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What is the difference between anxiety and depression?

Oct 28


The answer isn't as simple as you might think. The two go hand in hand and can often make life very difficult for the sufferer.

Anxiety is a natural emotional response to an external stimulus or pressure that causes physical, psychological or emotional tension or unease. It is a normal emotion experienced by all people at some point in their lives.

A panic attack, for example, can cause feelings of anxiety and sufferers will often feel fear, unease or apprehension. They may also be hypersensitive to their surroundings and may struggle with claustrophobia because of their condition.

The feeling of having an impending sense of doom is commonplace in the anxiety ridden person's life. They may feel as though their world is crashing in on them and that there is no escape. Looking for mental health services?

Depression, however, is more than just an overwhelming feeling of sadness or lack of interest in things we love. Depression can be described as a chemical imbalance within the brain which causes sufferers to feel hopeless about life and lose interest in everyday living. Using alcohol, drugs or other substances to excess can cause the sufferer to become depressed once they start to withdraw from their substance of choice.

Anxiety and depression often occur together and it is important that sufferers receive treatment for both at the same time. Treating one without treating the other will usually leave a person with ongoing feelings of unease or self loathing.

It is important to note, however, that anxiety and depression cannot be treated with medication alone. In order for a person to overcome these debilitating conditions they must also learn how to manage their stress levels and learn new coping strategies. Meditation techniques, yoga and counselling are all great ways of managing both anxiety and depression. These alternative treatments improve quality of life for the sufferer. Medication can also greatly improve quality of life and improve symptoms.

Visit live for Life Elevated Psychiatry for mental health service needs and to help understand how depression and anxiety can be treated.