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  • Anxiety vs. Depression - How tell tell one from the other?

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    Old 08-03-2004, 08:31 PM   #1
    christalynn11
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    Anxiety vs. Depression - How tell tell one from the other?

    As a teen ( I am now in my 20's) I was diagnosed by a doctor who was seeing my father as well with being bipolar. However, I felt at the time and to this day that I was incorrectly diagnosed, based on the fact that my symptoms are very very different from his, and also the conflict of interest of having both of us seeing the same behavioral health specialist.

    Within the last year, I was put - by request - on a medication for the first time in years. It was Effexor and was supposed to treat my depression. I was also given Xanax, to treat my anxiety.

    My mood is a split between these two things, but without the cycling (either rapidly or sporartically) that would lend itself to bipolar disorder. My mood often begins with a bout of serious panic/anxiety, then followed with a sad feeling.

    Today I was changed to a new med, again one for depression. But just I explain time and time again that I am anxious to my docs, and always end up on an antidepressant. The weird thing was the even this new doc today said he thought I was experiencing anxeity.

    What gives? Has anyone else had a similar experience in trying to decide if you feel anxious or depressed? I don't experience the lack of desire to care for myself, see people, go to work - I love all those things - yet I am finding what makes them hard is my fears and pounding heart and underlying sadness from feeling this way.

    Help and advice appreciated!

     
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    Old 08-03-2004, 11:33 PM   #2
    quincy
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    Re: Anxiety vs. Depression - How tell tell one from the other?

    Hi,

    I have both anxiety and depression as well. It took many years before my psychologist actually believed me.....because I don't SHOW my depression to anyone except to my husband or close friends. It's easier for my friends to understand because they at times have the same depressed feelings.

    There are levels of degrees of depression. As well, there are for anxiety. So, how it was described to me by my psychologist is that when anxiety (not normal anxious feelings about "going to the doctor..stuff like that") starts to change the behaviour, the depression is used as an antidote. I always would feel overwhelmed about things I was anxious about (my behaviour is procrastination from some of my anxieties) and then I'd just get depressed to counter it. No more anxiety...just depression.

    I dealt with my anxiety through my psychologist using therapy (for my "issues") as well as cognitive behavioural therapy. Until an event brought me into quite a bad depression and my coping skills weren't very good...I sought Effexor XR from my GP. It worked well. Before that, I used Ativan on occasion for anxiety, but I never took it on a scheduled basis.

    So, just to explain a little more.....anxiety is worry and angst about the future (even if it's in the very near future), depression is dark feelings usually about the past, brought into the present which makes the future hopeless.

    So, if anxiety was about work. Let's say one is not wanting to fail and takes on extra projects to get the possible much needed acknowledgement of the boss. Within a short time, it became overwhelming to fit in all the extras over and above the daily workload as well as home life. The possible behaviour to counter that would be procrastination (buying mental "time" -- hopeful that tomorrow will allow more time to get things started). too much time has passed, and the deadline is nearing...so the eventual feeling may be depression or extreme sadness.

    In that state, the mind would go to places of the past "Why do I always do that...I never finish anything...I'm always a failure...none of my bosses ever sees how hard I work....etc...then I'm always going to fail, the boss will never like me, and I'll never get this done..so what's the use.

    There's a difference, but for many they work together. Like an emotional yo-yo controlled by thoughts and continued behaviour that's become habit to relieve the anxiety. I don't think we become anxious to relieve depression...at least I don't seem to. Meds do that, and eventually a quieter, brighter disposition happens.

    My depression episode has passed because of the meds, as well the situation is not in my life anylonger, so that's a good part. But, I still have a few anxieties, and I notice the draw to go back to the comfort of being depressed. I see how it works, but the strong feelings are always there. I acknowledge them, maybe give in for a short time, and get on with something else.

    So, that's my take on it...make any sense to you?

    Best to you,
    quincy
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    Old 08-04-2004, 01:17 PM   #3
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    Re: Anxiety vs. Depression - How tell tell one from the other?

    I have the anxiety/depression too. For years, dr.'s said my depression caused my anxiety. I feel that my anxiety causes my depression. Either way, I've done the whole xanax for anxiety Zoloft for depression thing. I'm 25 now and med free Its been a long journey, but yeah i'm alive. anyway, hang in there...

     
    Old 08-04-2004, 03:13 PM   #4
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    Re: Anxiety vs. Depression - How tell tell one from the other?

    elatedgiraffe,

    Congratulations....it's a long journey for sure (and tools for life if you've worked on understanding it all)!

    Be well,
    quincy
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    Old 08-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
    kazma
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    Re: Anxiety vs. Depression - How tell tell one from the other?

    I have both depression and anxiety too. I have found that since being on fluoxetine, my mood is a little better but I experience more anxiety than before. Anxiety is not always worry either, it can mean that you become super energetic and happy, but in a fidgety, not "normal" way. I find that when I have a depressive episode, I would much rather be anxious because at least I can still do things and so like yourself, I still love to see people when anxious. But the depression sux, it makes you unable to do anything right? And I definately don't want to hang out with people when like that. Hope things get better

     
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