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Anxiety or depression? It may sound strange but a lot of people suffering with anxiety actually believe they have depression, why is this? One of the side affects of anxiety is to become reclusive and emotional, while some people may actually suffer with a side affect of depression. Because people generally have the tendency to shy away from social settings when they have an anxiety condition friends and family can automatically presume that depression is the cause. The difference between the two conditions is vast, below is a detailed outline of each condition. Anxiety disorder Anxiety is the feeling of fear and apprehension; this can be caused by a multitude of different reasons depending on the type of anxiety condition a person has. A person suffering with anxiety will have physical symptoms like trembling and excessive sweating on the surface while underneath the blood is flowing to the major muscles inhibiting the digestive and immune systems and the heart is beating very fast. The anxiety can make panic set in, which causes a person to feel the “flight or fight scenario”. Anxiety is not hereditary and anyone can suffer with the condition, sometimes for no apparent reason. Depression Depression is the feeling of overwhelming sadness, guilt, worthlessness and isolation; these emotional feelings cause physical issues like fatigue, problems concentrating and difficulty sleeping. It is believed that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the neurotransmitters found in the brain and central nervous system. These neurotransmitters (Serotonin and norepinephrine) help manage a persons mood so if there is an imbalance then a crash in a persons mood can happen. When a person does have depression they will feel like the world is falling around them, it is common for thoughts of suicide to cross their mind and feelings of woe are never far from a sufferers mind. Depression has been shown to be hereditary, if a family member has suffered with depression it is likely another family member will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Summary As you can see, anxiety and depression are two totally separate conditions. If you were to have anxiety then yes, you may shy away from the world outside, but this is not out of sadness or thoughts of suicide it is out of general fear of what is happening on the other side of your front door. You may not be aware but about 3.5% of the population suffer with an anxiety condition in their lifetime with many not even realizing they have one, on top of this one in sixty people in the western world will have an isolated anxiety attack every year. It is true that the medication used in the treatment of anxiety is the same as that used for cases of depression but this has no bearing on the conditions being close in any way, shape or form. The next time you think a person you know has depression but you cannot understand why, look further in to the symptoms they have and you may be surprised to find that anxiety is the reason they are unsocial.
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