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5 Differences Between Anxiety and Depression

When a person cannot be clearly diagnosed with either depression or an anxiety disorder, the diagnosis seems to become Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This means that the person experiences overwhelming anxiety and has symptoms of depression as well. If the depression is overwhelming with symptoms of anxiety, the diagnosis could very easily be Major Depression.

Anxiety and Depression – Are They Same?

Anxiety and depression are not exactly same thing. Here are the differences between anxiety and depression:



Apprehension, excessive nervous energy and fear Emptiness, misery, deep sadness, loss of hope
Agitations, muscle tension, nausea, breathing difficulties Lack of energy
Sense of being rigid and tense Body is slumped and withdrawn
Sometimes is a perfectionist and overly concerned about activities No interest in activities and no ambition
Fears death Suicidal thoughts are persistent in deep depression

Anxiety and depression have also many similarities:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches, muscle pain and tension
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Loss of pleasure in everyday activities
  • Significant weight gain or weight loss
  • Excessive guilt
  • Low self-esteem or a drop in self-esteem
  • Feelings of self-blame, self-depreciation or unworthiness

It is easy to see why these two disorders are difficult to tell apart. Their similarities are overwhelming and even their differences if influenced by a secondary condition can be similar. Doctors have a difficult time properly diagnosing anxiety and depression, thus misdiagnoses have been known to happen. It is important for the patient to relay every symptom, no matter how small, to their doctor in hopes of getting the right treatment for their ailment.

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