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I often see Social Anxiety being classified as a form of depression which I suppose can be true. My problem with this is that with my SA I don't consider myself depressed at all. I'm perfectly happy with the way I am although I do occassionly get disappointed with my social inadequacies but it never lasts long.

I think I used to be depressed by the fact that I wasn't doing anything on the weekends and had very little friends to draw on - and those thoughts made me depressed. But since I affirmed to myself that I actually don't mind the time I get to spend on my own I really haven't been craving social interaction as much and haven't been feeling depressed because of it. The problem only arises when you get the crooked looks from people when you tell them over and over again that you didn't do anything on the weekend. Again I don't see this as being my problem but theirs. If I am happy with my lack of social interaction why should they care? I don't consider myself strange at all and I can for the most part have a basic conversation with people if need be (even though I know it could trigger negative self-talk, blushing and a bunch of other symptoms that make me uncomfortable).

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I don't like my SA being automatically grouped with depression. I think it makes it harder for me to talk about it with the friends I do have about it because they will have the wrong impression of what it is and trigger unncessary sympathy or worse being classifed as depressed. For some reason I see people being classified as being depressed as being people that most try to avoid - probably because of the often negative outlook on life. Which also isn't necessarily true. But I would like to avoid the label of being depressed because of the general negative (wrong) public opinion of it.

I'm not saying all people with SA also are not depressed - but I'm saying my SA doesn't necessarily exist with depression. The depression I think I did have only existed because I felt like a loser for not being more social. Once I got rid of that negative belief and changed my perception any depression I had pretty much instantly disappeared - but of course the SA continues, but thats OK too.

I welcome any other thoughts/discussion on this.
 

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I often see Social Anxiety being classified as a form of depression
I've never seen that. SA is an anxiety disorder. Depression is a mood disorder. They are two distinctly different mental disorders.

The only link is that if your life is totally f***ed up by SA that may quite possibly lead to depression. Hard to put on a happy face when your life sucks due to extreme anxiety that makes it impossible for you to lead anything that even comes close to resembling a normal life.

Of course, most people with depression don't have SA at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've never seen that. SA is an anxiety disorder. Depression is a mood disorder. They are two distinctly different mental disorders.
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Right but most people get perscribed antidepressants to deal with SA? - such as paxil. So thats my point. There is a mental connection that exists in many peoples minds between SA and depression because the drugs to treat the two different illnesses are often the same. All I'm saying is for people without either of these disorders they would have a difficult time distinguishing between the two if the treatments and treatment methods are often the same.

The general public opinion is that the two are inclusive of each other instead of exclusive. And thats where I think the confusion lies.

Edit: I meant to say that general public opinion is that SA is inclusive of depression. Not necessarily the other way around. But I think they should still be considered exclusive of each other regardless of the circumstances.
 

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Major depression is not just a feeling, or a low mood, or something that instantly disappears by changing a belief. It is a pervasive mental disorder characterized by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. It can interfere with all areas of a person's functioning and it can be fatal.

Most people are talking about a more or less temporary mood when they say they are "depressed." That's why they don't understand that a person with a depressive disorder can't just get over it by eating an ice cream cone or whistling a happy tune.

Of course this is a different condition from social anxiety. However, anxiety and depression disorders occur together in 50 percent or more of cases. So it isn't unreasonable to suspect that a person with social anxiety may also be depressed. Usually this combination occurs in the avoidant person, someone who wants social interaction but fears it.
 

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...but most people get prescribed antidepressants to deal with SA? - such as paxil. So thats my point.
True. SSRIs are generally the first line treatment for quite a few mental disorders: depression, panic disorder, SA, GAD, OCD, PTSD, PMDD. Hell, they're used to treat just about every mental ill that I can think of other than ADD or psychosis.

There is a mental connection that exists in many peoples minds between SA and depression because the drugs to treat the two different illnesses are often the same.
I suspect if you asked the average person on the street what meds are most often used to treat Social Phobia most would be stumped and say something along the lines of "Uh, I don't know."

All I'm saying is for people without either of these disorders they would have a difficult time distinguishing between the two if the treatments and treatment methods are often the same.
Well, if a pharmacist has a patient who brings in a prescription for 100 mg of Zoloft daily he's not going to be able to guess what it's being used to treat. Could be depression. Could be any number of anxiety disorders. The best he could guess is that it's not PMDD if the patient is male.
 

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Major depression is not just a feeling, or a low mood, or something that instantly disappears by changing a belief. It is a pervasive mental disorder characterized by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. It can interfere with all areas of a person's functioning and it can be fatal.
Ironically, John's avatar appears to be the Golden Gate, a site of thus far about 3,100 suicides, which I believe ranks it as the #1 suicide location in the world.

I'd agree depression can be fatal. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the US.
 

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although those diagnosed have rates five to fifteen times higher than the general population, the vast majority of them do not attempt suicide.
Yes, I fully agree. Something like 30,000 American die from suicide each year, only a fraction of one percent who are depressed in any given year. Depression, I seem to recall reading, has something like a 10-15% lifetime rate of death by suicide. So even of those who are depressed for a lifetime, 85%+ will end up eventually dying from something other than suicide.
 

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I've never seen that. SA is an anxiety disorder. Depression is a mood disorder. They are two distinctly different mental disorders.

The only link is that if your life is totally f***ed up by SA that may quite possibly lead to depression. Hard to put on a happy face when your life sucks due to extreme anxiety that makes it impossible for you to lead anything that even comes close to resembling a normal life.

