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What's the difference between anxiety and depression?

Sadly, the statistics suggest that round one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue each year. We are encourages to see that the conversation about mental health is ever increasing, for that reason you have probably seen the terms anxiety and depression mentioned in your day to day life. Because of these statistics you are very likely to know people who suffer from one or both, that might even be you. Those two terms: anxiety and depression are often lumped together, both negative phenomenons, which seem linked.

But is there a difference and can you experience one without the other?

The biggest difference, is that one is a stand-alone condition, and the other is more of an umbrella term which can include a variety of symptoms.

Depression is an illness, one that might present differently in individuals, but a condition which has a recognisable list of symptoms. Depression is defined by having a low mood and/or a loss of interest or enjoyment in most activities, for two weeks or longer, and can be incredibly debilitating.

Anxiety can include all sorts of conditions and emotions, but is generally categorised as feeling on edge, nervous and worried, even if there is little to no logical reason behind it. People suffering with anxiety can be exhausted even by feeling uncomfortable, but it is a range and can even prevent people from leaving the house or being able to interact with daily life.

Whilst these are two separate conditions, confusingly around half of people with generalised anxiety disorder will also have depression. As well as this, the difficulty of 'dealing with' one can increase the likelihood of the other developing. It is very common for people who experience on etc experience both conditions, but is it not always the case.

If you are experiencing either of these, the best thing you can do is go easy on yourself. Self-blame and low confidence can be really debilitating, this is not your fault. Lean on others, read up on some coping mechanisms like in this blog. Reach out to people you trust like friends and family, and reach out to a professional like your GP and or a therapist who is professionally trained to help guide people through these conditions.

If you would like support for you, or a loved one, who is suffering with anxiety and/or depression then feel free to contact the team here at Wellbeing Practice in Poundbury - we are used to, and dedicate our career to helping people with anxiety, depression and much more. Contact the team on or book a session directly, easily, and quickly online here.

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