What’s the Difference Between Anxiety and Depression?

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Published Date|
April 11, 2024

What’s the Difference Between Anxiety and Depression?

Anxiety and depression are two of the most commonly discussed mental health issues. 

While both can make you feel drained, overwhelmed, and exhausted, it can be hard to tell which one you’re experiencing.

This can make it feel impossible to know how to find the help you need.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re passionate about helping you understand exactly what you’re experiencing. For the last 15 years, we’re helped our clients and communication learn about their mental health so they can feel empowered seeking the support they need.

After reading this article, you’ll know the symptoms of anxiety and depression, how to tell which one you’re facing, and how to find a great Toronto therapist to help you manage your symptoms.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is something that everyone experiences. It’s a persistent feeling of nervousness, dread, or fear that makes your palms sweat, your stomach turn, and your heart race.

An anxiety disorder is a clinical level of anxiety that needs to be diagnosed by a mental health professional, including generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, social anxiety, and phobias.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Persistent worry
  • Feeling edgy or restless
  • Disrupted sleeping and eating habits
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Constantly thinking about what could go wrong

Whether you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder or you’re experiencing high amounts of anxiety, these symptoms can negatively impact your quality of life and you deserve to get the help you need to thrive.

How to Find an Anxiety Therapist in Toronto

Toronto has a great selection of anxiety therapists to choose from, and neighbourhoods like Yonge and Eglinton have a great choice when it comes to anxiety therapy.

When choosing an anxiety therapist in Toronto, consider:

  • Your budget and insurance
  • Their specialities (i.e. social anxiety or panic attacks)
  • Their location and how you’ll get to therapy (or if you’d feel more comfortable with online therapy)

Read The Top 5 Anxiety Therapists in Toronto to learn about fantastic local therapists you can choose from.

What is Depression?

Depression is an overwhelming and ongoing sadness that negatively impacts your quality of life. 

Clinical depression needs to be diagnosed by a mental health professional, but the symptoms of depression can negatively impact your quality of life regardless of whether or not you have a diagnosis.

Signs of depression include:

  • A lack of energy
  • Disrupted sleeping and eating patterns
  • Intense feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • A loss of interest in activities or hobbies that used to bring you joy

One serious symptom of depression is suicidal ideation. If you’re having thoughts of harming yourself, contact 911 if you’re in immediate danger or visit 988.ca for free, confidential resources and support.

How to Find a Depression Therapist in Toronto

Since one major symptom of depression is a lack of energy, it can be especially challenging to find a therapist for depression.

Asking for a referral from your family doctor can be a great first step and help you find a quality therapist without needing to do too much independent research.

Other considerations when choosing a depression therapist include:

  • What types of therapy they offer
  • Your insurance coverage and budget
  • How your therapist helps clients stay motivated during the therapy process

Learn more by reading our full article on How to Find a Depression Therapist in Toronto.

How Is Therapy Different for Anxiety and Depression?

Anxiety and depression are distinct mental health conditions, but they share traits and often occur at the same time.

what's the difference between anxiety and depression

The main difference between anxiety and depression is that anxiety causes feelings of nervousness and fear, while depression causes feelings of hopelessness and sadness.

Symptoms shared by anxiety and depression include:

  • A lack of motivation
  • Difficulties with concentration
  • Disrupted sleeping and eating habits
  • A desire to isolate yourself from friends and family

Therapy for anxiety and depression is different depending on what is causing your symptoms and what specific symptoms you’re experiencing.

Therapy for anxiety will typically involve:

  • Exploring the root causes of your fear and panic
  • Exploring how to manage your symptoms and triggers
  • Figuring out coping mechanisms and strategies to manage anxiety
  • Activities and exercises to help you build new, positive thought patterns

Read The 5 Best Types of Therapy for Anxiety to learn more about your therapy options.

Therapy for depression will typically involve:

  • Understanding the root source of your depression
  • Exploring a new sense of purpose and meaning in your life
  • Finding ways to overcome feelings of numbness and fatigue
  • Learning how to navigate and cope with the symptoms of depression

Read The 4 Best Types of Therapy for Depression to explore your therapy options.

If you’re looking to involve medication for treatment of anxiety and/or depression, speak to a family doctor or psychiatrist to learn more.

Many people choose to see both a therapist and a psychiatrist when seeking medication for mental health.

Read What Type of Therapist Should I See? to learn more.

Next Steps for Beginning Therapy

After reading this article, you know the difference between anxiety and depression and how to find the support you need in Toronto.

Here at KMA Therapy, our talented team of therapists includes experts in both anxiety and depression. Whether you’re seeking therapy for anxiety, depression, or both, we’re here to help you find a therapist who will be a great match for your needs.

Register online to connect with our team or download our free Therapy 101 Guide to learn more.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, explore these related articles:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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