When Do Anxiety and Depression Require Professional Help?

Jun 11, 2024
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Anxiety and depression are serious medical disorders that need a medical solution. The key is determining when to seek treatment to prevent your symptoms from becoming overwhelming. Here’s when to call our office.

Anxiety and depression are serious and all-too-common medical disorders that affect millions of Americans, causing symptoms that can take a huge toll on your emotional and physical health and your quality of life, too. Fortunately, both anxiety and depression respond well to treatment — the key is knowing when to seek medical help.

At Michelle Silver Lining Mental Health Counseling, Michelle Ilyayev, LMHC, offers compassionate, customized treatment for both depression and anxiety, helping patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall wellness. In this post, learn what symptoms to look for and when it’s time to seek appropriate care.

Symptoms to look for

Everyone feels anxious or depressed from time to time, but people with anxiety and depression disorders have those feelings on a regular — often daily — basis. What’s more, both disorders can cause an array of symptoms that can be difficult to spot, especially since people can be affected in different ways.

Those differences are due in part to your own personal brain chemistry and the way you react to triggers or stimuli. Learning to recognize the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders is critical for getting the treatment you need to feel better and improve your quality of life.

Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety occurs in different “forms” or types, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, separation anxiety, and social anxiety.

To some degree, your symptoms can vary based on the type of anxiety disorder. In general though, anxiety disorders cause symptoms like:

  • Persistent feelings of worry, nervousness, or fear
  • Feelings of impending danger
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Profuse sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Trembling
  • Changes in sleep or appetite
  • Panic attacks
  • Upset stomach or diarrhea

In general, anxiety disorders result in feelings of worry that are out of proportion to any real threat or that occur in the absence of any threat.

Depression symptoms

Depression can absolutely cause feelings of sadness, but that’s just one potential sign — and not everyone recognizes what they’re feeling as “traditional” feelings of sadness. Other symptoms can include:

  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness
  • Low self-worth or self-esteem
  • Low energy levels
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Lack of interest in socializing
  • Persistent feelings of fatigue or desire to “just sleep”
  • Problems with concentration
  • Feelings of self-loathing or self-hatred
  • Difficulty setting or achieving goals
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Changes in sleep patterns or appetite
  • Headaches or other aches and pains
  • Feelings of nervousness or worry
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

Depression and anxiety can occur alone or together. Both disorders can be treated in similar ways, typically through a combination of psychotherapy and medication. 

When to seek treatment

All too often, people ignore symptoms of anxiety and depression, believing them to be “weaknesses” that can be overcome by will or “positive thinking.” The fact is, anxiety disorders and depression are medical problems with a biological basis — and that means they benefit from medical treatment designed to address those biological underpinnings.

That said, it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms that:

  • Last two weeks or longer
  • Interfere with your sleep
  • Interfere with your life’s activities or responsibilities
  • Are intrusive
  • Make it difficult to concentrate
  • Are causing physical symptoms, like nausea or headaches

If you’re having thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you should call 9-1-1 immediately.

It’s important to note, too, that even “mild” or subtle symptoms of depression and anxiety can take a major toll on your quality of life and your physical health, too. If your symptoms are noticeable in any way — to yourself or to others — it’s definitely time to seek treatment. Bottom line: The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you’ll begin your journey to better health and wellness.

Take control of your health — and your life

Depression and anxiety symptoms can affect virtually every aspect of your life. Recognizing these disorders as serious health problems is the first step toward seeking treatment that can improve your health and your quality of life.

To learn more about depression and anxiety treatment that can help you manage your symptoms, request an appointment online or over the phone with Michelle Silver Lining Mental Health Counseling in Great Neck, New York, today.