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Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 794
Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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what is difference between anxiety and depression?

Resolved Question:

what is difference between anxiety and depression?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 5 years ago.

I'm Alicia. Thanks for your question, I'm happy to help you today.

Anxiety is a psychological state characterized by fear, tension, nervousness, apprehension and excessive, uncontrollable worrying. These psychological symptoms can contribute to physical symptoms, such as sweating, trembling, racing heartbeat, rapid breathing - or feelings of panic - in extreme cases, causing panic attacks. Panic attacks are severe manifestations of these symptoms, occuring seemingly "out of the blue" and often appearing to have no apparent cause. There are many types of anxiety disorders - including phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You might find this link helpful, as it includes several video links that discuss each of these disorders in depth:
Everyone experiences mild feelings of anxiety from time to time, in response to stress and other factors, but an anxiety disorder can occur when symptoms of anxiety do not go away, even when there's no apparent stimulus.

Depression is a serious mood disorder that causes a host of physical and mental symptoms, usually manifesting in low mood, feelings of sadness or worthlessness, feeling like you want to sleep all the time (or, on the other hand, insomnia), a loss of appetite, feeling frequently like crying, irritability, frustration, feeling a lack of purpose, unexplainable bodily aches and pains, and in severe cases, thoughts of suicide. Everyone also experiences a low mood from time to time, but depression causes a severe impact in your ability to function and affects your overall well-being. You might find this article helpful, as it discusses the causes and treatments for depression more in depth:

Depression and anxiety frequently co-exist, so it's not unusual for people with depression to also experience feelings of anxiety.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you need additional assistance.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i have some symptoms of both and thinking of taking medication. i have tried zoloft couple of time and discontinued as i feel more agitated, trembling and headaches. valium is drowsy. i have work full time...i want to function perfectly without any side effects of medication. How can i help myself in this?
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 5 years ago.
I can understand your concerns, and many medications do - unfortunately - have unpleasant side effects. Many people experience side effects from Zoloft such as you have described. And it's really not possible, for most people, to function on Valium because of the sedative effects, so I can see why you'd be hesitant about these medications.

SSRIs (like Zoloft, but there are others such as Paxil and Celexa) are usually the most frequently prescribed medications for treating both depression and anxiety. However, in my opinion, it is important to consult a psychiatrist for a full evaluation, as there are many, many different medications that can help your symptoms - and you might need a combination of several medications in order to achieve the best results. It sometimes requires trial and error to find the medication that will work best for you - as you may experience negative side effects from one medication, but someone else may not - so it really depends on how you respond to specific medications.
You might want to read this before you talk to your doctor, as it discusses the different medications used to treat anxiety and depression:
Good luck.
Alicia_MSW and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for great response. It all make sense

I will be seeing my GP tomorrow a different one. Is it better to get referred to a psychiatrist to obtain med or GP can prescribe it. #To be honest more than anything I am scared to be diagnosed as having some mental disorder. I fear will make me more anxious and sad. I am scared it might influence my work status. Medication, fear of mental illness diagnosis, people finding out about my instability is keeping me away from getting properly checked.
I have been trying to treat myself somehow...obtaining med through different ways. How do I convince myself to go to a proper doctor. I have a friend who has been fighting bipolar for years with med. she says it's the best thing she did is get treatment. But I do see her go down alot and she gaining weight. I don't know what to do. I do neglect this issue till I feel helpless and then go online in search of instant ans and fix. Please I need help.
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 5 years ago.
I'm happy to help you. I do believe it is better to have a referral to a psychiatrist, as most GP's do not receive extensive training in psychiatric disorders (even though they do prescribe psychotropic medications.) Anything between you and your doctor is confidential, so it should not have an impact on your work status. I understand your fears, but treating yourself can be dangerous (as you seem to understand). Just because your friend responds to treatment in one way doesn't mean that's the way you're going to respond. You obviously have a lot of insight and a desire to get better. And just remember, if it is depression or anxiety, it doesn't mean there's something fundamentally wrong with you. Depression affects millions of people every year - and it's not something you can control or will yourself out of feeling. It's the same thing with high blood pressure - you wouldn't try to treat that yourself and you wouldn't see it as a stigma. This isn't your fault - just try to see it as you would with any other type of illness. And with treatment, you can get better. (Also, I would suggest avoiding internet searches about this topic as much as possible because that can only put ideas in your head that might not even apply to you, and make you feel more anxious.)