Depression Vs. Anxiety: 4 Overlapping Symptoms

Depression Vs. Anxiety: 4 Overlapping Symptoms

You can’t sleep, or you’re always stressed. Your social life shrinks, and you suffer from unexplained body aches. These symptoms of poor mental health can come from several different causes. In fact, the very common mental health conditions of depression and anxiety share multiple symptoms.

At Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, our team of psychiatric and mental health specialists, led by Dr. Ronald P. Winfield, is here to help.

Determining the cause of your mental health struggles helps you to better target your treatment and recovery plan. If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, or both, talk to Dr. Winfield about your mental health symptoms.

Here are some common symptoms that can indicate depression, anxiety, or both.

1. Sleep disruption

Bidirectional links between sleep and depression, and sleep and anxiety, mean that sleep disturbances are a common, and overlapping symptom of both of these mental health conditions.

People with depression may oversleep, but still feel fatigued while awake. Or, your depression might be expressed with insomnia and sleeplessness, throwing off your night/day rhythms and making it hard for you to get out of bed in the morning.

Anxiety can also reduce the quality of your sleep. People with anxiety often struggle to get to sleep, and may experience intrusive and distressing dreams that make the nighttime hours a stressful time.

2. Social life loss

A key indicator of both anxiety and depression is significant and lasting disruption of your normal social patterns.

Some forms of anxiety make social contact specifically challenging. You might have social anxiety, causing you to become distressed in the company of other people or groups. Or, specific anxiety triggers or phobias might limit your life to the extent that socializing becomes difficult, if not impossible.

Depression often results in social life loss, as well. Depression can result in low energy and low self-esteem. In addition to feeling like making it out of the house is extra-difficult, depression can also cause you to doubt whether your friends and loved ones will really miss your company.

The truth? Your loved ones understand what you’re going through, but absolutely miss you when depression keeps you home.

3. Unexplained aches and pains

Your mind and your body are closely linked, so it makes sense that mental health disruptions like ongoing depression or anxiety often result in physical symptoms, as well as mental ones. Both depression and anxiety can leave you suffering from unexplained body aches and pains.

Depression has been linked to physical symptoms including headaches, backaches, and digestive issues. Anxiety is another common cause of digestive issues. And, the stress of anxiety attacks can also result in frequent headaches, backaches, and buttocks pain.

In fact, it’s sometimes the case that chronic pain cases have a component related to depression or anxiety. Improving your mental health could be what you need to enjoy improved physical wellness.

4. Suicidal thoughts

Thoughts of suicide, or killing yourself, are frightening, and should be taken seriously. Contact the 988 helpline if you have thoughts of suicide, or a plan for killing yourself.

The extreme states of stress that result from chronic anxiety or depression can make you feel trapped, as if there’s no way forward. When you can’t bear to go on as you have been, you may experience thoughts of killing yourself. However, treatments for depression and anxiety can improve your condition. You have a lot left to live for!

Dr. Winfield and the team at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates, LLC, can help you seek diagnosis and treatment for your mental health. With the right treatment, you can get back to living a full, healthy, and happy life.

To learn more, schedule your initial consultation appointment online or over the phone today.

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