Did you know that there are quite a few similarities between anxiety and depression? It’s not uncommon for people who are living with anxiety disorders to think that they’re living with depression, and vice versa. Differentiating between these two types of mood disorders can help individuals living with these disorders better understand their diagnoses.
While there are many differences between both anxiety disorders and depressive disorders that can be easy to identify, there are also similarities between these two diagnoses. While sharing similarities and differences is common with any mood disorder type, what’s most interesting about both anxiety and depression disorders is that they’re often diagnosed together. In fact, statistics show that about 80% of people who are already diagnosed with anxiety will at some time be diagnosed with a depressive disorder as well. And, on the other hand, about 60% of people who are already diagnosed with a depressive disorder will at some point be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. So, the comorbidity of both anxiety and depressive disorders is extremely high, which may contribute to the fact that many people who are living with anxiety confuse their symptoms with depressive disorder symptoms and vice versa.
Certainly, both anxiety and depressive disorders do share certain symptoms. These shared symptoms are what can confuse individuals who are living with them about what specific mood disorder they may be experiencing. Some examples of shared symptoms between anxiety and depressive disorders can include:
There is no one cause for either anxiety disorders or depressive disorders. But, there are certain things that can increase a person’s risk for developing either of these types of mood disorders. Specifically, genetics can increase the risk of both anxiety and depressive disorders. For example, if a person in your immediate family has a depressive disorder, your risk of developing depression is increased. The same goes for anxiety disorders.
People living with substance use disorder are commonly diagnosed with comorbid mental health conditions. In fact, statistics state that 37% of alcoholics and 53% of addicts are diagnosed with comorbid mental illnesses. These illnesses are common anxiety and depressive disorders. So, it’s not uncommon that people who are diagnosed with depressive disorders or anxiety disorders are also struggling with active addiction. Recognizing this similarity can help people who are struggling with addiction find mental health help that addresses both mental illness and addiction together, as this type of treatment is the most effective for people struggling with addiction and comorbid mental health issues.
If you wonder if you’re living with anxiety or depression, the best way to identify which you are living with is to reach out to a mental health treatment facility. This way, you can utilize resources like diagnostic tools and assessments led by mental health specialists to identify a specific disorder. And, get personalized suggestions for treatment in order for you to better manage symptoms of whichever mental health issue you’re living with. Yellowbrick offers outpatient resources for young adults living with both anxiety and depressive disorders. Find out more about how we can help from our website.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.