Anxiety is a feeling of severe worry or dread. While everyone experiences anxiety on occasion, some people experience anxiety that is frequent or severe enough to impact their everyday lives. If you struggle with severe or chronic anxiety, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Some of the symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:
While some people experience only a few anxiety symptoms, others may experience all of these symptoms.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes intense, long-lasting feelings of sadness. Clinical depression is different from feeling “down,” which is a common emotion. Instead, depression causes a sadness so severe that you can’t function normally.
Some of the symptoms of clinical depression may include:
The doctor diagnoses both anxiety disorders and depression based on an analysis of your symptoms. Before making a formal diagnosis, the doctor also performs a physical exam and orders tests to rule out any other possible causes of your symptoms. Ultimately, they makes a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorders based on the criteria contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
In some cases, people have only depression or only an anxiety disorder. However, these two problems can occur together as well.
Both anxiety disorders and depression respond well to medication. To treat depression, The doctor may prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or other types of antidepressants. To treat anxiety disorders, the doctor may prescribe antidepressants or antianxiety medications.
Anxiety disorders and depression may also respond to psychotherapy, which involves talking about your condition and finding strategies to cope with negative feelings. Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthier diet and engaging in regular exercise, may be beneficial as well.
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