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Healthy Community Healthy You – Anxiety vs Depression – Mental health Comparison

By   /  June 8, 2024  /  No Comments


Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough -Mental health is pivotal for our emotional and physical health and to be able to live with quality of life. The terms “anxiety” and “depression” are very familiar and get mixed up quite a bit. These emotions are responses to situations be them high-stakes, stressful, disappointing, and/or upsetting. These are moods that can be occasional, chronic, and complex. Both can lead to isolation, avoidance, and be very disruptive to life. Feeling this way can take away energy and wellbeing. Although anxiety and depression can share the same basis, understanding correct biological and circumstantial surroundings of how one experiences these emotional states is important for treatment.


People with anxiety worry about the future or what is currently taking place. Thoughts about things being wrong can be persistent and uncontrollable. This can lead to avoiding situations and anything or anyone who can cause the thoughts to consume them. Some people’s thoughts lead directly to the worst possible outcome happening form something and often times that means death. There are different types of anxiety. Overall, having anxiety is about worrying that can be unrealistic.

  1. General anxiety disorder (GAD) – the person worries about a variety of issues, activities, and/or events.
  2. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) – the person is fearful of what others think about them and about being rejected so they avoid meeting new people or going places that could be socially challenging to them.
  3. Obsessive compulsive disorder – the person has thoughts that are unrealistic and go far from being general worrying. The thoughts manifest to a point of obsession.

Anxiety can have physical side effects. The persons can have trouble concentrating, trouble staying asleep, have muscle tension, be short fob rathe, have high blood pressure, have increased sweat, feel dizzy, have gastrointestinal problems (GI) such as nausea or diarrhea, and/or have muscle tension.


A person with depression feels a sense of hopelessness about life and because of this don’t think trying or making efforts towards even daily living tasks is worth it. They can also feel like they are worthless and of no value. Due to these negative self-thoughts, death can become a thought because life to them is not worth living. For a person with major depressive disorder (MDD), these bad thoughts can be chronic and go on for weeks.

Depression can cause lack of energy, feeling achy, losing your appetite, overall moving slower and talking slower, and cause the person to sleep much more than they normally would.

There are several ways to treat anxiety and depression. Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. Medications to treat both are available, and there are natural approaches. Talk-therapy can help by seeking the assistance of a trained professional to receive cognitive behavioral therapy (CPT) and there is a lot of reading material out there that may be of guidance. Lifestyle change is the key natural remedy. Being active, avoiding alcohol and nicotine, lowering caffeine intake, getting adequate sleep, practicing deep breathing and meditation, eating a healthy diet, aromatherapy, and drinking teas such as chamomile, have all been found to improve mood and alleviate symptoms. Getting outside with more vitamin D, taking a B12 supplement, changing your personal environment such as your living conditions and who you surround yourself with, creating an organized schedule to adhere to, and keeping you time busy, productive, and occupied, can keep the mind away from negativity. Feeling better might not be an immediate fix, but lessening severity can create a path towards positivity and feelings that life is manageable, worth living, and full of experiences you want to be part of.

Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough, EdDEvery BODY’s Fit 

www.everybodysfitoceanside.comMindful BODY’s 



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