Do I Have Anxiety, Depression, or Both? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Do I Have Anxiety, Depression, or Both? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Struggling with your mental health can be overwhelming. But you are not alone, even if it often feels that way. Anxiety and depression are two common mental health disorders, with anxiety affecting nearly 40 million adults1 in the United States and depression affecting 280 million.2 

Even though these conditions are common, they shouldn’t be considered “normal.” When anxiety and depression persist, they can seriously get in the way of day-to-day life. 

Navigating through emotional and physical symptoms can be challenging, but understanding the signs and knowing when and how to get help can help you feel better.

This article will cover signs of anxiety and depression to look out for and how to get help. So, as you read on, remember that you’re taking a brave step towards reclaiming your life, and support is available to help you along this journey.

What Is Anxiety?

Some anxiety is normal in life – such as getting nervous before a test or job interview. When anxiety gets out of hand, you can experience nervousness or worry, even in normal situations. 

Signs and symptoms of anxiety include: 

  • Feelings of nervousness and stress
women stressed out and nervous

  • Difficulty sleeping
Women facing difficulty while sleeping

  • Feelings of panic 
Girl getting panic attack on road

There are different types of anxiety disorders,3 including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Phobias
  • Separation anxiety disorder

11 Signs of Anxiety in Adults

Signs of anxiety vary. Some anxiety signs in adults are emotional, while others are physical. 

Emotional signs of anxiety include:

11 Signs of Anxiety in Adults

  • Feeling nervousness or restless
  • Feeling a sense of impending danger or panic
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling the urge to avoid things that cause anxiety

Physical signs of anxiety include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Digestive issues
  • Rapid breathing

If you have anxiety that consistently affects your everyday life, seek professional mental health support from a counselor or psychiatrist. 

How to Recognize Anxiety is Getting Worse

Anxiety can be acceptable and even helpful in some situations, but when it starts to worsen and get in the way of your life, it may be time to seek help. 

Signs that anxiety may be worsening include4:

  • Feeling worried about situations that are unlikely to occur or out of your control
  • Physical symptoms that disrupt your daily life
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Increases in negativity and irritability 
  • Problems at work or school
  • Feeling a sense of being “out of control” 

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness. When you are depressed, it can affect how you think, feel, sleep, eat, and handle daily activities.  

Depression is characterized by feelings of low motivation and sadness.5 

There are a couple of different types of depression, including:

  • Major depression
Depression written on paper piece

  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Perinatal depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
SAD blocks with full form

  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis
Stop Psychosis tablets

10 Warning Signs of Depression

Signs of depression6 can be categorized as being either emotional or physical. 

Emotional signs of depression include:

  • A sad or “empty” mood
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling irritable or restless
  • Feeling guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and other activities 
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Physical signs of depression include: 

  • Changes in appetite
  • Unintentional weight changes
  • Body aches, including headaches and cramps
  • Digestive issues 

How to Know That Your Depression Is Escalating

If your depression is getting worse, then you may need to seek out professional help. The following signs may indicate that depression is worsening and needs immediate attention.

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities that you once loved
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feeling irritable or anxious
  • Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness

The Overlap Between Anxiety and Depression

You may have already noticed that both anxiety and depression have some similar symptoms. Many people experience both anxiety and depression together. Some experts state that about 60% of people7 who experience anxiety also show signs of depression. 

Symptoms that could indicate either anxiety or depression include:

  • Feelings of worry or stress
Worried Womn in sitting in a room

  • Appetite changes
Women eating cake on bed

  • Weight loss or weight gain
HELP displayed on weigh scale

  • Irritability
Women getting irritated

Anxiety and depression can also feed into each other. This means that if one worsens, the other could decline as well. This also means that working on and improving one condition may help to improve the other. 

Diagnostic Methods for Identifying Anxiety and Depression

The main way that mental health professionals diagnose anxiety and depression8 is by talking with you to evaluate and understand your symptoms. They will ask about what you’re experiencing to help figure out what may be causing the issues and determine how serious it is. 

Your doctor may also recommend some medical testing to ensure that an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism, isn’t causing the issue. 

When and How to Seek Help for Anxiety and Depression

If you’re dealing with anxiety and depression as an ongoing issue, it may be time to seek professional help. Some steps you can take include:

  • Speaking to a therapist. Therapy is an effective method to help you verbalize your issues and get to the root of the issue. Speaking with a therapist is more accessible now than ever before, with many therapists offering affordable pricing and some taking health insurance. Find a therapist near you.
Therapits and patient sitting together

  • Medication. In some situations, you may need medication to help with anxiety and depression. Medications can be an effective treatment for many people. Also, you may only need them temporarily. Only use medications under the care of a skilled professional and always follow their dosing recommendations.
Person taking pills

  • Lifestyle changes. Some lifestyle changes can help with treating anxiety and depression. Getting onto a regular sleep schedule, exercising daily, and eating a nutritious diet can all positively affect mental health. 
Women with open arms under sunlight

Various helpful online resources are available to help with depression and anxiety. The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) website lists community resources targeted at specific populations (such as women, teens, children, military members, and more). 

A 24/7 free national helpline is also available through SAMHSA, offering mental health and substance abuse support for those in need. 


Anxiety and depression may be common, but that doesn’t mean you must let these mental health challenges go untreated. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression – or both – it is crucial to seek support. You can talk to a mental help professional who can diagnose you or speak to a therapist who can help you verbalize your feelings. A professional can also prescribe any medications or lifestyle changes to help you start feeling better. 

Additional Resources

Here are some helpful resources if you are struggling with anxiety and/or depression. 

  • SAMHSA Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Mental Health Emergency Hotline: 988
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI or text “HELPLINE” to 62640
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741
Written By
Sophia Deschler RN, BSN

Sophia Deschler is a Registered Nurse and professional medical and health writer based in Northeast Florida. She is a contributing author for multiple health and wellness websites such as, and many others She is a busy mother of two and long distance runner committed to educating others about overall health and wellness.

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