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Anxiety Vs Depression – Differences and Similarities

Novel coronavirus lockdown brought a lot of changes in people’s lifestyles. A lot of middle-class families got under financial traps while unemployment and a low economy were hitting our country. The health sector was the most affected sector in this phase.

When we talk about health, mental health somewhere hides in. According to the ‘Rebooting 2020: A Story of COVID-19 and Shifting Perceptions’ survey by Mavericks India, sixty-one percent of Indians are experiencing mental-health-related issues during this lockdown. This means that almost every second person in the country is undergoing some mental health issue unknowingly. The reason can be a financial downfall, job loss, loneliness, and staying at home for a long. A fixed rigid routine at a rigid place can cause anxiety and hamper your mental peace. Hence, cases of mental health are very common nowadays. Mental health issues such as anxiety disorder, panic disorder, depression can hamper your daily life Initially, Mental health issues feel small and ignorable. But this is the most common mistake we all do. Ignoring initial symptoms of mental health issues can be a huge problem in further future.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a non-medical term that is a sensation or feeling of fear of something bad about to happen. Basically feeling you get when you are worrying or fearing about something particular. Anxiety is associated with stress. Hence, it causes physical symptoms like muscle tension too. An anxiety attack takes place when there is something particular triggering the person. The majority of the times anxiety takes place due to some event or situation. Though, this is not the case always.

The term “anxiety attack” is not listed in the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM-V).

Also Read – Prevailing myths of Depression

What can cause anxiety ?

  • There may be some particular reasons like exam fear, workplace issue, workload, relationship tensions, health issues, etc.
  • It is not a condition that can be diagnosed.
  • Anxiety is much less severe than a panic attack
  • It develops gradually when a person starts feeling anxious.
  • Physical symptoms may include racing heartbeat, stomach ache, muscle pain, etc.

Symptoms of an Anxiety Attack

An anxiety attack usually involves fastening heartbeat, fear, lightheadedness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and irrational thoughts.

Some common symptoms include

  • worry and apprehension
  • restlessness
  • sleep problems
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • sadness
  • feeling pressure and hurried

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder. Basically, the intense and constant feeling of being sad, lonely, loss, or angry hampers your daily life. Also, it is quite common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source estimates that 8.1 percent of American adults ages 20 and over had depression in any given 2-week period from 2013 to 2016. Depression affects people in different ways. In some cases, it can hamper work-life that results in loss of time and working quality. It may also affect relationships and any chronic disease.

Some chronic health conditions that can worsen depression are:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

It’s very crucial to understand that feeling low or sad is a normal part of life. Ups and downs are a part of life. Everyone experiences such events in life that make them sad and lonely. Depression is not similar to that. If you are feeling low and sad on a regular basis and sometimes even without any particular incident then maybe you are clinically depressed. Depression is a serious health condition that needs treatment. Those who seek treatment can see improvement in symptoms in just a few weeks.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression is a constant feeling of being sad. Depression affects you differently in different stages. At some stages it can affect your mood, at others it can affect your body. Symptoms might be constant or may come and go. The Symptoms of depression may vary from Men to women to children.

Also Read- Your Mental health is equally important as Physical health

Symptoms of Depression in Men

  • mood- anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness
  • emotional well-being- feeling empty, sad, hopeless
  • behavior-  loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high-risk activities
  • sexual interest- reduced sexual desire, lack of sexual performance
  • cognitive abilities-  inability to concentrate, difficulty completing tasks, delayed responses during conversations
  • sleep patterns- insomnia, restless sleep, excessive sleepiness, not sleeping through the night
  • physical well-being-  fatigue, pains, headache, digestive problems

Symptoms of Depression in Women

  • mood –  irritability
  • emotional well-being-  feeling sad or empty, anxious or hopeless
  • behavior-  loss of interest in activities, withdrawing from social engagements, thoughts of suicide
  • cognitive abilities-thinking or talking more slowly
  • sleep patterns- difficulty sleeping through the night, waking early, sleeping too much
  • physical well-being- decreased energy, greater fatigue, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches, pain, headaches, increased cramps

Symptoms of depression in Children

  • mood – irritability, anger, mood swings, crying
  • emotional well-being- feelings of incompetence (e.g. “I can’t do anything right”) or despair, crying, intense sadness
  • behavior –getting into trouble at school or refusing to go to school, avoiding friends or siblings, thoughts of death or suicide
  • cognitive abilities – difficulty concentrating, decline in school performance, changes in grades
  • sleep patterns – difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • physical well-being – loss of energy, digestive problems, changes in appetite, weight loss or gain

Causes of Depression

  • Family history – You are at a higher risk of having depression if someone in your family had depression. That means it can be passed on genetically.
  • Early childhood trauma- Any painful childhood trauma can affect you in your future too. A sense of fear always stays. Fear that you experieneced as a kid often leave the mark.
  • Brain structure. There’s a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. However, scientists don’t know if this happens before or after the onset of depressive symptoms.
  • Medical conditions. Certain conditions may put you at higher risk, such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Drug use. A history of drug or alcohol misuse can affect your risk.

Hence, depression is not basic sadness. It doesn’t need any particular reason to happen. However, people who experience constant sadness due to different mishappening in their lives are more likely to be depressed at some point in their lives.

Anxiety and Depression

Both of them are two different mental health conditions. Still, both of them share a lot of similarities and connections. Depression and anxiety often occur together. Hence, they are said to be interconnected. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 50 percent of people with depression also have an anxiety disorder. However, co-dependence is obvious as anxiety frequently causes depressed states and major depressive disorder can result in anxiousness.

Both the conditions are capable of hampering your daily life. Altogether, depression and anxiety may feel difficult to explain. But, it is very important to share it out, with your doctor, family, or anyone you feel comfortable with. Mental Health has been a taboo in our country for quite a long now. Educating yourself about mental health can not only help you but can also make you understand a lot about how a patient feels. You can help your loved ones who are suffering from any mental health condition. Just remember, mental health conditions need to be shared, treated, and most importantly acknowledged. Stay healthy and happy!

Eat – Sleep – Exercise – REPEAT…

**Stay Healthy Stay Fit with more articles on Health and Fitness.

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