Six Steps for Those Experiencing Anxiety or Depression

As mental and behavioral healthcare professionals mark National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week, we'd like to share a few words on these two disorders.

Depression and anxiety are terms used indiscriminately to describe regular emotional states and clinical depressive and anxiety disorders as well. These disorders can be very debilitating, and even deadly: severity is what distinguishes individuals they affect from the general population.

Managing depression and anxiety sometimes require lifetime changes. Thus it is necessary to take appropriate steps when experiencing those symptoms.

  1. Self-prescribing alcohol and other drugs is not appropriate treatment for anxiety or depression. These will, in fact, only worsen the symptoms.
  2. Do go see your primary doctor. Many physical conditions can precipitate the onset of depression and/or anxiety.
  3. Seek the expertise and help of a mental health professional in those instances when no physical cause is identified.
  4. Consider -- genuinely and seriously -- the recommendations made to you by mental healthcare experts and/or physicians.
  5. Follow any prescribed steps towards wellness with great care, if accepted. Compliance is a key factor in a successful treatment.
  6. Avoid terminating treatment prematurely, without input from a specialist. Doing so increases the risk of relapses, and the problem will become chronic and more difficult to treat.