Depression vs Anxiety
While I was formally diagnosed with chronic depression, I was never officially diagnosed with anxiety. I self-diagnosed anxiety because I knew it wasn’t depression, which I knew very, very well, and because I had learned the power of educating yourself as a way to help heal yourself.
Depression and anxiety hold many similarities. They both involve uncontrollable feelings of often vague origin, and they both involve some level of hopelessness and helplessness. Both are also deep to the point of affecting every part of a person.
The differences between anxiety and depression, for me, was that depression felt like a dark pit while anxiety felt like a heightened (i.e., overly sensitive) state of awareness. In other words, depression was a low energy state while anxiety is a high energy state.
Another connection between the two involves the idea that any lack of control can lead to depression without the right thinking to surround it, and anxiety certainly feels like no control. Yet, all my efforts to gain control as much as I could over whomever I could were fruitless. Only when I finally gave up seeking control did I discover healing and victory over depression.
The Physical Component
Another is the physical component, which I cannot ever dismiss or consider too lightly. It has a huge role to play both in depression and anxiety. The physical aspect of the self — my health and wellness — played a significant role in my whole depression/anxiety story. Staying physically healthy and making adjustments as I age go a long way in maintaining mental health. The two — mental and physical — go hand-in-hand, and neither part should be ignored.