Key Difference – Anxiety vs Depression
Between Anxiety and Depression, we can identify a number of differences. These are studied in disciplines such as psychology in relation to the mental health of individuals. First let us define the two words. Anxiety is a response to stress. On the other hand, Depression is a mood disorder. This is the key difference between the two. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two conditions.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a response to stress. It is physiological. But it may be pathological (disease stage) when it exceeds the limits. During anxiety, the body is prepared for fight or flight response. The sympathetic system will be activated. The heartbeat arises, feel difficulty in breathing, and feel stomach ache, headache, blood pressure shoots up, sweating increases and blood flow to muscle increases. The digestive system function and immune system function will be reduced. The patient will be restless in appearance.
Common anxiety is exam (performance) anxiety. Before an exam, almost everybody feels this. In fact up to a certain level, this anxiety will help to increase the performance also. But beyond that it will reduce the performance. Stranger anxiety may be seen in the children. They were anxious to see a new person. Even the adults may have this type of anxiety. Behavioural therapy will help to reduce the anxiety. Gradual exposure to the stimuli will help them. When the anxiety is not in a limit, it will be labelled as an anxiety disorder. These patients may need treatment.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder. The affected person with depression will feel the lack of energy, lethargy, emptiness, loss of interest in sex, loss of appetite. They may feel fear and sometimes shows some features of anxiety. But in general, they will be in a low mood. Usually our mood swings with arousal and low mood. When it continues in a low mood, it is labelled as depression. Depression for a small period may be normal. Example losing the loved one may cause depression. It’s a part of grief reaction. If it is prolonged beyond the limit or severely affect the day today life, they may need anti-depressive drugs. The people who have good coping skills have fewer chances of developing depression. Depression is significant increases the suicidal risk. If it is that much severe it will need electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), where the person anaesthetised, and electric shock will be given to the brain.
In summary, both anxiety and depression are the states we all may have experienced in our life at some point. Anxiety, to certain extend increases the working performance and helpful. But depression will reduce the performance. Anxiety can be treated with behavioural therapy. Depression may need ECT if it is severe.
What is the Difference Between Anxiety and Depression?
Definitions of Anxiety and Depression:
Anxiety: Anxiety is a response to stress.
Depression: Depression is a mood disorder.
Characteristics of Anxiety and Depression:
Anxiety: Anxiety is physiological, but it may be pathological (disease stage) when it exceeds the limits.
Depression: Depression is clearly a disorder.
Symptoms/ Bodily changes:
Anxiety: The heartbeat arises, feel difficulty in breathing, and feel stomach ache, headache, blood pressure shoots up, sweating increases and blood flow to muscle increases.
Depression: The affected person with depression will feel a lack of energy, lethargy, emptiness, loss of interest in sex, loss of appetite.
Anxiety: Anxiety increases performance.
Depression: Depression decreases performance.
2. Depression-loss of loved one By Baker131313 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons