Although depression and anxiety are similar, the two disorders require different types of treatments. In today’s world, depression and anxiety can go hand in hand. You may feel anxious about losing your job, your home or your car and become depressed about the situations. In fact, it’s difficult to find a person who’s depressed and doesn’t have some form of anxiety.
You may think you’re depressed, but in actuality, feel tension from life’s daily challenges. You may have obsessive thoughts, feelings of inadequacy, rapid heartbeats, insomnia and other symptoms that could either point to depression or anxiety. On the other hand, you may believe you’re simply anxious about problems in your life, when you’re actually depressed.
How do you find out which one you’re suffering from and get the proper treatment? Seeing a health care provider is the best way to determine the appropriate treatment for either anxiety or depression. But, before you see the doctor, some preparation on your part is essential for him or her to be able to diagnose properly.
Keep a journal of your moods and feelings, and be specific. Write down the time of day you’re feeling down or anxious and what may have triggered the mood. If you’re visiting a doctor for the first time about depression or anxiety, he may not be able to give you a quick diagnosis, and it’s common for doctors to prescribe an antidepressant before making a complete evaluation.
An antidepressant may not be the right choice and may simply mask the symptoms you’re having. It’s important for you to be candid with your physician and ask about seeing a mental health care provider simultaneously with checking out your physical symptoms. Research the various types of depression and anxiety disorders so that you can have an educated conversation with your health care provider.
For example, there are mood disorders that are similar to the symptoms found in depression. These mood disorders come about because of problems in relationships, family and financial concerns. The feelings can trigger sadness that turns into severe anxiety and then depression sets in when the feelings interfere with how you function on a daily basis.
Besides the threat of depression and anxiety, another disorder might turn out to be the culprit that’s terrorizing your life – bipolar disorder. This disorder causes mood swings that go from extreme highs and feelings of euphoria to extreme downs accompanied by racing thoughts, reckless behavior and impulsive decisions. Bipolar disorder should never be treated with antidepressants, so it’s imperative that you discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
As you can see, depression and anxiety symptoms are difficult to separate into a list that defines each one. The symptoms are so similar that these two disorders can be misdiagnosed. Research your symptoms and make sure you’re prepared before you see your doctor.