depression and anxiety

Anxiety or Depression? How to Tell the Difference

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Anxiety and depression are often used in the same conversation and oftentimes the comorbidity of the two is cause for confusion. But technically, these are two different mental disorders with very different effects although they do share a few commonalities.

Defining Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) defines the major depressive disorder as: “a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, thinks and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”1

  • Depressed mood
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Slowing of movement
  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts, behaviors or attempts
  • Restlessness
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause or doesn’t respond to treatment.

Generally, if you experience at least 3 of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, it might be time to see a doctor, therapist or psychologist to help with diagnosis and treatment plan.

How Anxiety Appears

Again, as defined by the NIH: “Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety and worries about a variety of events or activities that occurs more days than not, for at least 6 months. People with generalized anxiety disorder find it difficult to control their worry, which may cause impairment in social, occupational or other areas of functioning.”2

  • Excessive worry
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling wound up
  • Easily fatigued
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Muscle Tension

If you have symptoms for more than 6 months, it is time to see a professional to help with diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Key Differences Between Depression and Anxiety

Although the above lists have a few common symptoms, the main differences could be viewed as polar opposites. Depressed people tend to move more slowly with dull and lifeless reactions. People with an anxiety disorder are more keyed up, oftentimes moving quickly and having racing thoughts.

The way these two groups react to the future is quite telling as well. Anxious people fear the future, worry about events that haven’t even happened yet while those suffering depression are more resigned to a dismal future without happiness or hope.3

Helpful Lifestyle Changes You Can Employ

Whether you are experiencing depression or anxiety or both, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help supplement the treatment plan put together by your provider.

Sleep: Improving sleep habits helps give your brain a chance to clean house, reset and start fresh each day. For an easy, free and relaxing way to set your melatonin cycles up for healthy sleep, visit our page on morning light.

Exercise: A good reminder that exercise releases endorphins decrease stress and assists in ridding us of toxins.

Healthy Diet: An insulin-resistant diet will support your body’s energy reserves and cut down on over-spiking and dropping of blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to those jitters and getting “hangry.” Avoid processed foods, flours, and sugars as much as possible, opting for whole foods like low-sugar fruits and vegetables, organic/ethically raised protein sources and healthy fats from nuts, avocados, and olives.

Stop Bad Habits: Smoking, drinking, and recreational drug use can all be contributors to anxiety and depression symptoms and can interfere with treatment protocols such as medication.4

MeRT℠ Offers Support to Both Conditions

At Brain Health Restoration, we offer the potential of supporting the treatment process for depression and anxiety, by using the FDA-approved TMS machine. The difference between MeRT and TMS is the application of a variable treatment frequency to precisely target the individual’s current brain wave patterns.

MeRT uses three FDA approved technologies: Quantitative EEG Analysis, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and the EKG analysis of an individual patient’s heart rate. These technologies are married through the intrinsic harmonic relationship between the primary synchronizer of the brain, the alpha rhythm, and the heart rate.

The resultant frequency and coil location generated by MeRT provides an extremely precise and highly individualized treatment protocol. The importance of the individualized frequency and localization generated by MeRT cannot be overstated.

MeRT is a treatment protocol that is non-invasive, essentially pain-free and with minimal or no side effects and allows you to return immediately to normal everyday activity.

Brain Health Restoration offers Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy (MeRT), a fully customized treatment protocol with expected benefits of better sleep, better concentration and focus, reduced depression and anxiety and fewer cravings. To find out more or to see how MeRT might help you please contact us here. 


1 “Depression.”  National Institute of Mental Health.
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

2“Anxiety Disorders.:  National Institute of Mental Health.
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/generalized-anxiety-disorder.shtml

3Smith PhD, LPC, Kathleen.  “Anxiety vs. Depression: How to Tell the Difference.”   Psycom.net. psycom.net/anxiety-depression-difference

4 Sawchuck Ph.D., L.P., Craig N.  “Depression and Anxiety:  Can I have both?”  Mayo Clinic. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/depression-and-anxiety/faq-20057989


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