Of course, most people with depression don't have SA at all.
The depression that occurs with SA is more of a situational depression than a major depression. It is for me. Just looking at everything I miss out due to the anxiety makes me depressed as hell. I am getting real depressed with this warm weather seeing couples walking around holding hands, neighbors socializing with passer bys, etc. While I just go to work and go hide in my empty house. If my parents weren't around and I end up dying in my house no one would know. Maybe my supervisor would come to investigate after a week because he wouldn't have a slave around to do all the grunt work.
 

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Major depression is not just a feeling, or a low mood, or something that instantly disappears by changing a belief. It is a pervasive mental disorder characterized by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. It can interfere with all areas of a person's functioning and it can be fatal.
Absolutely true. I have bouts of depression and it is like sinking slowly slowly into quicksand and there being no way to get out. You have no will to get out. It is the sense of utter hopelessness that leads to thoughts of suicide because anything is better then the hopelessness.
When I am on antidepressants I can come out of it and coast along for a bit ... but it just seems to gloss over and not eradicate the feelings.
Then I have the anxiety on top of that... maybe I need to see a doctor again... I can't go on feeling like this.
 

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I often see Social Anxiety being classified as a form of depression which I suppose can be true. My problem with this is that with my SA I don't consider myself depressed at all. I'm perfectly happy with the way I am...
...I think I used to be depressed by the fact that I wasn't doing anything on the weekends and had very little friends to draw on - and those thoughts made me depressed. But since I affirmed to myself that I actually don't mind the time I get to spend on my own I really haven't been craving social interaction as much and haven't been feeling depressed because of it...
...I don't consider myself strange at all...
...I'm not saying all people with SA also are not depressed - but I'm saying my SA doesn't necessarily exist with depression. The depression I think I did have only existed because I felt like a loser for not being more social...
I get a lot of what you're saying. The 2 things are definitely separate disorders. I have found that therapists like to think I have depression but I disagree. I am only "depressed" about the SA. (not real depression) But they're probably putting themselves in my shoes and thinking she must be depressed with her lack of a social life, job, etc. Well yeah--it is depressing, but there's a big difference between depressING and depressION, you know?

It sounds like you analyzed and adjusted your attitude to fit your life and find it pretty comfortable. If that keeps you from being depressed, then I say do it. Whatever works, do it. (Me, I kind of tried to tell myself that its ok that I'm quiet, and spend a lot of time alone, but it didn't work with me because that's not the real me. I truly would rather be a social butterfly and an extrovert.) But everyone is different, so what ever makes the individual feel good in their own skin is fine. So I don't think you're strange either.

SA can cause a person to become more socially isolated than they'd like, (like not having the friends they could have to draw on as you said) and in the case of major depression, the person avoids involvement with others, but for totally different reasons! They may not have the energy, or they're too sad, down in a hole they can't get out of, etc., but it usually has nothing to do with anxiety...At the time, their lack of socializing is what they want. For me it feels against my will.

Viewed from the outside, the two people staying home watching tv by themselves on Saturday nite might look the same, but the FEELINGS are not neccessarily the same, (altho symptoms may overlap). I wish doctors & therapists would ask more in depth questions instead of just looking at the surface and assuming they know enough.
 

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The depression that occurs with SA is more of a situational depression than a major depression. It is for me. Just looking at everything I miss out due to the anxiety makes me depressed as hell. I am getting real depressed with this warm weather seeing couples walking around holding hands, neighbors socializing with passer bys, etc. While I just go to work and go hide in my empty house. If my parents weren't around and I end up dying in my house no one would know. Maybe my supervisor would come to investigate after a week because he wouldn't have a slave around to do all the grunt work.
Situational Depression--that's exactly what I mean. I call it environmental depression rather than the "biological" kind. Thinking about what we are missing out on is depressing!

I know my being "depressed" is situational because:
1-Antidepressants don't do @@@@ for me, and even more importantly,
2-When I'm able to socialze and connect to people, (preferably in person) I feel really, really good! Like it's a rush--farthest thing from depression. (Too bad that doesn't happen very much)

Also, if you died in your house, you wouldn't know it either, so you don't have to worry about that. I used to think about that scenario a lot. Now I like to think I'll die in some exciting way--you know, since my life is so boring. :D
 

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I think in My case it's the anxiety that leads to the depression. The anxiety causes extreme isolation which in turn causes extreme depression. I think they're grouped together sometimes because the go hand in hand.
 

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I consider anxiety and depression to be two totally different things depending on how you got your anxiety. If you constantly put yourself down and generate low self esteem that way, yea I would say you have both. In my case, I always set myself up for being better in the future; if i study and work out a lot, i will be a better person in the future and people will like me more. Unfortunately, this has had the adverse effect of making me feel in-superior in the present. My optimistic thoughts did not give me any depression, but still anxiety. On occasion I get depressed a little bit because of the hopelessness of my anxiety.
 

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I have both. I've never thought of myself as being anxious before, and it was very recently that I realized my anxiety is out of control and started looking into it. Now, I can separate how I'm feeling, whether it's depression or anxiety. There is a definite relationship between them, but they are different. They feed each other and snowball. To be honest, I don't exactly feel depressed, but I know I am. I guess it's just sad that how I'm feeling is so normal it's hard to believe there's anything wrong with it. The anxiety, though, is something else entirely. Everything about it feels bad and wrong. It's terrible.
 
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