Depression and Anxiety Difference: How To Identify And Treat Coexisting Symptoms

Depression and anxiety are the two faces of the same coin. These are two different conditions, but they commonly occur together. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health concerns in our society. When you are under any kind of stress, it’s normal to feel anxious, and this anxiety then somehow leads to depression. Anxiety may occur as a symptom of depression. A recent study has found that half of the people with either anxiety or depression have the other condition.

Each condition has its own causes but they may share similar symptoms and treatments. These similar treatments and symptoms are listed below –



What are the symptoms of both anxiety and depression?

Symptoms of Depression

  1.   Depressed mood
  2.   Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
  3.   Increase or decrease in appetite
  4.   Lack of concentration
  5.   Insomnia or hypersomnia
  6.   Slowing of movement
  7.   Lack of energy
  8.   Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  9.   Trouble concentrating
  10.   Suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

  • excessive worry
  • restlessness
  • being easily fatigued
  • trouble concentrating
  • irritability
  • grinding teeth
  • sleep disturbance
  • Muscle tension

How to know that both Anxiety and Depression Are Present?

There are various traits that may confirm the presence of both anxiety disorder and depression include:

  • Prolonged worries or fears that prevail for long.
  • Fatigue, headaches, rapid heartbeat, labored breathing, etc.
  • Difficulty in sleeping patterns or insomnia.
  • Eating either too much or too little.
  • Trouble in concentrating, or focussing on a thing.
  • Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
  • Feelings of losing self-respect.
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
  • Inability to relax and live in the moment
  • Suffering from panic attacks, including the sense of losing inner control

Common causes of both depression and anxiety –

Depression and anxiety may share some common causes. These might include:

  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Brain chemistry
  • Medical conditions
  • Any kind of trauma

Differences in the symptoms of anxiety and depression –

Despite having similar symptoms, anxiety and depression can have various differences as well. These differences are listed below –

  • People experiencing anxiety may have a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of a problem, or any thought whereas depression does not tend to be associated with attention bias.
  • People experiencing anxiety have a tendency to think about what may happen to them in the future, on the contrary, those suffering from depression always think about what is currently happening in their life or what has happened to them in the past.
  • A person suffering from depression is more likely to focus on negative memories and thoughts, but the anxious behavior is not associated with a negative memory bias.

Differences in Physical Features include the following –

The physical state of anxiety can be recognized as follows-
1.    Muscle tension
2.    Dizziness
3.    Increased heart rate, blood pressure, sweating
4.    Shortness of breath
5.    Difficulty falling or staying asleep due to racing thoughts or other physical symptoms
6.    Difficulty concentrating due to state of agitation or racing thoughts

Depression is characterized by changes in physical processes such as:

1.    Loss of appetite or a significant increase in appetite
2.    Lack of energy
3.    Physical achiness without cause
4.    Moving slowly than usual
5.    Sleeping much more or much less than regular.
6.    Difficulty with concentration, focus, and memory due to waste thought processes.

Treatment of both coexisting symptoms

A formal treatment plan from your doctor is always necessary for any kind of disease or condition, but along with the treatment plans from your doctor, there are various strategies as well that are helpful in curbing both these conditions naturally. These strategies may help you find relief from symptoms.

  •   Antidepressant medications and therapies – There are various treatments and therapies available in ayurveda that acts as antidepressants such as Nidana Parivarjana, Shodhana Chikitsa, Snehapana (Internal oleation), and Virechana Therapy.
  •   Physical activity – Any kind of physical activity or meditation is quite beneficial in treating depression and anxiety. This can be very helpful for both disorders. Physical activity causes feel-good chemicals to be released in the body. This aids in relaxation and feeling of well-being.
  •  Relaxation techniques – This typically involves meditation or mindfulness. These techniques can often help to remedy both disorders and improve the quality of life.
  •   You should often talk to your doctors and counselors, and family about your health problems.
  •   You should also join a support group for depression, anxiety, or any chronic disease you have. This can be really supportive in seminars and groups led by professionals, as others suffering from the disease are also there in these groups.
  •   Avoid alcohol and drugs. They can make depression and anxiety worse.
  •   Reduce emotional distress by taking care of your day to day routine.

Herbs and supplements

Various studies have proved that there are multiple benefits of several herbs and supplements in treating anxiety and depression. Some commonly used herbs include-

  • Kava-kava
  • Lavender oil
  • Chamomile
  • Valerian extract

Tips and lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep habits, increasing social support, using stress-reduction therapies or practicing regular exercise, also helps.
If you are dealing with any of the conditions, you should avoid alcohol, smoking, and recreational drugs.

You can also try these tips –

  • Take a break- You should try to separate yourself from your problem to give a brief break.
  • Take deep breaths- Inhaling and exhaling slowly may help you to start feeling peaceful.
  • Slowly count- Slowly counting to 10 may help a person calm down.
  • Talk to a faithful person- If you are feeling anxious, talk to someone you have faith in, which may help.

Ayurvedic medications and therapies

There are several types of medication that are useful in treating coexisting depression, and anxiety. These medications are listed below –
•    Ayurvedic therapies and treatments – 
1.    Nidana Parivarjana – According to ayurveda, the treatment of Depression can be done with the help of this therapy. Various allopathic medicines like the use of steroids, pain killers, etc. have to be avoided.
2.    Shodhana Chikitsa (Bio-cleansing therapies)
3.     Snehapana (Internal oleation) – This therapy is also done as depression treatment with the help of various ayurvedic herbal oils.
4.    Virechana Therapy This therapy is done with herbal medications in half a glass of lukewarm milk before sleeping in the night is recommended to depression patients.
•    Ayurvedic Home remedies – 
There are certain home remedies according to ayurveda that can be used to treat depression and anxiety –
1.    Endurance exercises should be tried.
2.    Take Ginger tea twice a day.
3.    Try herbal ghee nasal drops, twice a day 5 drops in each nostril.
4.    Rub coconut oil onto your scalp, just before bedtime.
5.    Drink herbal Ginko tea once or twice a day.
6.    Meditation helps in treating depression and anxiety, even as little as a few minutes a day can be very helpful.