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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Bakalarski

Anxiety and Depression Commonly Occur Together: How do you know the difference?

Anxiety symptoms in U.S. adults increased from 8% in 2019 to 29% in 2022, and depressive symptoms from 7% to 23% (Friedman, 2022). You are not alone in these feelings. Approximately 60% of people with anxiety experience depression and vice versa (Watson & Bhandari, 2021). As you can see from the image, there is an overlap between the two disorders, but they have important distinguishing qualities. Depression is marked by persistent sadness, and hopelessness, while anxiety is with ruminating thoughts about fears or worries outside of one's control. It is essential to tell your doctor or therapist about all of your symptoms so they can be effectively treated.

Many people wonder why they have anxiety or depression. Current science says that both disorders can be genetic (approximately 40%) or stem from traumatic experiences and other life adversities (Kalin, 2020). Anxiety and depression can be effectively treated with psychotherapy, EMDR, and medication if deemed clinically appropriate by your prescriber.

It is brave to ask for help. Please get in touch with me for a free 15-minute consultation. I provide services to children (6+), adolescents, adults, couples/relationships, and families. I provide in-person services in my Santa Cruz office. Telehealth is available if deemed clinically appropriat

Friedman, R.A. (2022, October 10). How to know if it’s depression or just ‘normal’ sadness: Unlike everyday sadness, clinical depression is a potentially serious and highly treatable illness. Washington Post.

Kalin, N.H. (2020, May 1). The critical relationship between anxiety and depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 177(5), 365-367.

Watson. S., & Bhandari, S. (2021, June 30). Depression vs. anxiety: Which one do I have? Webmd.

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