Symptoms of Depression Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of Depression Anxiety Disorder

Depression is the No. 1 cause of disability among adult Americans ages 15 to 44. It can often present alongside other mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders. While this can make both diagnosis and treatment more challenging, the majority of patients who are engaged in a comprehensive treatment program can expect to achieve significant symptom relief. In order to get help for depression and anxiety, however, it is necessary to first recognize the symptoms.

Clinical depression is a type of mental illness that causes depressed mood and can severely impair day-to-day functioning. There are several subtypes of depression, and each can present with different symptoms. Although everyone goes through periods of feeling "down," clinical depression differs in that these feelings are much more intense and persistent.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the standard reference for diagnosing mental disorders, indicates that in order to receive a diagnosis of depression, an individual must experience the symptoms for at least a two-week period, and these symptoms must be serious enough to interfere with everyday activities, representing a change from the previous level of functioning.

Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorder is a generic term for a group of disorders in which severe anxiety is the main symptom. There are four primary types of anxiety disorders, which are: phobias (specific fears and anxiety), generalized anxiety disorder (chronic fear, anxiety or worry in a variety of situations), post-traumatic stress disorder (panic symptoms related to past trauma) and panic disorder (physical symptoms of stress and anxiety that may or may not be associated with any specific event).

Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression can vary somewhat among individuals. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual lists the following symptoms of depression: a depressed mood most of every day, "markedly diminished interest or pleasure in ... activities, nearly every day," marked change in weight (gain or loss) and appetite, oversleeping and fatigue or insomnia, slowed motor activities, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty concentrating and thoughts of suicide.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are characterized by a pathological sense of worry and panic, and can greatly interfere with one's ability to function effectively in day-to-day activities. Although there are several different types of anxiety disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual lists the following as general symptoms: excessive feelings of anxiety, which may or may not occur in response to specific stimuli; physical stress responses, such as rapid heartbeat; hyperventilation; and dizziness.

Relation of Anxiety to Depression
Nearly half of the individuals who are diagnosed with depression also suffer from an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Depression can reinforce anxiety and excessive worrying, just as anxiety can fuel depression. The good news, however, is that both conditions are very treatable, and often respond well to the same types of treatments: antidepressant medication, psychotherapy and healthy lifestyle changes.