Everybody tends to have anxiety at one point in their lives where, over time, they overcome it and move on. However, for a smaller number of people, anxiety becomes a menacing condition that leads to a more serious mental struggle that prevents them from leading a normal healthy life.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition where one constantly feels anxious or gets extremely worried about certain things in life, from money problems to family issues. It’s a condition that affects people of all ages. No matter what the cause, the severity of GAD also varies.

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What are the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Unlike other forms of mental struggles, the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder manifests physically, and such symptoms of anxiety are as follows:

Noticeable physical manifestations

  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry Mouth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling or shaking (mostly in the fingers)
  • Twitching or facial spasms
  • Palpitations or fast heartbeat
  • Muscle aches

Other physical symptoms:

  • Dizziness and/or nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Stomach ache
  • Headache
  • Vertigo
  • Prickling in the limbs (pins and needles)
  • Insomnia 
  • Jumpy (easily gets scared)

Symptoms of anxiety aren’t just limited to physical indications but also psychological:

  • Irritability
  • Constant worry over multiple reasons (or no reason at all)
  • Agitation or uneasiness
  • Lack and difficulty in concentrating
  • Nagging sense of doubt, dread, or uncertainty

Many of these signs are also related to depression. Symptoms of depression often overlap with anxiety. However, GAD and clinical depression are two different medical conditions. 

Anxiety and Depression Test: Similarities and Difference Between the Two

Anxiety and Depression are often interlaced because various factors trigger uncontrollable emotions. These two conditions are very complex and though the symptoms of depression and anxiety manifest in similar ways, the causes of depression and anxiety are different (even if there is no exact cause for these two conditions).

What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression?

The causes of anxiety are more sudden than depression where one may be more prone to being anxious over certain events in life. The most noted common causes of anxiety are:

  • Phobia
  • Stress
  • Side-effect of drugs or medication
  • Symptom of an underlying illness

When getting a Generalized Anxiety Disorder diagnosis, the person needs to undergo several medical tests to ensure that anxiety is not a symptom of a much more serious disease.

What is the number one cause of depression?

On the other hand, a person develops into a state of depression rather than gaining it overnight. Though a person may develop anxiety over time, it is more common for someone to be anxious or jittery due to triggering events. In comparison, depression is formed from within a person over a period of time and is diagnosed clinically as a disease. Common reasons why a person develops depression are:

  • Stress-induced depression
  • Effects of abuse
  • Built-up frustrations
  • Reaction to serious illnesses
  • Major life events like death or moving away of a loved one, divorce, and more
  • Vices or abuse of substances

Most adults suffer from stress-induced depression. The build-up of stress from home, work, or even from friends leads to depression which may also result in showing signs of anxiety. In fact, research shows that about 50% of people with clinical depression are also diagnosed as teens or adults with GAD.

Is depression hereditary?

With depression becoming a widely accepted mental condition that needs treatment, there is no clear line in whether or not depression is situational or biological. However, research does prove that Severe Recurrent Depression may be genetically inherited while other forms of depression tend to be caused by environmental factors much like anxiety.

Mental Markers: Clearly defining the difference between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depressive Disorder

Living with someone with depression or anxiety can be hard because you have to deal with their symptoms and changes in overall interaction and attitude. This can take a toll on everyone that surrounds a person with anxiety or depression. However, knowing the difference would also be helpful in understanding how to interact with someone.

A person with anxiety is constantly on edge and easily agitated. They are more likely to manifest more physical symptoms than those with depression. People with depressive disorders feel more alone and isolated. They tend to feel worthless and hopeless, and this often leads to suicidal thoughts.

Overcoming Anxiety and Depression

Since both conditions come hand in hand, these two conditions are bidirectional risk factors. It means that untreated GAD may result in depression and depression may lead to signs of anxiety. Many studies do back this up stating that anxiety disorders often lead up to the onset of depressive disorders.

What causes anxiety to turn into depression?

Anxiety is a very common emotion felt by almost everyone, normally people would feel anxious about certain events like their phobias or sudden traumatic events that trigger this emotion. But prolonged anxiety covering a span of at least 6 months transforms from worrying about one thing to worrying about every single detail in life is what makes GAD different from normal anxiety.

This form of anxiety will start affecting the way a person lives and acts. Once the manifestation of GAD occurs, a person’s other negative emotions start to surface leading to isolation, frustration, a growing sense of dread, and then depression. 

How to overcome anxiety and or depression?

There is no exact cure for either anxiety or depression, medications given are only meant to help manage intense emotions and symptoms from recurring but are not the only and complete solution. So overall, anxiety and depression can be overcome.

  1. Rooting out the problem. Understand why a person is suffering from anxiety. Finding the cause is one of the most effective steps to take to help overcome anxiety and depression. 
  2. Changing Routine. Trying out different activities like yoga, exercise or even sports are great ways to engage the body. Now, these activities boost serotonin and dopamine levels that improve your mood.
  3. Get someone to talk to. As simple as it may be, having someone on your side helps a person get out of the emotional rut.
  4. Taking care of yourself. Take a bath, eat healthy food, and start appreciating yourself. You are the cure to your own mental battles, starting small steps like simply taking care of yourself is one step closer to overcoming these disorders.

When to see a doctor for your Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

When you or someone you know is in an anxious or depressive state has major shifts in mood and attitude where their daily living is affected, this calls for professional help. Although most people can handle bouts of anxiety, but when the feeling becomes uncontrollable and constant recurring symptoms show, sometimes an adult with GAD may not be able to deal with the problem on their own. Recognizing that you have GAD or depression is not something anyone should be ashamed about; these intense feelings of worry or worthlessness are caused by factors beyond anyone’s control.

And to overcome such conditions, finding the proper help is the key. We at Persona Neurobehavior Group care for your mental health, and we hope you find the courage to reach out for help. If it’s too already too much to bear, we encourage you to seek professional guidance by calling us at 800-314-7273.