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Understanding The Difference Between Anxiety And Depression

In the realm of mental health, anxiety and depression are among the most prevalent disorders. While they share some commonalities, their distinctions are crucial for effective diagnosis and treatment.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is primarily characterised by excessive worry and fear about future events. It’s the body’s natural response to stress, manifesting physically and emotionally. Symptoms include restlessness, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and difficulty concentrating. Anxiety focuses on anticipation of future threats, leading to avoidance behaviours or excessive planning.

What is depression?

Depression, on the other hand, is a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. Symptoms are diverse, ranging from feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and a lack of energy, to physical issues like changes in appetite and sleep patterns. Depression dwells more on the past and present, often involving rumination over past events and a pervasive sense of worthlessness.

Key differences

While anxiety is rooted in apprehension about what’s to come, depression often relates to a deep-seated dissatisfaction with the present or past. Anxiety propels individuals into a heightened state of alertness, preparing them for perceived dangers, whereas depression can lead to a significant withdrawal from life’s activities.

Treatment and support

Both conditions are treatable through various therapies, such as those Ben Fishel specialises in, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). These approaches help individuals understand their thoughts and feelings, develop coping strategies, and work towards a more fulfilling life.

Importance of professional help

Recognising the difference between anxiety and depression is vital for seeking appropriate help. It’s crucial to consult with professionals who can offer tailored treatment plans. Early intervention and the right therapeutic approach can lead to significant improvements in quality of life.

If you feel ready to speak to someone about how things are going, Ben Fishel is ready to help. Get in touch to start a conversation

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