Similarities Between Anxiety and Depression Disorders

  • Posted at Nov 29, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
Similarities Between Anxiety and Depression Disorders

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.

Many People Live With Both Anxiety and Depression

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.

Similar Symptoms That Anxiety and Depression Share

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:

  • exhaustion
  • sleep issues (sleeping too much or too little)
  • mood swings and uncontrollable anger
  • trouble concentrating

Both Types of Mood Disorders Can be Caused by Genetics

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.

Substance Use Disorder is Common for Both People With Anxiety and Depression

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.

Getting Help with Anxiety and Depression

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.

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