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Is it anxiety or depression?

Two of the most common mental disorders in the world are anxiety and depression. Although these are two different issues, they do have a lot in common. Understanding the fine line between depression and anxiety is very challenging due to the abundance of overlap. However, many patients can also struggle with BOTH! 

It is most common that patients first experience anxiety. As the anxiety worsens, depression starts to manifest. These depressive symptoms, mixed with anxiety symptoms, cause the formation of depression along with anxiety.

Depression and anxiety, however, present different symptoms. Depressive symptoms commonly include feelings of lost hope, fatigue, and an absence of feelings and sensations.

Anxiety, on the other hand, is characterized by fear and apprehension. Anxiety involves worrying about the future and of imminent events that can’t be avoided, including feelings of discomfort and negative thinking. Physical symptoms of anxiety include increased heart beat, hot or cold chills, and activation of elevated sensations or feelings while the physical symptoms of depression include headaches, back pains, tension headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems.

Depression and anxiety both involve a considerable amount of negative thinking. Anxiety patients fear the future and depression patients see the future as hopeless. Both anxiety and depressed patients believe that the worse is likely to happen. Common physical symptoms between anxiety and depression include nausea, stomach issues, aches, pains, and headaches. Furthermore, both symptoms of depression and anxiety are prone to fluctuate and be inconsistent. It is also possible that some symptoms may become unnoticeable for a period of time, while other symptoms can be consistently a problem.

Anxiety and depression can look a lot like each other, overlap in symptoms and you can have symptoms of both! The bottom line is that depression and anxiety affect your quality of life, including your relationships and your work.

Getting a diagnoistc evaluation by a physician is the first step in your journey towards a happy and healthy life!


Angelo Sambunaris, M.D.

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