Problems and challenges in life are sometimes unavoidable. When they occur, you may experience periods of sadness, discouragement and frustration. Usually these periods do not last very long, and you can manage them on your own and feel better. However, if symptoms of severe depression and anxiety persist, it is important to get help from a health care professional.
Depression is different from sadness or momentary depression. It is an illness that can result from major events in your life like losing a loved one, a divorce, losing your job, low self-esteem or certain medical treatments. It can also be genetic and mainly affects adults, even though children and adolescents can also be affected.
Your doctor can diagnose depression and help you get the help you need.
If you are depressed, you will experience at least five of the symptoms below every day, all day for at least two weeks:
Depression is often treated with a combination of drug and non-drug therapies. The sooner you get treated, the sooner you may begin to feel more like yourself, even if treatment usually lasts several months.
Drug and medical therapy
Anxiety affects all of us from time to time. You may experience feelings of worry, or even fear caused by pressure from work, public speaking or other demanding situations. These feelings often disappear quickly. Anxiety can even have a positive effect and help you to be creative under pressure or to react quickly to danger. Conversely, it can have negative effect and keep you from going about your everyday activities.
If your feelings of anxiety change into a sense of dread or regularly interfere with your daily activities, you may want to seek the help of a health care professional.
The most common anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder, though there are others.
GAD is not related to a particular event or situation and can cause the following symptoms:
As for panic disorder, it is characterized by panic attacks, symptoms of which may include the following:
If you think you may be suffering from anxiety, talk to your doctor. They can help you create a plan to manage your anxiety that will include choosing a specific time and place to do your worrying and learning how to relax. You can then think about the causes of your anxiety and use relaxation to manage your concerns. Your doctor can also prescribe medication to treat your anxiety.
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