Compass Mental Health & Wellness: Anxiety or Depression: Which do I have?

People use the terms “anxious” and “depressed” a lot, especially during these trying times. So, how do you know if you actually have a clinical disorder, and how do you know which one?

At Compass Mental Health & Wellness (MHW), our compassionate providers understand the complexity of mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. We recommend looking at the differences between these different disorders and what they can have in common.

Taking a closer look at anxiety

Anxiety disorders include having intense and persistent feelings of worry or anxiety that interfere with daily life. There are several types of these disorders, and they can range from generalized anxiety disorder to panic disorder and other phobia-related disorders.

Key signs of an anxiety disorder include: 

While specific anxiety disorders can lead to even more identifying markers, the main factor all of these conditions have in common is the disproportionate worry about the risk of something versus the reality of the situation.

What sets depression apart

Mood disorders like depression typically involve a gloomy mood. Like anxiety, there are different types of depressive disorders, ranging from major depressive disorder to bipolar disorder. However, general signs of depression often center around intense and persistent negative emotions.

Common signs of depression include::

Depression can also lead to a persistent belief that life isn’t worth living.

When it could be both

Anxiety and depression are different disorders without a single cause. However, they both involve changes in neurotransmitter function. 

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers. Their job is carrying, boosting, and balancing the signals going between your neurons and cells, like muscles, glands, and even other neurons. You have this intricate communication system to thank for everything — from keeping your brain functioning and your heart beating to regulating your concentration and mood.

When you have clinical anxiety or depressive disorder, it impacts the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Dopamine and norepinephrine keep you motivated, energetic, and engaged while in positive times of stress, like being in love or listening to music. Serotonin not only plays a key role in your feelings of happiness, but it also helps defend against anxiety and depression. 

That means if you have imbalanced neurotransmitters, you could easily have both anxiety and depression, with symptoms occurring separately or at the same time. And, if you have a neurotransmitter imbalance, you have a higher risk of anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders. 

Finding answers

Both anxiety and depression are highly treatable. Whether you have an anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, or both, our caring team at Compass Mental Health & Wellness can help. 

After diagnosing your disorder, we will work closely with you to develop a comprehensive, whole-body approach to controlling your symptoms. Our customized treatment plans may include:

Don’t wait to find help if you have anxiety or depression. Contact our office in Houston, Texas, by calling 281-836-5452 or booking an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Is Mindfulness and How Can It Help My ADHD?

Do you struggle with self-control? How about concentration or focus? Whether you’re a child or an adult with ADHD, mindfulness meditation can help manage these symptoms and more by helping you build greater self-awareness. Keep reading to learn more.

The Link Between Pain and Depression

Did you know that pain and depression are closely linked? Believe it or not, depression can cause pain, and pain can also cause depression. Keep reading to learn about this intimate relationship and how to find relief.

Risk Factors for PTSD

Many people associate PTSD with combat or military service. However, anyone at any age can develop this mental health problem. Keep reading to learn how trauma can cause PTSD and what can increase your risk of developing this condition.

5 Ways to Manage Social Anxiety

Most people get nervous in certain social settings. But, if you have social anxiety disorder, your reactions can go far beyond having butterflies in your stomach. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your anxiety.

How Does ADHD Impact Relationships?

You can face numerous challenges when you live with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, they don’t impact you alone. Keep reading to see how this condition can affect every aspect of your life, including your relationships.

Common Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a common mental illness that leads to extreme changes in mood. However, it can also be tricky to diagnose. So how do you spot the signs? Keep reading to learn more.