Facts About Depression and Anxiety: Know Your Mental Health

“Anxious” and “depressed,” two of the most common terms used in everyday conversation, have a lot of merits.

High-risk or potentially dangerous situations (in the case of anxiety) or disheartening, upsetting situations regularly elicit both of these common emotions in people (in the case of depression).

Anxiety affects both young and old. Though anxiety disorders in this population are frequently associated with traumatic events such as a fall or acute illness, the most common anxiety disorder among older adults is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The leading cause of disability in the world is depression. In developing countries, nearly 75% of people with mental illnesses go untreated, and nearly one million people commit suicide every year. 

The symptoms are the main distinction between depression and anxiety. Depression is a state of sadness that lasts for a long time.

You also lack energy and lose interest in previously enjoyed activities. Some people who are depressed consider harming themselves.

Understanding the differences between the two emotions and determining the severity of the problem can assist you in determining how to improve your mood. In this article, we will tackle some facts that correlate with both anxiety and depression. 

What’s The Difference Between Depression and Anxiety?

We frequently hear the terms anxiety and depression used interchangeably in discussions about mental health. While the two conditions have some similarities in terms of signs and symptoms, they also have some differences.

Anxiety is defined as a state of persistent worry or fear. Worry can be focused on a specific situation or object, or it can be more generalized, with the person worrying about a variety of things.

If you frequently experience the following feelings, you may have an anxiety problem.

  • Worry has taken over your life.
  • Irritable or agitated
  • Whether you’re sweaty or shaky,
  • You act as if you’re out of control.

Depression, on the other hand, can take many forms. Low mood, hopelessness, low self-esteem, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, withdrawal from social interaction, and, in some cases, thoughts of self-harm or suicide are all symptoms of depression.

When you’re depressed, you might experience the following symptoms:

  • Sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety are all emotions that can be felt.
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • a lack of vitality
  • Consuming more or less food than usual
  • Sleeping too little or too much makes it difficult to think or concentrate.

To be considered depressed, your symptoms must be present for the majority of the day, almost every day, for at least two weeks.

Anxiety and depression can cause changes in sleep patterns, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. It’s not uncommon for the two conditions to occur at the same time, despite their differences.

Nearly half of all children and adolescents diagnosed with the major depressive disorder also suffer from anxiety. Depression can develop as a result of anxiety.

Facts About Depression

Facts About Depression

People can be depressed for a variety of reasons, including the loss of a job or the death of a close friend, but this isn’t always the case with clinical depression.

Mood-controlling chemicals in the brain may be out of whack, causing you to feel down even if everything is going well in your life.

Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects many people. Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, weight gain or loss, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, energy loss, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide are all symptoms of a depressive episode.

Depression is a serious condition that can be treated. However, myths, misunderstandings, and stigma continue to prevent many people from seeking treatment, and the consequences of untreated depression can be fatal.

On the other hand, understanding the facts about depression can save lives. Here are facts about depression that you should be aware of.

  • In the United States, 17.3 million adults have experienced at least one major depressive episode (7.1 percent of all US adults).
  • According to a World Health Organization report released in February 2017, depression is the world’s leading cause of disability, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of people living with depression increased by 18 percent, with the majority of those affected being young people, the elderly, and women. In 2017, 264 million people around the world were estimated to be depressed.
  • Depression can be exacerbated by a personal or family history of depression, major life changes, trauma, stress, and certain medications.
  • In the United States, 3.2 million adolescents have experienced at least one major depressive episode (13.3 percent of the US population aged 12 to 17).
  • Depression has been linked to a variety of health issues. Depressed people are more likely to develop chronic inflammatory or autoimmune diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and irritable bowel disease. According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology in July 2019, it’s unclear whether depression causes inflammation or the other way around.
  • People who are depressed may not appear to be depressed. Depression is a hidden illness. Some people may appear upbeat and cheerful on the outside, but they are dealing with depression symptoms on the inside.
  • In the United States, depression is the leading cause of disability among people aged 15 to 44.
  • Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment for depression, antidepressant medications, traditional forms of psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy are all common options (ECT).
  • Persistent depressive disorder (also known as dysthymia), postpartum depression, psychotic depression, seasonal affective disorder, and major depression are all examples of depression.
  • Depression runs in the family, but it isn’t always the only factor. According to a study published in July 2018 in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, the heritability rate, the percentage of a trait that may be due to genes of depression, is only about 37%.
  • Therapy and lifestyle changes are recommended first for mild to moderate depression; however, for moderate to severe depression, a combination of therapy and medication is often beneficial. Antidepressant medications are sometimes used first to alleviate depression sufficiently for therapy to be effective. 

Facts About Anxiety

Facts About Anxiety

It’s not uncommon for someone suffering from anxiety to also be depressed, or vice versa. Anxiety disorders affect nearly half of those who have been diagnosed with depression.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults aged 18 and up each year, or 18.1 percent of the population. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, but only 36.9% of those who suffer from them receive help.

People with anxiety disorders are three to five times more likely to see a doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric problems than those who do not.

Genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events all play a role in the development of anxiety disorders

Here are some facts about anxiety that you should be aware of:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD affects 6.8 million adults in the United States, or 3.1 percent of the population, but only 43.2 percent of those affected receive treatment. Women are twice as likely as men to be afflicted. GAD is frequently associated with major depression.

Panic Disorder (PD)

PD affects 6 million adults in the United States or 2.7 percent of the population. Women are twice as likely as men to be afflicted.

Anxiety Disorder in Social Situations

Social Anxiety Disorder

SAD affects 15 million adults in the United States or 6.8% of the population. It affects both men and women equally and usually begins around the age of 13.

According to a 2007 ADAA survey, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder have had symptoms for ten years or more before seeking help.


Specific Phobias Affect 19 million adults in the United States or 8.7% of the population.

Women are twice as likely as men to be afflicted. Symptoms usually appear in childhood, with an average age of onset of 7 years.

Anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are closely linked to anxiety disorders, which some people may experience alongside depression.


At some point in their lives, everyone encounters stress and anxiety. The difference is that stress is a reaction to a threat in a situation, whereas anxiety is not.

Anxiety is the body’s reaction to stress. Read Stress in America: A National Mental Health Crisis by the American Psychological Association (Oct 2020)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD affects 2.2 million adults in the United States or 1.0 percent of the population. OCD affects both men and women equally.

The average age of onset is 19, with 25% of cases starting before the age of 14. One-third of those who have been affected have had symptoms since they were children.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD affects 7.7 million adults in the United States or 3.5 percent of the population. Women are more likely than men to be affected.

Rape is the most common cause of PTSD, with 65 percent of men and 45.9% of women developing the disorder after being raped. Childhood sexual abuse is a strong predictor of developing PTSD later in life.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) 

The leading cause of disability in the United States among people aged 15 to 44. MDD affects more than 16.1 million adults in the United States each year, or about 6.7 percent of the population aged 18 and up. 

Although the major depressive disorder can strike at any age, the average onset age is 32.5 years. Women are more affected than men.

Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) (formerly known as dysthymia) 

In any given year, it affects about 1.5 percent of the US population aged 18 and up (approximately 3.3 million adults in the United States). Only 61.7 percent of adults suffering from MDD are being treated. The average age at which symptoms appear is 31 years old. 

Below are other interesting facts about anxiety

Anxiety Can Be Passed Down In The Family

Why do some people seem to survive traumatic events and appear to be unharmed? Others develop anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

One thing is certain: anxiety disorders and anxious temperaments appear to be passed down through the generations.

Individuals who are genetically predisposed to anxiety are also at a higher risk of developing anxiety after experiencing traumatic or stressful events, according to research.

Anxiety Can Begin As Early As Childhood

Another surprising fact about anxiety is that it typically starts in childhood. According to the CDC, approximately 7% of children aged 3 to 17 years old have been diagnosed with anxiety.

Children can’t say things like “I have anxiety” or “I’m worried” because their verbal skills are still developing.

Instead, their anxiety manifests as stomach aches, headaches, or behavioral issues such as temper tantrums.

Restlessness, inattention, avoidance, and frequent meltdowns are all common anxiety symptoms in children. Unfortunately, these symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed as ADHD and treated accordingly.

Physical Symptoms Can Be Caused By Anxiety

The majority of people are aware that anxiety causes difficulty concentrating and focusing, as well as restlessness, irritability, and frustration.

Few people realize, however, that anxiety can lead to serious physical issues such as weakness, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, nausea, hot flashes, and dizziness.

People who are having a panic attack frequently end up in the emergency room, mistakenly believing they are having a heart attack.

Anxiety Disorders Raises The Risk Of Health Problems

Anxiety has been linked to a variety of chronic physical illnesses, including heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders like COPD, gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, and substance abuse, according to Harvard research. 

Cold Hands And Feet Can Be Caused By Anxiety

Have you ever wondered why your hands and feet are cold to the touch at times? Did you know that it could be caused by stress?

The flight or fight response kicks in when we are anxious. Blood flow is redirected from your extremities, such as your hands and feet, to your torso and vital organs when this happens. Your hands and feet will feel cold as a result of this.

Anxiety Can Cause Anger

Anger is a common, but lesser-known, anxiety side effect. When we feel helpless in a situation or that our lives are spinning out of control, expressing anger is a natural way to regain control.

It’s much easier to externalize the conflict than to recognize and address the real problem. Additionally, depression can develop in anxiety sufferers who have been suffering for a long time.

Anxiety Can Cause Memory Problems

People who suffer from anxiety have a hard time staying in the present moment, which makes them forgetful.

People with generalized anxiety disorder struggle with worry and their inability to control it. When we worry, it’s usually about something that hasn’t happened yet, which means we’re anticipating problems in the future.

This is why people who suffer from anxiety often appear to be distracted, not paying attention, or simply uninterested.

Women Are Twice As Likely As Men To Suffer From Anxiety

Women are twice as likely as men to develop anxiety disorders, which is perhaps one of the most surprising facts about anxiety.

According to the ADAA, a woman is twice as likely as a man to develop an anxiety disorder between the ages of puberty and 50. Because of progesterone and estrogen, a woman’s fight or flight response is more easily activated and stays activated longer than a man’s. 

There’s also evidence that the female brain processes serotonin slower than the male brain and is more sensitive to low levels of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that helps mammals organize their stress responses.

Anxiety is a common and healthy reaction to stressful situations. It only becomes a problem when we react in ways that are detrimental to living a rich, full, and meaningful life.


A person suffering from depression or anxiety may wonder how to help themselves or a loved one. Both anxiety and depression are treated with talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.

One of the most common talk therapies is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It teaches you how to stop triggering your anxiety or depression by changing the way you think and act.

Antidepressants alter the chemical balance in your brain to improve your mood. Anxiety is treated with anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. The sooner you begin treatment, the more likely you are to benefit.

To rule out any medical conditions that could be causing your anxiety and depression, you should make an appointment with a professional.

Facts About Depression and Anxiety
Joe Davies