact is, anxiety in contrast with depression is never going away, but you learn how to spot the signs and stop or minimize the effects in order to live a normal life. What is your experience? Do you know anyone with anxiety living with a wrong diagnosis?
http://freeofworry.org/signs-of-depression/depression-or-anxiety/. I add more information about depression and how to overcome it on my blog http://freeofworry.org

6 comments:

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  5. Along with seeing your family Mental Health Service doctor for possible drug treatments for depression, research has shown that Counseling Therapy is also recommended for the best treatment of clinical depression. And Online Counseling has shown to be as effective and sometimes even more effective in treatment of both depression and anxiety.

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