On the surface, anxiety and depression may appear to be two completely, separate emotional issues. After all, a person who is struggling with anxiety may show symptoms by being obviously nervous, sweaty, and extremely agitated, while someone with depression may not have symptoms that are so apparent, such as a feeling of worthlessness and doom, absence of appetite or libido, and even feelings of utter despair.
Even though anxiety and depression are two different problems, it is not at all uncommon for the two disorders to overlap. In fact, there are often profound similarities between anxiety and depression that could point toward the two disorders being closely related.
Understanding Where the Commonality Lies in Anxiety and Depression
According to Psychology Today, most therapists claim that the most common form of depression they treat with their patients is called agitated depression, which could just as easily be described as anxious depression. People struggling with agitated depression often feel an overwhelming sense of both hopelessness and helplessness.
Depression often stems from feeling like there is no hope for you to be able to climb your way to a better place. Similarly, anxiety often stems from feeling like you have a lack of control over whatever it is that you fear.
Much like depression, anxiety is characterized by symptoms that usually evolve into feelings of hopelessness because of a feeling of losing control. Therefore, the commonality between anxiety and depression usually lies in the fact that people with both issues deal in similar ways with stress.
Getting Familiar with the Most Similar Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety: Avoidance and Withdrawal
If you are in a car accident that is construed as traumatic in your mind, it may cause you such anxiety when you drive that you start to avoid driving at all. This is the perfect example of the primary characteristic of anxiety, which is avoidance.
On the other hand, if a major life event, such as divorce or death, has left you feeling like you cannot effectively contribute or associate with the outside world, you will likely withdraw. Withdrawal is the telltale indicator of depression. Even though avoidance and withdrawal are different reactions, they are definitely related.
Beyond the similar symptom of avoidance and withdrawal, there are a handful of other symptoms that can stem from either anxiety or depression, including:
- sleep disturbances
- overwhelmingly pessimistic thoughts
- changes in appetite
- loss of motivation
- physical aches and pains
Suffering from either anxiety or depression alone can be an overwhelming problem, but when the conjunction of the two illnesses occurs, it can lead to a horrible sense of feeling depressed with no way to get out. It is crucial to obtain a proper diagnosis to achieve a better state of being, and, therefore, finding professionals who are familiar with the dual diagnosis is key.