April 22, 2024

Can Anxiety Cause Depression?

Anxiety disorder and depression are often extremely interconnected.  In general, anxiety disorder will not actually cause depression.  Since the two disorders share many of the same symptoms, someone who experiences one may also be diagnosed with the other.  In some cases, patients may actually be misdiagnosed because the symptoms are so similar.  To properly understand the link between anxiety and depression, it is important to first look at the symptoms and how they differ from one another.

The Difference in Symptoms between Anxiety and Depression

Patients with anxiety disorder will often experience fear, anxiety, panic attacks and have difficulty breathing.  They may have problems concentrating and stop eating.  Unlike depressed patients, individuals with anxiety disorder do not suffer from suicidal thoughts.  Instead of these thoughts, they will often become preoccupied with the fear of death.  Depressed patients often have to deal with an overwhelming feeling of sadness, hopelessness and loss.  Patients with anxiety disorder are more likely to feel apprehensive, fearful and have an abundance of anxiety related energy.

The Overlap

Since many of the symptoms of the two disorders are similar, a patient may be misdiagnosed or diagnosed with both.  A patient who has anxiety disorder may develop depression as a result.  Dealing with an endless stream of panic attacks and anxiety can be extremely stressful to the individual and lead them to become depressed.

When patients report their anxiety, they may tell the doctor their symptoms in a way that leads the doctor to think they are suffering from depression instead.  The patient may report feeling tired and suffer from headaches, loss of appetite and inability to concentrate.  Since these symptoms may make them feel distressed and unhappy, the doctor may believe they are suffering from depression instead of anxiety disorder.

Although treatment would help cure any feelings of depression, the patient will end up dealing with continued bouts of depression and anxiety.  The root cause of the problem is not depression.  Since the patient would not be treated for the underlying disorder, they would never become completely cured.

These two disorders are linked to one another.  A patient with anxiety disorder is likely to develop depression and a depressed patient has increased chances of developing anxiety disorder.

Since the two disorders overlap greatly, a patient needs to be very detailed when they tell the doctor all of their symptoms.  For the patient to be cured, they must receive the correct treatment for their disorder.  With the proper treatment for the type of disorder they are suffering from – whether it be anxiety or depression – the patient can return to a normal life.


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