Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety And Depression For Community Members


Living in a tight-knit community got its ups and downs.

The advantages were pretty obvious. Whenever a homeowner throws a party, you are always invited. If you cannot come, they may pack some food and send them to your house. Practically every mother in the neighborhood can be your babysitter, too, and they do not accept payments for looking after your child for a few hours. They can also serve as your spies if you are out of town, and it’s only your husband at home.

However, the disadvantage is that you cannot hide your mental condition from anyone. When you are depressed, they will see something’s wrong. If you are anxious, they will know something’s wrong. Many of them cannot do, though, to identify the differences between mental disorders like anxiety and depression.

I witnessed this disadvantage first-hand at a homeowner association’s meeting. One of my new neighbors revealed that she went to a young psychologist who gave her different diagnoses in the two consultations that she attended.

“It could be depression or anxiety,” the new neighbor said.

The elders began asking questions about the two, but the new neighbor did not know how to answer them. I decided to step in and help provide clarifications.

Is anxiety more common than depression? 

 Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental disorders. Still, anxiety appears to be more prevalent than depression.


Is depression considered an anxiety disorder? 

 No, depression cannot be considered an anxiety disorder. Instead, it is categorized as a mood disorder.

Is anxiety the same as stress? 

 No, anxiety is not the same as stress. When you feel stressed, you tend to become short-tempered, tired, sad, angry, and restless. On the other hand, when you get diagnosed with anxiety, it entails that you worry about the same things nonstop, regardless if it’s rational or not.

What is the difference between anxiety and depression medication? 

 Psychiatrists provide different medications to treat anxiety and depression. A common antidepressant drug is nortriptyline, while benzodiazepines are popular anti-anxiety pills.

At what age does anxiety peak? 

 Most people experience anxiety between the ages of 30 and 44.

What is the hardest mental illness to live with? 

 According to various sources, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the most challenging illness to live with. The reason is that its sufferers experience constant mood swings that affect their functioning and self-image.

Does anxiety cause suicidal thoughts? 

 Based on research, anxiety has a strong connection to people’s suicidal thoughts, although more studies must be conducted before claiming that anxiety can cause suicidal thoughts.

Is anxiety a mental illness? 

 Yes, anxiety is a mental illness – the most prevalent one in the US.

What is extreme anxiety? 

 Extreme anxiety is what an individual experience when they cannot stop worrying about specific things, no matter how many times they have already been in that situation.


How are you diagnosed with anxiety? 

 The first thing that psychiatrists will ask about is your medical condition. They will most likely run blood tests, considering they want to rule out the possibility of your anxiety symptoms being caused by your medications for other illnesses. After all, cyclosporine (rheumatoid arthritis) and levodopa (Parkinson’s disease) users are known to have this side effect. Once the psychiatrist determines that you have no medications or physical conditions related to that, they will perform a psychological evaluation.

During this next step, you need to open up about what symptoms you’ve experienced, how severe they are, and how frequent or long they last every time. Psychiatrists can also go as far as asking if any of your relatives have been diagnosed with anxiety before, given that the disorder may have been passed down to you genetically. Then, you may have to answer a questionnaire regarding the effects of anxiety in your daily activities.

The thing is, a mental health diagnosis does not happen after the first appointment. That is especially true if you have been previously diagnosed with eating or post-traumatic stress disorder. When the psychiatrist finishes covering all the bases, they will schedule a feedback session and discuss their findings with you.

How do I cope with anxiety? 

  • Question every worry that comes to mind. Ask yourself, “Is this valid?” If the answer is no, try to change your thought pattern.
  • Whenever you feel worried, it is also ideal to have a pen and paper with you and write it all down. The idea is that your thoughts go straight to the paper, so it serves as your outlet for anxiety.
  • Assess all your triggers and learn how to identify every single one of them. This way, you will not feel overwhelmed when you deal with them.
  • Meditate at least once a day. The best time to do that is before you leave the house. Remind yourself that you are going to a safe place with trustworthy people and that no issues get resolved when you freak out.

What happens when anxiety is left untreated? 

 Untreated anxiety may push an individual to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Their views change; they can no longer function usually. Worse, anxiety may cause the development of other disorders.

What triggers your anxiety? 

  • Stress
  • Physical health conditions
  • Medications that have anxiety-inducing side effects
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Hunger
  • Negative thoughts
  • Money problems
  • Social issues
  • Disputes
  • Public performances
  • Other mental disorders

How do you tell if you are stressed? 

  • You get irritated by little things.
  • You feel overwhelmed by changes.
  • You cannot relax, no matter what you do.
  • Your self-esteem can hit rock-bottom.
  • You feel like drowning in all your activities, no matter how mundane they are.

Is worry a form of anxiety?

No, worry is not a form of anxiety. Worry is an emotion that you experience when you have anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Explaining mental disorders to the elderly members of the community was far from being a cakewalk. However, in all fairness, mental disorders had always been a challenge to understand. Hopefully, though, the answers above have given you clarity about some of the frequently asked questions regarding anxiety and depression.