Anxiety Vs. Depression – How Do They Differ And What Should You Do?

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More and more people worldwide are reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression. The increase in numbers could be due to different factors. Nonetheless, it remains alarming to know so many people are struggling with these challenges.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, these conditions may affect many aspects of daily life, making it extremely difficult for some to function optimally. There are clear-cut differences between anxiety and depression, but there are also similarities. For this reason, the two are often co-morbid, meaning they could co-occur.

To fully understand the differences, similarities, and outcomes for anxiety vs. depression, we need to get all the facts:

Anxiety Signs And Symptoms

Feelings of overpowering nervousness or helplessness could be at the center of this condition. People with anxiety tend to stress or worry about almost anything, even if what they fear might happen is a very remote possibility.

Constantly feeling on edge could create some physical signs that would be noticeable, namely an increase in breathing rate, elevated heartbeats, sweating, and sometimes even visible trembling.

Experiencing anxiety could make you feel in danger and cause panic throughout the day. Thankfully, this condition, which at times could be debilitating, is treatable, and you would benefit from options like therapy or the services offered by Counselling in Burnaby as another suitable option.

Depression Signs And Symptoms

When observing someone with depression, anyone could notice their constant sadness, irritability, frustration, loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, disturbances in their sleep patterns, or loss of appetite.

Symptoms may differ from person to person, but physical symptoms are usually present for all patients.

If you suffer from depression, some of the other symptoms you may have and could be hiding from the world are feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts. Also common among depression sufferers is inflicting self-harm, but this is not true for all. This means not all with depression resort to self-harm. Furthermore, not all who self-harm are suicidal. However, the risk of suicide is higher for those who inflict self-harm.

Symptoms Related To Both Anxiety And Depression

In both anxiety and depression, patients may be restless, have trouble thinking, can’t concentrate on something for too long, struggle to make decisions, and be agitated overall.

Worrying about everything makes these people more susceptible to unexplained headaches, stomach aches, and even nausea or vomiting from the constant stress on their systems. Often the medical conditions would be treated alongside the psychological components. For this reason, a multi-professional team is sometimes used to achieve results for the patients.

Shame and guilt are two feelings often associated with anxiety and depression. These feelings could make you more anxious, depressed, or both. Usually, these feelings could continue for extended periods.

What To Do About Anxiety And Depression

There are many different forms of therapy and other treatments that could assist you with anxiety, depression, or both conditions that co-occur.

When you exhibit the symptoms mentioned above, it would be helpful to adapt the treatment program to accommodate your specific needs. You may need medication and psychotherapy options to see a good improvement of the symptoms.


Medications could include anti-depressants or anti-anxiety treatments. After carefully considering all the presenting symptoms, medications could only be prescribed by a medical professional. Because there are so many options on the market, it may take a skilled professional to know which combination would be the best for you.

When considering medication, ask the medical professional to explain the possible side-effects and contra-indications before using. Some medicines could interact with each other, so it would be crucial to mention any treatments that are currently being used.


Psychotherapy could be presented in different ways. The most popular treatments for anxiety and depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, or problem-solving therapy. The sessions are usually conducted in your therapist’s office, where you meet with the therapist once a week or twice a month.

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Therapy could be very effective if you make and keep regular appointments and when you follow the therapist’s recommendations. Communicate everything that could contribute to anxiety or depression to understand the situation entirely. A clear picture would also assist them in formulating the best treatment option.


In-patient treatment or hospitalization is a more intensive treatment requiring admission to a facility. When you agree to enter the facility, it would be easier for the therapist to see you daily and monitor your medications.

There may be many treatment centers in the surrounding area, and choosing the best option would be less complicated when discussing it with the therapist. Different treatment centers may each have their focus or therapy offers, which should be considered when looking for the one that would meet your needs.

Other Options

Other options worth your consideration are joining a support group, learning techniques for relaxation, breathing exercises, or meditation. The therapist could involve family and friends to make them more aware of your situation and teach them how to support you better.

Some therapists could recommend self-help books or material to work through to boost your self-esteem and help you feel empowered. These books or worksheets are written to support and help patients discover new solutions. It could assist patients like you in building their resilience and realizing they could use these when faced with adversity.

Regular physical activity may also boost your mood and make you feel healthier and more productive, so many therapists and doctors would recommend some form of exercise added to your daily routine. Walking the dog could be a great way for you to relieve some extra stress.

The Takeaway

Anxiety and depression may cause you some serious issues, but you could flourish with appropriate help and support. Finding a therapist that would resonate with you could make a big difference in your treatment. Therapists have their methods and techniques or specialize in different areas or conditions.

Although it may take some time to find the combination that works for you, the key is not to give up hope. Anxiety and depression are treatable, and the perfect treatment for your unique circumstances is out there waiting for you.

Rachel Huntington is a psychologist specializing in counseling psychology. She gives free consultation to people with emotional, physical, and mental health issues by answering their queries in her social media accounts. Rachel loves doing yoga in her vacant time.

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