Differences between Anxiety and DepressionMassapequa, NY
There are numerous differences between depression and anxiety. Furthermore, the treatment methods for these mental health issues are distinct. Simply feeling down or a bit nervous from time to time does not qualify as clinical depression or anxiety. Those who regularly feel depressed or nervous may have a serious mental health condition that requires professional treatment.
The Difference Between Depression and Anxiety
For some patients, there is certainly a bit of overlap between depression and anxiety. However, these two mental health problems are not one in the same. Identifying whether a patient has an anxiety disorder or depression is essential to subsequent treatment. This is not to say a patient is limited to either an anxiety disorder or depression. The truth is some individuals suffer from both mental health maladies. The symptoms of each disorder are essential in understanding their differences.
Anxiety is a general apprehension about what is going to happen or could possibly happen in the future. Anxiety disorders are characterized by thoughts of worry and a general belief that something will go wrong. Depression is a feeling of sadness. Most of those who suffer from depression have a general sense of hopelessness. Depressed individuals are listless, dwell on the negative and sometimes have suicidal thoughts.
Depression sometimes occurs after an individual experiences an anxiety attack, leading to feelings of hopelessness, making the two conditions fairly difficult to tell apart. Both conditions often leave the patient feeling fatigued and drain. However, an individual with an anxiety disorder tends to feel drained following a period of intense anxiety. Those who are depressed tend to feel a constant fatigue that does not require specific triggers.
While we customize treatment for each patient and their struggles, there are still key differences between the two illnesses and the treatment process for each.
A depressed individual tends to feel like he or she cannot emerge from a dark shadow. Yet even the most extreme depression can be treated. Those who suffer from depression should not hesitate to ask for help. Our treatment options include a mixture of therapy, medication and lifestyle alterations. The most successful treatment modality hinges on the unique individual in question.
If depression stems from a medical condition, then we need to ensure the patient is addressing that condition first. We must also consider the severity of one’s depression when selecting the optimal treatment method. In many instances, it takes some time to pinpoint the proper treatment modality. Therapy might take multiple sessions to prove effective. Those who try an antidepressant might ultimately find it is unnecessary with other lifestyle changes. In general, it is not prudent to strictly rely on medications.
While medication has the potential to relieve depression symptoms, it is not always suitable for prolonged use. In many instances, therapy and/or exercise prove just as effective as antidepressants. Psychotherapy often proves quite successful in the treatment of depression. Also referred to as talk therapy, this approach provides patients with the insights and skills they need to combat depression and prevent it from returning. Several different types of talk therapy that we offer include:
A blended approach of these types sometimes proves optimal. Therapy teaches patients practical techniques to alter negative thinking and use behavioral skills to beat depression. Talk therapy cuts to the root cause of the depression to help patients understand why they feel as they do, identify the triggers of depression and determine what he or she can do to stay healthy. Such therapy can be performed in a one-on-one counseling session or in a group therapy format.
The benefits of counseling for anxiety treatment have been proven as highly effective by those in the scientific community. Though counseling requires more effort and time than medication, it is quite effective at reducing anxiety. Many prefer counseling to medication as anxiety medications often have negative side effects. Counselors strive to understand the patient’s symptoms, cut to the core of the patient’s anxiety and helps him or her implement approaches that decrease nervousness.
The result of successful anxiety treatment through talk therapy is a significantly higher quality of life. This is an effective way to stop anxiety from damaging one’s life. Yet no form of therapy is 100 percent effective. Some patients find their anxiety is better treated with social support networks, lifestyle alterations and/or medication. Anti-anxiety medication is quite popular, especially in combination with behavioral therapy.
Though medication does not cure an anxiety disorders, it controls the disorder while the patient receives counseling. There are countless success stories of patients with anxiety disorders leading fulfilling and healthy lives after obtaining treatment. Patients who give their treatment time ample time stand the best chance of emerging with minimal anxiety.
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