Anxiety vs. Depression: 5 Overlapping Symptoms

Anxiety vs. Depression: 5 Overlapping Symptoms

Millions of people suffer from anxiety or depression, and some people have both. When it comes to getting treatment, it can be difficult to get a correct diagnosis without the aid of a mental health professional, because both conditions share several common symptoms.

At Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, our team uses in-depth evaluations to identify anxiety and depression, so you can be confident your treatment is focused on your specific needs. In this post, our team reviews five common symptoms shared by both depression and anxiety

1. Sleep disturbances

People suffering from either depression or anxiety (or both) frequently have difficulty sleeping. That could mean they have trouble falling asleep, they have trouble staying asleep, or their sleep quality is poor. In any case, a lack of sleep can lead to worse depression or anxiety symptoms, along with a host of additional physical and emotional impacts.

Sometimes, people with anxiety or depression may find they sleep more than usual. Although some people may believe “sleeping the day away” is a defense mechanism that provides some relief from symptoms, excessive sleeping could also be a result of feelings of tiredness that often go hand in hand with both anxiety and depression. As with too little sleep, too much sleep could make your depression symptoms worse.

2. Fatigue

Considering that sleep disturbances are a common symptom of depression and anxiety, it’s not surprising that fatigue is also shared by the two conditions. Feelings of tiredness, fatigue, and lethargy have different causes, in part varying by whether you have depression or anxiety.

With both conditions, medications used to relieve anxiety and depression can actually contribute to fatigue. Often, this side effect goes away once you become adjusted to the medication. And, of course, a lack of quality sleep can also play a big role.

3. Irritability or moodiness

Moodiness is another hallmark symptom that can occur with depression and anxiety. Both conditions involve disruptions or abnormalities in systems that produce neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that play a role in mood.

Moodiness can cause serious problems at work and school, and it can cause relationship problems as well. If you have depression, feeling like you have little or no control over your moods and feelings can stoke the feelings of hopelessness and self-loathing that often occur.

4. Problems concentrating

Difficulty focusing, problems with memory, and troubles staying on task can be common symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Both conditions can cause you to become preoccupied with worries or mired in feelings of hopelessness, and again, sleep problems and even medications can make these symptoms worse.

Recent data show that people with depression especially suffer from significant cognitive impairments, including problems with reasoning, concentrating, and memory. Without medical care, these symptoms can lead to difficulties with employment and relationships as well.

5. Muscle or body aches and pains

Aches and pains are common complaints that can have multiple causes. When you’re anxious or depressed, you may not be as active as you need to be, which can lead to muscle stiffness and discomfort. 

Plus, both conditions can increase muscle tension, which can lead to soreness over time. Lack of sleep can make these symptoms feel much worse.

There is help for depression and anxiety

Our team specializes in patient-centered treatments for anxiety and depression, helping patients enjoy long-term symptom relief and a better quality of life. To learn how we can help you, call 310-982-7003 to book an appointment with Bowman Medical Group today.

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