In daily conversations with loved ones, in movies and TV shows, and in social media, we encounter topics about depression, anxiety, and stress. So often are they used in the same talks that many believe they’re all the same when in fact they are all different. That’s one of the things that you’ll learn from the very first time you start with counselling sessions.

Not only are they different but there are also different elements of anxiety and depression that people might have, those who do not have an actual diagnosis and don’t need medication.

In this post, we’re going to talk about the main differences between anxiety, depression, and stress, so that you may be guided. However, that’s not to say that you should be dealing with any of these on your own as getting professional help is still the best way to manage these conditions:

Key Differences Between Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

1. Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or dread that something really bad is going to happen to you. It can be general or it could be associated with a specific place, a social situation, or thing.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling of fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle tension
  • Teeth-grinding
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Panic and restlessness

2. Depression

Depression is about the experience where you are always feeling down, so much so that you begin to lose interest in the things that you typically would enjoy. It may also manifest as changes in the way you eat or sleep. You might feel demotivated and you feel the need to isolate yourself from the rest of the world.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • Decrease in energy
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Cramps and aches
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Change in appetite and weight
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and other activities
  • The feeling of hopelessness or emptiness
  • Anger and irritability
  • Feeling of guilt
  • Violent and Suicidal thoughts

3. Stress

Stress is often characterized by the feeling of getting overwhelmed. It may be because your capacity to cope is stretched out of its limits. It may be that you have been dealing with pressure for far too long and you reached a breaking point. While some stress is good to help you fulfil your day-to-day tasks, too much of it can leave you exhausted and it could even affect your physical health.

Symptoms of stress may include:

  • Digestive problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache and nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Sleep problems

It’s possible to have one of these three, a combination of two, or all three of them. Despite having their own causes, they share similar symptoms and often require the same kinds of treatment and management approaches.


Anxiety, depression, and stress are among the most common reasons people see a psychologist or a counsellor but as you can see, they are not the same. What’s discussed above are some of the basic differences between the three.

Therapy or counselling can help you build an awareness of what you are feeling and more importantly why you are feeling that way. It will help you determine what the triggers are and what you can do so you can react differently to those triggers. Depending on what your concern may be, your counsellor will determine which approaches are best for you.

Due to the pandemic, though, many are hesitant about getting in-person counselling, but there are other options. For instance, you can get the best online therapy from Halcyon.

Halcyon can provide you with stress, depression, and anxiety counselling in Sunshine Coast. Whether you want to do it in person, via phone, or through a video, we can provide you with the support that you need. Contact us today to know more!