Feeling anxious or stressed is a common human experience. However, there are different types of anxiety, which vary in different degrees. In today’s fast-paced, competitive society, most of us will probably suffer from symptoms of anxiety at one time or another. Often, work demands cause us to feel anxious. We generally speak about feeling “stressed”.
Anxiety is not necessarily all bad as it can motivate you to perform to the best of your ability. Too high a level of anxiety can however result in severe distress and can impact negatively on different areas of your life, whether it be at home, at work or in your social life.
Depression is one of the leading causes of disease around the world and is often described as the “common cold” of psychopathology. You may have asked yourself once or twice in your lifetime if you are or have been depressed. The word “depressed” is often used loosely to describe the ups and downs of everyday life, but do we know exactly what it means to be depressed? Perhaps you know of someone who has been diagnosed with a depressive disorder or with depressive symptoms, perhaps you have recognised the symptoms in yourself? Depressive symptoms come in all shapes and sizes and the disorder presents itself in many different forms.
It is important to note that some of the symptoms of anxiety overlap with symptoms of depression, for example being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, and irritable mood in the case of children and adolescents. It is therefore always advisable to consult a mental health professional to assist you in teasing out what you are actually suffering from - anxiety or depression or even a mix of the two.
Have a look at our psychological and mental health resources.