15 Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety
Anxiety and depression are some of the most common mental health disorders today— and their prevalence is on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there has been a significant increase in the percentage of people in America exhibiting signs of anxiety or depression since the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety and depression can each have a profound impact on work, school, relationships, and personal life, so it can be important to receive a proper diagnosis in order to take the right steps to manage your mental health.
Individual Differences In Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression can often take different forms depending on age, gender, socialization, and cultural background, as well as personal differences unique to each individual. In men, anxiety and depression can often manifest themselves as anger, irritability, and reckless behavior. Women are more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression including feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and persistent fatigue. In children and young adults, symptoms can vary from separation anxiety and clinginess to defiant behavior and trouble in school.
If you are concerned that your child could be experiencing anxiety or depression, consider looking more into children’s mental health and bringing up any concerns with their primary care provider. For older adults and seniors, depression and anxiety symptoms can include memory loss, substance misuse, and loss of interest in hobbies and activities. Many people want to avoid feeling like a burden in these situations, but reaching out for help can often be a powerful thing you can do.
Not sure if you're going through depression or anxiety? While mental illness varies from person to person, there are a few common signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for. Consider the following, which you can discuss with your medical provider
Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression
If you find yourself constantly worrying about things, it could be a symptom of anxiety. While some worry is a normal part of everyday life, people going through anxiety experience excessive worry, even about things that might not otherwise seem very important. These worries are often intrusive and can affect your thoughts and emotions even when you try everything you can to ignore them.
Feeling Restless Or On Edge
Feelings of unexplained restlessness and tension can be another common symptom of anxiety. This can include a sense of impending doom or disaster, sometimes accompanied by fear or even panic. These feelings can be concentrated on a specific event, like the loss of a job or a natural disaster, or they can be more diffuse. If you feel like you're constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Are you constantly tense and physically wound up? Muscle tension is a physical symptom that often accompanies mental health issues, including anxiety. This constant tension can leave you feeling sore and physically exhausted, even when you haven't done any other physical activity. This prolonged tension can often be the source of chronic pain and other recurring illnesses, so it can be important to nip it in the bud before it becomes more severe.
Feelings of Worthlessness
People coping with depression often experience a persistent feeling of worthlessness and low self-esteem. This can be a more general feeling or can be related to a specific area such as work, school, or personal relationships. While most people go through periods of self-doubt and uncertainty, the symptoms experienced by those dealing with depression tend to be more intense and persist regardless of external factors.
Similar to feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt can be another common symptom of depression. People can feel guilty for things they have or haven't done, often dwelling on past actions to an unhealthy extent. People can also feel guilty about their mental illness itself and the way it affects their personal and professional lives. These feelings of guilt can be compounded by the other common symptoms of depression, such as withdrawal from personal relationships and failure to fulfill obligations at work and school. Guilt over symptoms of depression can be a vicious cycle, so it can be vital to seek help before you're caught in the spiral.
Withdrawing From Family and Friends
If you find yourself withdrawing from relationships with friends and families, you could be going through depression. People with depression often remove themselves from otherwise happy, healthy relationships, and struggle to form new connections with others. They can often feel like a burden to those who care about them or may simply be too exhausted and overwhelmed to deal with more social interaction. Lack of close relationships can also be a factor that leads to depression. In any case, social withdrawal can often further exacerbate existing mental illness because humans biologically need connections with others to stay healthy.
Depression can often manifest itself as reckless behavior, including increased substance use and unsafe sex. This could also include risk-taking activities like reckless driving or getting into physical conflicts. More common in men than in women, these behaviors can often be dangerous in and of themselves in addition to acting as a warning sign of mental health issues. If you find yourself drawn to reckless behaviors regardless of the consequences, consider seeking help.
One of the most common symptoms of depression and anxiety is fatigue, lethargy, and constant tiredness. If you feel like it's a struggle to get out of bed each morning or do anything other than the bare minimum, it could be a symptom of depression and anxiety. These feelings of tiredness and exhaustion can encompass both physical and mental sensations and can often have significant negative impacts on your professional and personal life. While chronic fatigue can have other medical causes, including autoimmune disorders and other issues, it can be worth having a professional check to make sure that you aren't experiencing a mental illness.
9. Changes In Sleep Patterns
Another frequently occurring symptom of both depression and anxiety is a significant change in sleep patterns. This can mean that you're getting much more sleep than you normally would and find it difficult to stay awake throughout the day. It can also manifest as persistent difficulty sleeping, and even insomnia. Other common sleep-related symptoms could be trouble falling asleep or waking up earlier than usual. After a stressful or traumatic life event, it can be common to deal with disruptions to your sleep. If these symptoms persist, however, you could have a mental health concern on your hands. Issues with sleep can also have an outsized impact on the rest of your day, which can make it an especially important symptom to combat.
10. Changes In Appetite
If you find yourself constantly overeating or eating much less than you used to, you could be experiencing another common symptom of anxiety and depression. Changes in appetite often accompany other symptoms like restlessness or fatigue. Anxiety and depression can also occur alongside eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, which could make them an especially dangerous combination.
11. Anger And Irritability
Feeling angry all the time even without a clear reason? Anger and irritability can be common symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially among men. These symptoms can often also have a significant impact on your relationships with others. This may make it more difficult to seek help or get support when you need it.
12. Physical Pain
While depression and anxiety are mental illnesses, they can often have persistent physical symptoms. Physical pain, including headaches, cramps, and muscle soreness may accompany other psychological symptoms. If you're in pain and can't identify a clear physical cause, it could be a symptom of an underlying mental health issue.
13. Persistent Sadness
Another hallmark of depression can be a persistent feeling of sadness. While it's normal to experience feelings of sadness and melancholy after significant life events, feeling constantly sad could be a sign of something more serious. Whether you find yourself in the throes of despair or feel like you're in a bad mood all the time for no apparent reason, you could be experiencing depression.
14. Trouble Concentrating
If you have trouble concentrating on the task at hand, and instead find yourself constantly worrying about other things or losing focus completely, it could be a sign of anxiety and depression. This symptom can negatively affect work, school, and other areas of performance, and can make it more difficult to perform even basic tasks like preparing meals or completing household chores.
One of the most serious symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety and depression can be suicidal ideation. This can take the form of persistent suicidal thoughts or even plans to commit suicide. If you're experiencing symptoms of suicidal ideation, be sure to get in touch with a mental health professional right away.
If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7.
While any of these symptoms taken individually may or may not be a sign of mental illness, if you're experiencing several of the above symptoms, you could have anxiety or depression. While these mental health disorders are common, they are also highly treatable through a variety of methods, including medication and therapy. The American Psychiatric Association notes that most individuals who are treated for depression experience a reduction in their symptoms.
Online Therapy With BetterHelp
Are you experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety? Whether you're looking for professional counseling or just need someone to talk to, BetterHelp offers a diverse selection of online therapy services that can provide you with the help you need to manage your mental health. When you’re struggling with conditions like anxiety and depression, leaving the house can be difficult.
The Efficacy Of Online Therapy
Online-based therapy interventions have grown in popularity in recent years. They can be utilized to manage a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. One study found that an internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy program successfully treated symptoms of anxiety and depression, reducing their prevalence as well as their severity.
Anxiety and depression are two mental health disorders that can each present unique challenges for the individual struggling with them. At times, these two conditions can occur simultaneously. If they are left unaddressed, several different physical and mental health symptoms can result. It can be important to seek help from a professional, like a licensed online therapist, should you find yourself struggling to cope with mental health concerns such as these. They can give you new tools and techniques that may help you develop a healthier mindset and move forward toward a more fulfilling life.