Last Updated 08 Apr 2020

Explain the difference between Anxiety and Depression

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Two mental disorders that are closely associated with another and share similarities are anxiety and depression. Anxiety is a psychological and a physical state in which a person exhibits excessive fear, nervousness, apprehension, or worry (eMedicineHealth, 2008). Usually people with anxiety cannot stop worrying about things, especially if these are beyond their control. In addition, anxiety also causes people to exaggerate problems and fears, which eventually disrupt their normal way of life because they believe that these problems and fears cannot be solved.

In most cases, anxiety is caused by stress or other external factors that cause people to worry a lot (United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, 2008). Its most common symptoms may include sweating, palpitations, trembling, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pain, among others (eMedicineHealth, 2008). On the other hand, depression is a condition wherein a person is excessively sad, hopeless, and/or discouraged (Mayo Clinic, 2008).

Like anxiety, it also affects people’s perception and behavior towards several things, especially problems (Mayo Clinic, 2008). One of its most common symptoms include irritability, restlessness, sleeping problems, inability to focus or concentrate, feeling worthless, suicidal thoughts, excess fatigue, and even lose of interest in sex, among many others (Mayo Clinic, 2008). The main difference between anxiety and depression is that the latter is a more severe condition of the latter.

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A person suffering from depression actually feels sad and excessively discouraged and usually knows what they are depressed about but are unable to control it (Lowrance, 2008). On the other hand, a person with anxiety usually fears something that might happen or something that he or she has not experienced or seen yet (Lowrance, 2008). In other words, anxiety usually involves fear of the future or fear of what might happen due to the present problems.

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