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Do You Feel Anxious or Depressed?

It’s no surprise people often wonder about the difference between anxiety and depression because many people who suffer from anxiety also suffer from depression, and vice versa. The two mental conditions frequently overlap, and in certain instances, the medication prescribed or treatment used to address one will also be helpful with the other.

Anxiety and Depression  — The Differences

In a Psychology Today article, Gregg Henriques, Ph.D. describes anxiety and depression as negative emotional-mood states.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a reaction to a perceived threat or potential loss, and it prepares you to take defensive action.

Perhaps a situation has arisen that is similar to one in the past. For example, let’s say you are middle aged and find yourself in the dating world again after a recent divorce. Dating made you anxious as a young adult, and that familiar anxiety is now rearing its fearful head again. Or, perhaps you are interviewing for a new job. Job interviews always made you nervous because if the interview didn’t go well, you might not get the job. Your nerves are frazzled, your palms are sweating, and you momentarily have a slight stutter as you answer the interviewer’s questions.

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, and certain situations may stand out as obvious triggers. However, what if you feel anxious, but there seem to be no stressors in your life and you’re baffled about why you feel anxious? Or, what if some days have passed and your anxiety won’t go away?

It might be time to speak with a psychotherapist and get some help.

Depression

In contrast with anxiety, depression is a not so much a state of worry and defense against something threatening. It feels more like a state of emotional shutdown. Yes, the threat or loss might exist, but depression makes you lose interest in life or people, and makes you feel sad, angry or worthless. You want to withdraw from life.

Again, everyone has days where they feel blue or down, but the kind of depression being discussed here is of a longer lasting variety. You may want to crawl into your bed and sleep for weeks. Feelings of lethargy sap all your energy, and daily tasks or speaking with people appears overwhelming.

If these descriptions of anxiety or depression sound familiar, we have counselors at Affordable Therapy Los Angeles, who can work with you. We’ll help you identify the source of your anxiety or depression. Gaining insight through treatment can assist you in relieving this problem.