Anxiety, Panic, Depression…What’s the Difference

Hello, during my research this weekend I realized that the symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, and depression are very similar.  They all affect the body: heart rate, sweaty, fatigue, upset stomach, irritability; affect your actions: snapping at people, restlessness, wanting to run away from people and/or situations; affect your thoughts: feeling out of control, helpless, hopeless, anger, loss of interest.  So I want to dig a little deeper into each one.

Anxiety — is linked to stress or nerves and is normal, but sometimes it can become severe and occurs for no reason, then it is a problem.  Normal anxiety occurs when you have a presentation or examination.  Some of the symptoms:

  • difficulty speaking
  • dry mouth
  • feeling faint
  • pounding heart
  • sweating
  • upset stomach
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling sick
  • tight chest
  • sweaty hands
  • lump in throat
  • weak legs
  • isolation
  • quick to anger

Panic Attacks — you get tense at the thought of meeting people, you might drink too much in order to cope, which could make you more stressed and prone to more panic, can lead to depression, poor sleep, anxiety, and phobias.

Depression — feeling low or down is normal, again if it becomes severe it is time to seek treatment.  Some of the symptoms:

  • persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • irritability, restlessness
  • loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • fatigue and decreased energy
  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, making decisions
  • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  • overeating or appetite loss
  • thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts (need treatment ASAP)

But there is hope, some of the easiest ways to cope with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression is deep breathing, journaling, taking a walk, medication, and therapy.  Some other things that might help is listening to soothing music, reading a book, doing yoga or some other type of physical activity, meditation, relaxation techniques, guided visualizations

For more information on Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Depression or some of the treatments mentioned please email me at

Thank you and stay positive.  And I put my correct office number on the blog…

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