Anxiety v Depression 

Hmmm … It isn’t a competition lol. The use of ‘v’ is hyperbole I think. However, I have been processing the differences between the two over the last little bit of time. 

As far as I can tell, the only real similarity is the impact both exert on your ability to function day to day. How it impacts is vastly different. From my experience. 

Prior to March I thought I understood anxiety, and I had been giving advice to sufferers like I understood it. I was so wrong. But I thought I understood it because I have suffered from depression in the past. I thought they were two sides of the same coin. But I haven’t experienced them that way. 

When I was depressed I didn’t feel sick. The anxiety is causing a sick belly for me most of the time (the last week was good but it’s back as return to work approaches). It forces me to second guess everything that I think, feel and say. Before, during and after. It is insane. And as a result, it is hard to commit to anything and everything. Even communicating with other people is too much. 

I am better than I was. Significantly. I can now believe that this is temporary and that it will pass. Then I will rebuild myself. I think committing to an alternate plan has helped with this, ie. removing the source of the anxiety from my life. My strategies are in place. And I am willing to put myself first and if something feels too much I am postponing it. 

Depression was different. I just wanted to die. I was able to function in public and in my roles but could only perform for short periods of time. And I had a desire to keep it hidden. And did, generally speaking. This might just be my experience though. I think everyone’s is different. 

What I understand about anxiety now is:

* as well intentioned as other people are, tough love does not work for anxious people. 

* very small steps are required and only in the sufferer’s time; rigid commitment is impossible. 

* suggestions are great, especially if they are strategic, but the sufferer only wants to hear them once, and will probably feel very vulnerable and incompetent as the strategies are given. 

* telling yourself it is a temporary situation does not alleviate any anxiety. The sufferer knows it is temporary. 

What has helped me work through it and be a little resilient over time:

* focusing on breath. 

* yoga. 

* meditation. 

* planning forward after some time. 

* time out. 

* not being there as much for other people, ie. putting myself first. 

* gratitude. 

* writing. 

Two different mental health experiences. Anxiety impacts life but I refuse to let it destroy my life long term. 

12 thoughts on “Anxiety v Depression 

  1. Can definitely relate to this. I only became aware I had anxiety when I got intense butterflies in my stomach which made me feel sick. And the way I describe depression for me is just feeling worthless. So whenever people said anything good about me, it made me feel worse and go into a deeper depression. And I very much wanted to keep it hidden. I could still function and smile but on the inside I was in pain. But, yeah, the anxiety meant tiredness, forgetfulness, loss of concentration, etc. Also agree that tough love does not work for people with anxiety. Thanks for sharing!

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      • Definitely a learning curve. Got the butterflies at the moment too. Not fun. I guess the idea that I can’t control it is another factor. Sometimes I can think everything is fine but my body tells me otherwise.

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        • Oh I understand that. I’m like that right now too – I feel in my head that I’m quite calm but my belly says otherwise. I don’t like the lack of control either – I wonder if only people who like control suffer anxiety – food for thought there.

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          • Glad you can understand, sometimes it feels like I’m just imaging things – hehe. And definitely think being a control freak is entirely linked to my anxiety.

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            • Mine too. I started suffering when I had no control to fix a situation lol. That’s why I write my posts – I feel like a freak and figure it can’t just be me, so if I share I’m less alone and so is anyone that reads 😉 thank YOU for reading and commenting and sharing xo

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              • That’s pretty much how I started to find out I struggled with depression and anxiety too. I was in a situation that I couldn’t fix and I couldn’t please people. My usual ways of doing things weren’t working. But it’s good in a way because anxiety and depression point to things that need to be dealt with. Can be a long process though. Love the sharing! It definitely helps.

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  2. Good job. Don’t let anxiety get you down. You can do it! The tools you have are all very valuable and have worked wonders for me as well as practicing putting myself in uncomfortable situations just to get used to being out of my comfort zone sometimes eems to help. Sometimes it helps me to see that things just aren’t really as bad as I make them out to be. If you would follow me or check out my blog I would greatly appreciate it. Either way thank you for your inspirational writings. -bel

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