Do I Have Depression, Anxiety, or Both?

Mar 21, 2024
Do I Have Depression, Anxiety, or Both?
You know something isn’t quite right, but you’re not sure how to describe what you’re feeling. Are you battling one mental health issue, or could you have a combination of depression and anxiety? We’re here to help you understand your symptoms.

Now more than ever, our society is focusing on the importance of mental health, calling attention to the often-overlooked warning signs and emphasizing the need for prompt medical treatment. 

But what most still don’t know about mental health is how incredibly complicated it can be. 

Some folks only struggle with one mental health issue, but many others have to navigate two or more at a time, which often makes their conditions even more challenging to diagnose. 

When you can’t quite put your finger on what’s upsetting your mental and emotional health, our team of experts at Leading MDs should be your first call. 

We have years of experience unraveling the tangled mess mental health can quickly become. In this blog, we’re diving into two of the most common mental health issues and exploring what it looks like when you have both at the same time. 

Anxiety vs. depression

Anxiety and depression are both serious mental health conditions that can impact virtually every facet of your well-being — but they’re not the same thing. Understanding their differences is an important step in determining which you’re suffering from.  

 Here’s a closer look.

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders cause a feeling of constant fear, uneasiness, tension, and worry. Those with anxiety are triggered by situations with an uncertain outcome or by things that haven’t happened yet. You might also:

  • Have intense worry about the immediate or long-term future
  • Overthink
  • Feel an intense desire to escape a situation
  • Have thoughts about death due to perceived risk
  • Difficulty concentrating

Many also have physical symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Increased and/or irregular heart rate

Any of these symptoms can significantly impact your daily life and relationships. 

Depressive disorders

Depression goes far beyond sadness or feeling down. Depressive disorders cause pervasive feelings of hopelessness that permeate into your daily life. When you have depression you might:

  • Feel hopeless or worthless
  • Have a pessimistic outlook on life
  • Think about death often
  • Feeling as though your life isn’t worth living
  • Experience changes in appetite
  • Gain or lose weight unintentionally
  • Have trouble sleeping or sleep too much
  • Lose focus and concentration easily
  • Lose interest in hobbies
  • Experience headaches, back pain, and aching muscles

Many with depression experience symptoms so severe they consider suicide. If that’s true, you need emergency medical attention. Please go to the nearest emergency room and get help as soon as possible. 

Anxiety plus depression

You may feel as though you identify with one set of symptoms more than the other, or you may feel you have a mixture of both. If you feel you have one foot in both camps, you’re not alone. 

Research shows that up to 60% of people with depression also have anxiety, and anxiety and depression are among the most common comorbidities in mental health. 

There are a few theories that attempt to explain the collision of anxiety and depression. 

Some suggest that similar biological mechanisms are at play, so anxiety and depression are more likely to show up together. The same hormones (serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine) are involved in both conditions. 

It can be more difficult to diagnose two mental illnesses, but not impossible. That’s why we encourage our patients to talk to us about all of their symptoms, even if they don’t seem relevant. 

We know anxiety and depression (and other mental health issues) often occur together, so we leave no stone unturned during your evaluation. Once we know more, we help you understand your symptoms, identify your triggers, and develop a personalized plan to address both conditions. 

Our team at Leading MDs offers a wide range of psychiatric and behavioral health services to help you restore your mental and emotional well-being. Depending on your needs, we recommend counseling, group therapy, and/or medication management. We can also refer you to other specialists, should you require it. 

Most of our patients benefit from a combination of therapies and interventions to manage their symptoms better. 

There’s no reason to leave your mental health questions unanswered any longer; Leading MDs is ready to help you find a solution. Call our friendly staff at any of our four locations. We proudly serve Goodyear, Tempe, Mesa, and Sun City, Arizona.