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When Does Depression or Anxiety Require Medical Intervention?

Aug 24, 2022
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Sadness, indifference, worry, and fear are emotions that everyone experiences from time to time. But when the symptoms of depression or anxiety upend your life and transform your daily routine into a major challenge, it’s time to seek help.

Everyone experiences emotions like sadness, indifference, worry, and fear from time to time. However, if symptoms of depression or anxiety upend your life and transform your everyday routine into a major challenge, know that you can get help.

At Rise and Thrive Healthcare in Joliet, Illinois, Jessica Guttierez, FNP-BC, and our team know just how debilitating severe depression and anxiety can be. Aside from robbing you of your sense of control and undermining your motivation, they can trigger intense physical symptoms and give rise to serious health problems. 

However, as compromising as depression and anxiety can be, they’re also highly treatable. Let’s explore four major signs that your mental health issues warrant professional help. 

When depression or anxiety take over

Being depressed doesn’t simply mean you feel sad. Depression is a complex mood disorder that can have a profound negative influence over your feelings, thoughts, perceptions, habits, and social interactions. 

Having persistent anxiety doesn’t mean you worry more than the average person. It means your anxiety response causes an inordinate amount of distress that interferes with your daily life, harms your personal relationships, and extinguishes opportunities. 

Your depression or anxiety may require medical intervention if: 

1. Your symptoms often leave you sitting on the sidelines

Depression can make you feel indifferent about things you used to care about, causing you to become disengaged from your own life and the people you love. Similarly, anxiety can trigger excessive worry about routine facets of life, ranging from workplace success, personal health, and family issues to daily appointments and responsibilities.   

When depression or anxiety define your daily existence, it’s more difficult to engage in positive, productive, meaningful action. This can leave you feeling as though you have little control over your life and can give rise to outsized feelings of despair, distress, or apathy that are out of proportion with your actual situation. 

2. Your emotional state provokes physical symptoms

Along with relentless feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, and indifference, the mental and emotional effects of depression can impact your physical health. Likewise, the “fight or flight” stress hormones that flood your system when you feel anxious or worried don’t just put your brain on high alert — they also affect your body. 

Untreated depression is associated with a range of physical issues, including sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, persistent headaches, gastrointestinal distress, diminished immunity, ongoing inflammation, and an increased risk of heart disease.

The muscular tension and rapid heart rate that frequently occur with untreated anxiety can set the stage for many physical health problems ranging from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic migraines to insomnia and substance abuse and dependency.

3. Your feelings and behaviors impact important relationships

The powerful and far-reaching effects of depression and anxiety can make you withdraw from friends and family and avoid social situations. In fact, withdrawal and avoidance are common hallmarks of untreated depression and anxiety, as the people who suffer from these disorders do their best to steer clear of situations that might trigger unwanted feelings. 

But withdrawal and avoidance can take a real toll on personal and professional relationships, especially if your partner, family members, friends, or colleagues don’t know about your problem or understand how it affects you. This kind of interpersonal relationship strain can effectively erode your social support network and intensify your mental health condition.    

4. Your anxiety triggers depression symptoms, or vice versa

It’s not at all unusual for someone with an anxiety disorder to also experience depression, or vice versa. In fact, almost half of those who suffer with untreated depression or anxiety are eventually diagnosed with the other disorder, too. 

The relationship between depression and anxiety is complex and highly individual. For many people, anxiety provokes depression; for others, it’s depression that leads to anxiety. In either situation, your risk of developing another serious co-occurring problem — a substance use disorder — is considerably greater. 

Regain the upper hand over depression and anxiety

If any of this sounds familiar, now is the time to ask for professional help for your depression or anxiety (or both). Evidence-based treatment options can help you regain the upper hand over your symptoms and restore a productive, fulfilling, and enjoyable life once again.  

Here at Rise and Thrive Healthcare, Jessica and our team take a multifaceted approach to mental health care that may include:

  • Talk therapy (counseling)
  • Learning new coping skills
  • Prescription antidepressants 
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • At-home ketamine infusions

We also offer GeneSight® testing to help you attain maximum symptom relief with the fewest possible side effects from your medication. Using a quick salvia sample, this innovative approach analyzes your DNA to determine which medication your body will likely respond to best.   

If you’re ready to reclaim your life and your health, we can help. Call 815-730-1880 or click online to schedule a visit at our Joliet, Illinois, office today.

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