April 13, 2017

Knowing the Difference Between Anxiety and Depression, and How to Treat Them Both

Anxiety and depression are very common, and can be completely normal symptoms of everyday life. Anxiety is a normal response in your mind to notify you of a potentially dangerous or stressful situation, and is intended to protect you from the dangers in our world. While on the other hand, depression is a normal mood to experience, and is a natural part of coping with the stressors affecting our lives.

Greater concerns arise when this level of stress begins occurring more frequently, causing constant flare ups of fear, dread, angst or panic. When anxiety begins to interfere with normal daily activities, you may have what’s called an anxiety disorder.

A depressive disorder is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated or uninterested in life for a prolonged period and begins having difficulty with daily activities. Chronic depression is a treatable illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and functions.

Because there can be difficulty in diagnosing these mood disorders, it is essential to talk with your doctor candidly about how you’ve been feeling. It’s also important that your doctor takes time to gain a full understanding of what symptoms you are struggling with.

There are many treatment options for anxiety and depressive disorders, most of which do not involve taking medications. It is important that you have an honest discussion with your provider about your goals of care so that you can arrive at a common plan to suit your needs.

Any time is a good time to talk with your doctor about anxiety or depression.

To schedule an appointment with one of the providers at Mission Family Medicine Glenwood, call (828) 659-9000.

To find a Mission primary care provider elsewhere in WNC, call (828) 213-3222 or request an appointment at mission-health.org/primarycare.