Depression can occur in many different forms and can impact an individual on a mental and physical level, to be specific, symptoms associated with depression, particularly a major depressive episode may include the following:
- Persistent sad, anxious or ‘empty’ mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling ‘slowed down’
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Low appetite and weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
The symptoms associated with anxiety, particularly generalised anxiety disorder can affect an individual on a mental and physical level, similar to the symptoms associated with a major depressive episode, and may include the following:
- Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or having your mind go blank
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty controlling worry
- Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
Depression and anxiety impact an individual on a mental and physical level, and are similar in this way. However despite the similarity between depression and anxiety, there are differences between depression and anxiety as well.
People suffering from depression are overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and sadness, and often have a lack of energy and loss of motivation. Depressed people tend to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, including social situations, and they may have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
People with an anxiety disorder are preoccupied with feelings fear and apprehension that are out of proportion to the actual situation, and often have accompanying physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, nausea, shortness of breath, and hot or cold flushes. As with depression, people suffering from anxiety may avoid social situations; however, this is usually because those situations provoke anxious feelings, not because of a lack of interest.
In other words, people with depression lose interest in activities and feel hopeless, while people with anxiety experience feelings of fear and apprehension.
Even though depression and anxiety both occur on a mental and physical level, depression and anxiety are two different types of disorders. If you experience any symptoms associated with depression or anxiety, do not self-medicate or self-diagnose yourself. Consult with a doctor or an appropriate health care provider.