Stress Often Masquerades as Depression or Anxiety

Many of the symptoms of stress are the same or similar to those of clinical depression or anxiety. Therefore, it is essential for persons suffering from stress to first attempt to manage stress before incorrectly assuming that the symptoms experienced are indications of depression or anxiety.

It is worth noting that both depression and anxiety are diagnosable mental disorders, as well as symptoms of a wide range of other clinical syndromes. For example, depression, anxiety and stress are all prominent symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They may also be symptoms of bi-polar disorder. Alternatively, any of these three symptoms are frequently symptoms of stress or anger. Neither stress nor anger is a mental or nervous disorder.

Here are some common symptoms of stress:

  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating,  remembering or making decisions
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Reduced appetite and/or weight gain, or increased appetite and weight loss
  • Sleeping too little, early awakening, or sleeping too much
  • Persistent physical symptoms which don’t respond to  treatment (such as headaches, backaches, stomach problems or chronic pain
  • Pounding heart
  • Hypertension
  • Tight neck or shoulder muscles
  • Anger and/or low tolerance for frustration
  • Impatience

Research in cardiology conducted at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, and at the Mayo Clinic, reveals a strong relationship between unrecognized and untreated stress and/or anger with heart attacks and strokes, especially among males.

Certified Anger Management Facilitators are the best resource for the assessment and intervention of stress and anger. For a provider in your City, visit the website of Anderson & Anderson at, or

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson, The Trusted Name in Anger Management


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