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When Do Anxiety and Depression Require Professional Help?

Apr 14, 2023
When Do Anxiety and Depression Require Professional Help?
More people than you might expect live with diagnosable mental health conditions like generalized anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder. If you’re one of them, getting professional help can make a huge difference.

Anxiety and depression are words that get thrown around fairly casually. Plenty of people interchange anxiety with nervousness or depression with sadness. But there’s a significant difference between feeling nervous or sad and dealing with a diagnosable condition like generalized anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder. 

If either of those common mental health conditions affects you, help is waiting here at Ascension Psychiatric Services in Fayetteville, Georgia. Anthony J. Hall, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, and our team offer dedicated treatment for both anxiety and depression, helping you get control of your symptoms and build a toolbox for a more mentally healthy life. 

How do you know when you should seek out professional help? If you’ve been wondering that, you’ve come to the right place. 

Spotting the signs

Knowing when to get professional help starts with determining if you think you have a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition. That means knowing the symptoms. 

Symptoms of anxiety

Let’s start with anxiety. This isn’t just feeling nervous sometimes. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) means you regularly experience symptoms like:

  • A pervasive sense of worry
  • Feeling on edge all the time
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble focusing

If you go through life constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop or dreading some unknown bad thing ahead, you might be dealing with GAD. 

Anxiety can also take other forms, like panic disorder — which causes panic attacks — or social anxiety disorder. If your anxiety symptoms flare in certain situations, talk with us and we can help you determine which type of anxiety disorder may be affecting you.

Symptoms of depression

Depression can cause sadness, of course, but it’s just as often marked by a loss of interest in things you cared about before. Other symptoms can include:

  • Guilt 
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Sleep changes (sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Appetite changes (eating too much or not enough)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue

If you feel unhappy or numb but don’t know why, it could be depression — especially if that feeling lasts a couple of weeks or longer. 

Knowing when to reach out

If you’re still not sure you have a mental health condition that warrants professional help, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have the symptoms of anxiety or depression?
  • Do those symptoms interfere with my quality of life?
  • Do those symptoms prevent me from doing certain things?
  • Would I be happier or healthier without those symptoms?

If you answered yes to more than one of those questions, professional help could make a big difference. Our team personalizes a treatment plan for you. This might include medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, stress management techniques, or anything else that would help you feel better. 

Ultimately, if you’re experiencing symptoms, a conversation with a mental health professional can’t hurt. To talk with our team about how we can help you, call our office or book an appointment online today.