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The Differences Between Stress, Anxiety And Depression

The feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, discouraged and depressed are all so similar, it can often be hard to know which is which. Are you struggling with ongoing depression, for example? Or, are you going through a stressful season of life? Is your anxiety normal, or is it time to seek professional help for treating anxiety? How should you think through the symptoms of stress you’re experiencing? What can you do?

To help you understand the differences between these conditions, as well as what to do about them, here’s a look at the specific signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

A Closer Look at These Conditions

In today’s world, stress is almost a given. Whether you’re a busy professional or a driven student, you likely face demands and deadlines, as well as other pressures. Yet while stress is normal, depression and anxiety are more serious and are ongoing conditions that can occur as a reaction to stress. As such, they often require different help than just stress management.

Stress, Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

There can be some overlap between depression symptoms and signs and other conditions. To help you identify what you may potentially be facing, here’s a breakdown of the common signs of each:

Symptoms of Stress

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Insomnia
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Changing eating habits

Anxiety Symptoms

  • Feeling panicked or in danger
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
  • Chronic restlessness, nervousness or tension
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive problems
  • Obsessive thoughts

Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Persistently feeling guilty, worthless or helpless
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Decreased energy
  • Memory problems
  • Anger and rage
  • Changing eating habits
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Chronic restlessness, agitation, irritability

The Connection Between Stress and Depression

As evidenced above, the signs of stress and depression can look alike — but the main difference is that depression is more intense and long-lasting. Feeling stressed for a few days is usually not cause for concern, but feeling symptoms for at least two weeks may mean it’s time to do something.

Tips for Reducing Stress, Anxiety and Depression

As a first line of defense against stress, anxiety or depression, there are several lifestyle changes you can try to see what helps. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Reduce stressors: Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint what’s overwhelming you — a specific project, taking on too many tasks, etc. See if you can take a few responsibilities off your plate. Or, at least, break up projects into more manageable chunks.
  • Take care of your body: When your body is depleted, it’s more susceptible to getting overstressed. Make it a priority to get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and stay hydrated. By taking care of your body, you empower it to feel better.
  • Do something fun: Sometimes just mixing up routine to get out of the house and have fun can make a huge difference in your outlook on life. Go out with friends, take a walk or do something else you enjoy.

Get Help at Aayu Clinics

When you want help dealing with any of the above conditions, Aayu Clinics is the depression and anxiety clinic in Chicago you can trust. From yoga wellness anxiety support to depression counseling in Chicago, we have proven anxiety and depression treatment methods to help you. Come to any of our locations to receive personalized, responsive care, quickly and efficiently, from board-certified physicians committed to you.

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