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Difference between Anxiety and Depression

Several mental disorders often come into notice after they have reached the worst point. Amidst the corona pandemic, many people have encounters some mental issues that have worsened over time. Anxiety and depression are two of the most important clinical disorders that affect us psychologically and behaviourally. Anxiety and depression are like cancerous cells that are present in everyone, but they come into being after a push or pull of several emotions.

There have been some instances in which people have anxiety attacks, and they cannot take hold of their condition. That person requires someone to be around him/ her all the time. According to some reports, around 60% - 70% of people suffer from mental ailments. Such people are advised to be distracted in any work they like. For instance, in the corona pandemic, many people are at their homes. Some people live alone in their houses, and due to this loneliness, they suffer from anxiety or depression. Loneliness overpowers such people, and they have mood swings and a strong tendency to commit suicide. Now, there is a difference between anxiety and depression. Both are mental disorders, but they differ in certain aspects. But before discussing the differences, let us look at the fundamental meaning of these terms.

Anxiety vs Depression


Anxiety is a mental ailment that is caused due to the piled up emotions in a human being. The person having anxiety leads a stressful life. Anxiety is triggered due to the emotional collapse of a person. Feelings like worry, fear, etc., are likely to be felt by the person. In worst cases, people suffer from anxiety attacks. Some other disorders related to anxiety are panic attacks, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), etc. Now, anxiety is treatable if an action is taken at an early stage. Well, it cannot be fully cured, but one can take the necessary steps to stop it from becoming a big problem. This condition is self-treatable. If the situation is worse, then a person can take anxiety pills to treat their anxiety. There are six different kinds of anxiety disorders. They are:

  • Phobia
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • OCD & PTSD
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder


Depression is defined as a clinical ailment in which the person has a depressed mood, less interest in activities. The daily routine is highly impaired when a person suffers from depression. Depression can be biological, psychological, or social, depending upon the external environment. Depression is cured by medications. Depression can be diagnosed in a person who is feeling sad or depressed for no reason. That person loses interest in his/ her activities. It leads to change in sleep, energy, concentration, eating, etc. The self-esteem of the person is also hampered due to this.

Now, let us look at some contrasting points between anxiety and depression.

1. Anxiety is defined as a mental ailment that is caused by the piled up emotions and stress. The stress results in a person having panic attacks, PTSD, OCD, etc. On the other hand, depression is defined as a clinical ailment in which a person suffers from prolonged sadness and loss of interest in activities.
2. Anxiety is mainly psychological. Depression can be biological, social, or psychological.
3. Anxiety self-treatable. A person may or may not require medications.
4. Worry and fear are dominant emotions in anxiety. Sadness and loss of interest are dominant emotions in depression.
5. Uncontrollable thoughts are encountered by the person. Hopelessness and worthlessness are encountered by the person.
6. The person experiences insomnia, feeling of impending doom, sweating, etc. The person experiences loss of interest, appetite, insomnia, guilt, etc.
7. Anxiety can lead to depression. Depression might lead to a person committing suicide.
8. After anxiety attacks and panic attacks, the person suffers physically. The physical changes can occur after significant events, like the death of a loved one.
9. The person suffering from anxiety has a fighting attitude, i.e., the person is tense and rigid. People suffering from depression have a low energy level. The person is drained and is hopeless.
10. Anxiety includes embarrassment and low self-consciousness. A person feels uncomfortable in social situations. A person having depression is bound to avoid the social situation because of the fear of being judged.

So, these are some of the differences between anxiety and depression. Both are clinical disorders that have different cures. But if one wants to cure it without medications, one needs to do yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation improve the immune system and helps in calming the mind. A person suffering from anxiety and depression must do extensive yogic practices. This will result in peace of mind and body.

Now, let us discuss the significant kinds of anxiety and depression.

Types of Anxiety

  1. Phobia: Phobias are defined as the fear of something. The fear can be of animals, situations, objects, etc. Fear of darkness, insects, spiders, swings, etc., are a part of phobias. Phobias can last from months to years.
  2. Generalized Anxiety: Generalized anxiety is defined as a process in which a person worries about different subjects. It may include performance in school or job. A person worries a lot about such topics. These worries generate uncontrollable thoughts.
  3. Panic Attacks: Panic Attack is defined as an ailment that includes a series of sensations, chest pain, rapid heart rate, dizziness, etc. The person suffering from panic attacks experiences fear, i.e., fear of death, fear of losing a loved one, fear of going crazy, etc.
  4. Social Anxiety Disorder: A person experiences the fear of being judged in this disorder. The person avoids social situations in this condition. Communication skills are not very good in a person having a social anxiety disorder.
  5. OCD & PTSD: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are the most common anxiety disorders. These two disorders are treated through medications because of the different brain structures of people.
  6. Separation Anxiety Disorder: Excessive amount of worrying results in separation anxiety disorder. This fear generates in kids. The fear of losing a parent or being separated from them gives rise to separation anxiety disorder.

Types of Depression

  1. Major Depression: Major depression is caused in day-to-day activities. It is also called as major depressive disorder. The characteristics of major depression include:
    • Depressed/ sad mood
    • Changes in sleep, appetite, etc.
    • Fatigue
    • Lose concentration
    • Lack of interest in activities
    • Negative thoughts like death, suicide, etc.
  2. Persistent Depressive Disorder: Persistent Depressive Disorder is a chronic mental ailment that can last from 2 months to 2 years. It is also called dysthymia. The symptoms of this disorder include:
    • Anger
    • Guilt
    • Low self-esteem
    • Dizziness
    • Low energy level
  3. Bipolar Disorder: It is a mood-related disorder. There is a condition in this disorder, i.e., hypomania, in which a person loses his/ her sense of reality. When the mood is abnormally elevated, it leads to bipolar disorder. Symptoms like aches, pain, anxiety, disorganization are seen in this disorder.
  4. Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression occurs in the pregnancy period. The woman experiences severe mood swings in this disorder. Change in mood includes getting angry and irritated easily. The symptoms of this disorder are:
    • Social withdrawal
    • Change in appetite
    • Panic attacks
    • Difficulty in bonding with people
  5. Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder: A woman suffering from this condition experience symptoms like getting irritated, feeling hopeless, food craving, binging, etc. This can happen every month pre and post the menstrual cycle.
  6. Seasonal Affective Disorder: When a person experiences certain conditions related to weather/ season, it is known as a seasonal affective disorder. For instance, if a person feels lazy or dizzy only in winters, then he/ she is suffering from this disorder.

So, these are some of the significant types of anxiety and depression. Well, both anxiety and depression can be cured without any medications, but if the situation is worsened, then the clinical medications must be taken by people. Both these disorders come from a basic emotion, i.e., loneliness. So, people are advised to talk to different people, distract themselves, and try new activities. This will help them in being away from such mental ailments. Thus, anxiety and depression are the most common mental ailments among people.

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