Depression and anxiety are extremely common mental disorders that affect people all over the world. During the pandemic, the percentage of people with anxiety and depression increased in the United States, which meant more and more individuals were struggling with these disorders' uncomfortable and sometimes life-altering symptoms.
But when are anxiety and depression just feelings that will disappear, and when do you need to start seeing professional help?
At Black Onyx, we offer integrated psychiatric care for those who require help for their mental health and wellness. Our providers — Peter Pham, PMHNP-BC, and Diana Bush, PMHNP-BC — offer individualized care that puts their patients first, which is essential in treating these conditions.
We all feel anxious or depressed from time to time. But these feelings are usually part of an overall tapestry of emotion that takes us through our daily lives. However, if you notice you're dealing with severe anxiety and depression that doesn't go away with time, this is your first sign that you may require help.
Some people deal with one or the other, but in many cases, depression and anxiety disorders occur simultaneously, a condition known as comorbidity. About 70% of people with depression have at least some anxiety symptoms, and 40% to 70% are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
When you know one or both of these disorders is affecting you, there are many ways to cope. Meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, and leaning on your support network can all be effective. But often, these coping mechanisms aren't enough, and you'll need professional help.
People live with these disorders every day, and sometimes, the need for professional help comes and goes. For others, being on medication or attending therapy is necessary for years or even decades. Whether it’s for a short time or a lifetime, here are some good rules of thumb for when professional help is needed.
Have you noticed your symptoms are making it hard to work, connect with your loved ones, or even get out of bed? Any time your mental disorder affects your daily life, it's time to seek help.
Many people can function well with anxiety and depression. They get up every day and do what's necessary, but deep down, they are extremely fearful, lonely, or unhappy. This isn't how you have to live. Instead, it's better to manage these feelings with the help of a professional.
If you notice you're avoiding going out because you feel anxious or stop doing the things you love because you feel too sad, your condition controls more of your life than it should. And the longer you go without help, the more intense it's likely to become.
Feelings of fear and helplessness can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. If you have ever thought about harming yourself because of these feelings, it’s time to get help.
If you feel that you need help, this is also a good indicator that it's time to seek it. You don't need to hit a certain severity level to reach out, and therapy can be an excellent tool for anyone with mild to severe mental health disorders.
Therapy, medication or both can help you manage your disorder, allowing you to live the life you want, even with anxiety and depression. And one of the first steps toward this better life is to ask for help.
Visit us at our Orange or South San Francisco, California, office today. You can call or make an appointment online.