Now accepting appointments on Fridays with our Nurse Practitioner Alyson Marter!

When Do Anxiety and Depression Require Professional Help?

Occasional anxiety and depression are normal. You may feel worried about an upcoming work deadline or a meeting with family you haven’t seen in a while. Sadness can sweep up when you’ve lost a loved one or experienced a big life change, like a major move.

But, if anxious feelings or sadness and hopelessness persist for more than a short time and begin to interfere with your ability to function normally in your world, it’s probably time to seek professional help.

When you experience long-lasting changes in your mood and behavior, Anthony G. Avitabile Jr., DO of RiverCity Family Medicine suggests seeking professional help from a family physician, like himself, or another qualified mental health provider. You don’t have to keep feeling like this. Help is available.

Am I really “depressed”?

Sometimes it can be hard to accept that what you’re feeling is really a mental health disorder, but there’s no need to hide your condition. Depression is incredibly common, with more than 7% of the adult population in the United States suffering from major depressive disorder. Teens and kids can also experience bouts of depression. 

Depression affects your daily life and can create feelings of hopelessness. The condition isn’t just feeling “sad” or “blue” for a day or two. It’s persistent, and it can show up as:

When you’re depressed, you may also feel like life is pointless. If you feel suicidal or like you might do other harm to yourself or others, don’t hesitate to get immediate care.

How can I know that I have an anxiety disorder?

If you have anxiety that persistently affects you every day, you may have a disorder that would benefit from professional help. Feeling anxious every now and then is normal, but episodes of intense anxiety and fear about everyday situations may signal a disorder.

If you find your anxiety is out of proportion to the situation at hand, and that you change your life to avoid anxiety-provoking instances, you’d benefit from professional help. And know that if you experience anxiety, you’re not alone. More than 18% of the adult population has some form of anxiety disorder, making it the most common mental health disorder.

Anxiety doesn’t just show up in one singular way. You can have a generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety surrounding social situations, or specific phobias. 

You can suspect some form of an anxiety disorder if you experience:

You may notice that you avoid situations that cause you anxiety, so your world becomes smaller. 

So, should I seek help?

You most definitely should seek professional help if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of depression or anxiety. Anxiety and depression can also coexist – people don’t always just have one or the other mental health condition.

People with anxiety and/or depression can benefit from talk therapy, group work, medications, and lifestyle changes. Getting professional help from our office or another mental health provider can help you overcome depression and anxiety and find joy in life again.

Don’t wait and just “keep thinking about” getting help though, because seeking help early on can prevent an anxiety disorder or depression from taking over your life. 

Don’t hesitate to get help. Call our office today for mental health support. Alternatively, click the online scheduler to make an appointment. 

We want to help people living in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee, to thrive, both physically and mentally. If you’re hesitant to come into the office, telehealth visits are available.

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