Depression and anxiety are common disorders often confused with each other, but the two couldn’t be more different. So, why is the pair so regularly mixed up? They are frequently treated in the same manner and, according to one study, 85 percent of those with major depression were also diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, PyschCentral reported.
People with the biological disorder of depression often feel emotions of hopelessness, despair and anger — which impairs the completion of daily tasks. However, when someone is impacted by an anxiety disorder, they experience overwhelming fear and panic, similar to any creature fighting for its life in the wild.
A person who primarily suffers from anxiety will focus on future prospects and become overwhelmed with fear that everything will turn out badly. These feelings can restrict a person’s ability to work, maintain relationships or leave the house.
Comparatively, depressed people don’t typically worry about what might happen to them in the future, but instead they think they already know what will happen and believe it will inevitably be bad. Key symptoms include loss of interest and enjoyment in usual activities, lack of energy and difficulty concentrating.
Physical manifestations also differ between anxiety and depression. Those suffering from the latter often experience severe appetite changes, headaches and sleep problems. Meanwhile, anxiety brings on side effects that resemble health disorders — like sweating, shaking heart rate, bowel issues and hyperventilation. Overall, depression tends to have fewer physical symptoms, but the mental manifestations can be more dangerous than the outcomes of anxiety.
Clinicians have observed that when anxiety and depression are present in one person simultaneously, the symptoms of both are more severe.
Several drugs are available for treating depression and most commonly include certain serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Cymbalta and Effexor; tetracyclic antidepressants including Remeron, Elavil and Sinequan; drugs with unique mechanisms such as Wellbutrin; and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like Emsam, Nardil and Parnate.