Depression and anxiety are normal human reactions to stress, loss of loved ones, and frustration. They often accompany each other. But in terms of pathogenesis, these are different conditions. Anxiety is the “combat readiness” of the human body for a quick response to stress. And depression is a depressed state with a feeling of hopelessness and loss of the meaning of life. Some depressions develop after anxiety and prolonged stress. These two normal reactions must be distinguished from pathological diseases — anxiety disorders and depression. Diseases are referred to as affective disorders. Depression and anxiety are involved in the development of somatic diseases – bronchial asthma, heart attack, hypertension. Among all mental illnesses, depression and anxiety are the most common. According to statistics, in the United States, major depressive episode occurs in 17.3% of cases, anxiety spectrum disorder – 24.5%, social phobia – 13%, post-traumatic stress disorder – 8%, genetralized anxiety disorder – 5%. The cost of treating a depressive disorder in Europe is one hundred billion euros, and the cost of treating anxiety disorders is forty billion euros.
The characteristics of depression are:
- weakening of life incentives;
- dreary, anxious mood;
- lack of emotional reactions;
- pessimism in thinking;
- decrease in cognitive abilities;
- minimization of physical activity;
- loss of sexual instinct;
- suicidal tendencies.
Vegetative and somatic manifestations are often accompanied by headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite, decreased salivation, hypertension, amenorrhea, tachycardia, constipation, mydriasis . Thinking is dominated by: lethargy, ideas of self-destruction, a pessimistic view of the world, lack of planning for the future. It also lacks the ability to predict events and a sense of time.
Anxiety is manifested by anxiety and internal tension, a sense of threat and a pessimistic mood. The main difference between anxiety and fear is objectlessness and orientation to the future. Fear is based on an object, triggers a defense mechanism, and is a reaction to real events.
Depression and anxiety as symptoms accompany many mental illnesses. Therefore, the treatment of these disorders must be carried out according to etiological and pathogenetic criteria.