Mental health has long been a hush conversation. Before the 2010’s, it seemed like the idea of depression or anxiety was just something a person felt temporarily. Thankfully now, there is more awareness regarding mental health conditions and it is less of a conversation only to be said in whispers.
Anxiety and depression are two mental health conditions anyone can have or may be experiencing without any knowledge about it. Each is often wrongly simplified saying that an individual with depression is someone who always feels sad. Another is that people with anxiety are those who are constantly anxious or shy. These are ill-fitted statements because just like any condition, they’re more complex than one may think. Let’s explore anxiety and depression to better understand each and highlight the differences between the two.
Anxiety is the reaction of the mind and/or body to a stressful unfamiliar situation. Anxiety disorders are defined by a general feeling of excessive fear that can be debilitating. Symptoms can vary from restlessness, difficulty concentrating, always feeling on the edge, and can even draw physical reactions. This include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy, headaches, and more.
Feeling anxious occasionally is a normal feeling that you may get during challenging or nerve-wracking situations like giving a speech or presenting a new topic. If feelings of anxiety and symptoms have become debilitating then that is when it may be a disorder. If it affects you from your daily life and how you live it. For example, if one feels unable to go to the office or to school if one avoids contact with friends and or family if one avoids situations or locations that have caused them to feel anxious. If it feels like anxiety is already taking overyour daily life, it may be time to get some help.
Depression causes a feeling of sadness within an individual which can decrease a person’s ability to work, study, or simply function. Symptoms of depression can vary from mild to severe, depending on one’s condition. This includes fatigue, constant sadness, losing interest in things once pleasurable, avoiding people, feeling helpless, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, feelings of worthlessness, and many more. Symptoms may also include thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Feeling sorrowful regarding a situation wherein rejection may have taken place is a normal reaction. Just like anxiety, the difference between a momentary feeling and having the condition is how it affects your daily life.
Experiencing symptoms of depression can happen for days, and it can affect your academic, personal, professional life. One example you can take into account is barely getting sleep because you have disturbing thoughts that cause insomnia.
An anxiety disorder is defined by that never-ending feeling of anxiousness whilst depression is defined by the never-ending feeling of sadness. However, people with depression, anxiety, or both can recover from it as it is treatable with therapy and/or medication. If you think you might have, try to seek help from professionals.