Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

Depression vs Anxiety: The Differences Explained

We’ve all been in that headspace before — feeling down in the dumps and unsure of ourselves compared to where we once were. It can be difficult to differentiate between the two common feelings of depression and anxiety.

So what exactly is the difference? If you’re unsure what conditions you’re experiencing, the path to diagnosis is murky. Distinguishing between depression vs anxiety can be difficult.

Fortunately, there are a few telltale signs that can help guide you. To better understand the nuances between anxiety and depression, here is a breakdown of the key differences.

Primary Emotion

The main difference between the two is where the distress comes from. Anxiety is mostly caused by fear, while depression is mainly caused by sadness. For example, anxiety is fear of things that could go wrong.

In contrast, depression is deep, long-lasting sadness caused by a lack of control or power. Because of this, people with anxiety often feel like they can’t do anything to eliminate their fear. People with depression may feel deep sadness when their hopes and dreams don’t come true.


Some things can cause both depression and anxiety, but some things are more likely to cause one than the other. For example, a stressful event like losing a job or going through a hard change in life can often lead to depression. On the other hand, anxiety can be triggered by much less specific things, like a scary movie, a tense social gathering, or an outside reminder of past trauma.

Impact on Daily Functioning

Depression can make it hard to stay motivated, have enough energy, and do daily tasks. People with chronic depression may find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, not want to go to work or do chores around the house, and pull away from other people.

On the other hand, anxiety can cause people to avoid things and make it hard to do things like go to work, school, or social events. People with anxiety may avoid situations that make them feel anxious. This can make them feel alone and make it hard to finish tasks.


How to treat depression and how to treat types of anxiety are two different things. The goal of treating depression is to make the person feel better and make life more fun. The main goal of treating anxiety is to eliminate the patient’s physical and mental symptoms and teach them how to deal with them.

Some ways to treat depression and anxiety are psychotherapy, medications like antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, exercise, relaxation techniques, and making changes to your lifestyle. Check this service to learn more about how to treat your depression.

Distinguish the Difference Between Depression vs Anxiety

Depression and anxiety can both produce physical and emotional anguish, but it is important to understand their unique differences. Anxiety treatment involves lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, mindfulness, and therapies. Depression, on the other hand, may require medication or professional counseling to manage effectively.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression vs anxiety, seek professional help. Don’t delay. Take action today and start your journey towards better mental health!

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