Similarities Between Depression and Anxiety Disorders

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Depression and anxiety are kind of mood disorders that may cause a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in activities. They are mental disorders which cause an unpleasant feeling of inner turmoil. These feelings can cause physical symptoms such as changes in appetite, mood swings, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of suicide. Anxiety disorders can be causes by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Depression is more of a mood disorder that directly affects your thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. Although depression and anxiety are different conditions, they commonly occur together and have similar treatments.

What is Depression?

Depression is a condition of low mood and aversion to activity that affects a person’s thoughts, behavior, and feelings. A depressed person experiences a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities that he/she used to enjoy. A person experiencing a transient sadness or loneliness may state that he/she is depressed. Depression can be attributed to several factors, such as alteration in mood, regressive and self-punitive wishes, vegetative changes, negative thoughts, and so on.

People who are depressed may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite and sleep patterns, etc. The behavior of a person who is depressed resembles that of a person who is unhappy. Genetic factors play a significant role in etiology of mood disorders, among others such as environmental and psychological factors. People who show symptoms of depression should seek help from a mental health professional, as treatment can significantly improve their quality of life.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition that causes constant and repeated episodes of overwhelming anxiety and fear, which can affect you daily life, both personal and professional. Anxiety may be a sign of clinical depression because depression is often triggered by an anxiety disorder. These feelings can be irrational or out of proportion to the situation, which may lead to restlessness, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, and panic attacks.

Anxiety disorders can be classified into generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and specific phobias. Moderate levels of anxiety can lead to improved performance in several activities, but anxiety becomes pathological whet it becomes long-term or its intensity is extremely high. Many different factors contribute to anxiety disorder, such as genetics, environmental factors, and brain chemistry.

Similarities between Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Overlapping symptoms

– Both depression and anxiety disorder are common mental health conditions that can have overlapping symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating, loss of interest, mood swings, sleep disturbances, feeling of restlessness, fatigue, persistent feeling of sadness, and more. This makes it even more challenging to diagnose these conditions accurately.


– Studies suggested depression and anxiety disorders are among the most common psychological conditions with the highest rates of comorbidity.  A significant percent of the world’s population with anxiety disorder experience symptoms of depression, and the numbers are similar for the people with depression experiencing anxiety. This makes it difficult to determine which symptoms are related to anxiety and which are related to depression.

Underlying causes

– There are many possible causes that could trigger mental problems, such as past traumatic events such as physical or sexual abuse, tragic incidents such as loss of loved ones, financial problems, difficult experiences in childhood, adolescence or adulthood, work related problems, and more. Both conditions can be triggered by a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors – all contribute to the development of these disorders.

Impact on quality of life

– Both the conditions can have a major impact on one’s physical and mental well-being. This can disrupt work-life balance, relationships, as well as lead to social isolation, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. So, if you have someone who is going through similar conditions, you can seek help from a mental health professional before it is too late.


What is similar to anxiety and depression?

Agitation and restlessness can be symptoms of both anxiety disorder and depression. Other symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances, and difficulty concentrating.

How are anxiety disorders and depressive disorders related?

Both are types of mood disorders that can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest and energy, constant feeling of fear and worry, etc. Both the conditions can co-occur in individuals.

What are some of the similarities and differences between generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder are a potent combination and the most common type of anxiety-mood comorbidity. Both exhibit similar symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. However, generalized anxiety disorder shows signs of excessive worry and fear, while major depressive disorder is characterized by feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

How are anxiety and depression similar in youth?

There are several factors that can contribute to developing depression or anxiety in youth, such as lack of self-esteem and confidence, peer problems, negative thoughts, etc. They can lead to academic problems, substance abuse and social isolation.

Are anxiety and depression positively correlated with each other?

Both anxiety and depression can be positively correlated, which means if someone who has one condition is more likely to develop the other.

What symptoms are common to both major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder?

Common symptoms of both major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder include fatigue, sleep disturbances, and difficulty concentrating.

Are anxiety disorders more common than depression?

Anxiety disorders are a more common psychiatric disorder than depression, affecting over 25 million people in the United States, according to American Psychiatric Association.

Is depression and anxiety the most common mental illness?

Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental disorders, but they are not the only ones; there are numerous other mental health conditions that affect people.

Author: Sagar Khillar

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