What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression?

One in four Americans has a diagnosable mental illness, with 9.5% suffering from depression and 18% anxiety. Often, anxiety and depression co-occur. Meaning a person can have both at the same time.

There is no one specific cause of anxiety or depression. They are influenced by genetic, biological, environmental, social, and psychological factors.

There are common genes linked to depression and anxiety from ancestors. However, just because you have the gene does not mean you will automatically experience depressive or anxiety symptoms. That’s where the other factors come into play.

Things like underlying medical conditions, or medications used to treat the conditions, can have side effects of depression, anxiety, or both. If you have had a traumatic event occur in your past, you may experience negative symptoms as a result.

The environment in which you live and the social influences contribute to your mental health. If your home environment surrounds you with fighting, yelling, chaos, addiction, or even neglect, you may feel depressed or anxious. Also, you make poor decisions to self-medicate or escape the chaos, like choosing to use drugs or drink alcohol, both of which can increase depression and anxiety.

So, how do you know if you have depression or anxiety? A psychiatrist is a physician and a specialist in mental health and pharmacology to treat mental health disorders. After an extensive evaluation, blood work, and elimination of other possible causes, they will give you a diagnosis.

A diagnosis is partly based on your feedback about your symptoms. Below are some common questions your psychiatrist may ask.


Think about your life in the past several months. Answer these questions:

  • How often have you felt nervous or on edge?
  • How often have you been unable to stop worrying even when you tried to control it?
  • How often do you have trouble relaxing?
  • How often have you felt restless and like you need to be moving around or more active?
  • How often have you been easily irritated or annoyed?
  • How often have you felt afraid something terrible is going to happen?

Answering yes to any of these questions is a sign to go ahead and sign up for an evaluation from a licensed psychiatrist or mental health counselor to learn more about anxiety treatment options

Before your visit, start documenting your symptoms, what is going on around you when your symptoms appear, time of day, and what you did to control your symptoms.

Common Anxiety Symptoms

There are both physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. Physically, you may have hot and cold flushes, shaking, shortness of breath (due to hyperventilating), and irrational thinking. For example, you may think you are having a heart attack even though your pulse is normal and you do not have chest pains.

Other symptoms include teeth grinding, muscle tension, tapping your foot or finger, digestive problems, trembling, or having a feeling of dread or like something terrible is going to happen.

There are different types of anxiety, ranging from mild to severe in intensity: Generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and phobias are examples of anxiety disorders. Each is a serious but very treatable disorder.

Anxiety assessment and diagnosis are similar to depression.


Take another moment to think back over the last few months in your life. Now, answer these questions:

  • How often did you feel down, irritable, or hopeless? 
  • How often have you lost interest in activities you once enjoyed? 
  • How often did you have sleep troubles?
  • How often have your eating habits changed (loss of appetite, overeating, etc.)?
  • How often have you felt tired and low energy?
  • How often have you felt bad about yourself or like you are not successful?
  • How often have you struggled with concentration or staying focused?
  • How often have you had unexplained body aches or pains, cramps, or digestive issues?

If your answer to these questions equals more than a few days, it is time to talk to an expert and explore depression treatment options. 

Common Depressive Symptoms

Various mental and physical symptoms can signal a problem due to depression

If left untreated, anxiety and depression can lead to symptoms that may interfere with work, school, and personal responsibilities. Some people may have bouts of sadness, while others may cry uncontrollably for no specific reason. Not wanting to get out of bed or wanting to sleep most of the day is another common symptom of depression. Feelings of guilt, shame, and hopelessness can occur, as well as isolating yourself from friends and family.

You don’t have to live your life feeling depressed or anxious. Many available treatment options are simple and effective.

Treatment for Anxiety and Depression

Treatment offers anyone with depression or anxiety a way to enjoy life again. You can lead a rewarding life filled with a fulfilling career and personal relationships.

Individual Therapy

Also called counseling or psychotherapy, individual counseling is a type of treatment in which you work one-on-one with a licensed mental health therapist to examine thoughts and feelings that may be causing depression or anxiety. You can also address issues from your past and learn new coping skills. 

Individual therapists use counseling methods to help you progress in your journey of overcoming anxiety and depression. Examples include cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

For some, the symptoms of depression and anxiety are so bad they can’t focus on therapy. If needed, your doctor may prescribe medication.

Medication Therapy

There are numerous anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications from which to choose. Your psychiatrist will select the one that will give you short-term and long-term relief. You may see minor improvements right away. Within a few weeks, you will notice remarkable improvements. Ketamine therapy should be considered for cases of depression, anxiety, and trauma that have not responded to traditional medication treatment.

Alternative Therapies

Today, many therapists recommend holistic therapies like yoga, meditation, self-compassion, stress management, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, and acupuncture.

Do you want more information on anxiety or depression? Do you want to ease your symptoms of anxiety and depression? If so, reach out today. We are ready to help you.