Depression and anxiety disorders are different, but about 50% of people with depression have a coexisting anxiety disorder. Presence of an anxiety disorder is the biggest clinical risk for developing an anxiety disorder: Patients with new onset of an anxiety disorder have a 20x increase risk of having a major depressive episode within the next year. Patients with unrecognized anxiety/depression disorders have higher rates of psychiatric hospitalizations, substance use disorders, and suicide attempts.
Depression is characterized by episodes of little interest or pleasure in doing things and feelings of sadness or hopelessness. The hallmark of GAD is excessive, out-of-control worry. Each disorder has its own causes and its own emotional and behavioral symptoms. Patients may have symptoms of anxiety or depression manifested as back pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, problems with sleep or appetite, and fatigue.