When Do Anxiety and Depression Require Professional Help?

Sep 22, 2022

When Do Anxiety and Depression Require Professional Help?

Are you just having a bad week, or are you struggling with something more? How do you know if your anxious or depressive episodes need treatment? Here are the facts to help determine if and when you need professional help.

If you feel like you’re struggling with persistent feelings of sadness or worry, you could be fighting against anxiety or depression, or maybe even both. Up to one-third of Americans struggle with these health conditions, and they can affect your quality of life and ability to function. 

Our team at Associates In Behavioral Science wants you to know the difference between simply combatting the blues or a little extra worry or if you’re up against a condition that needs professional help.

What do anxiety and depression look like?

Anxiety and depression are both mental health disorders, and each has its own symptoms. However, there’s often some overlap between the two, and some people even find themselves diagnosed with both.


Most people experience worry or fear before a major life change or trying something out for the first time. However, if worry, fear, and nervousness go beyond these circumstances, you could have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety takes your fear to the next level. This means you could be worried about everyday situations like your performance at work or your relationships with others.

The most common symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Irritability
  • Sense of dread or panic
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Sweating 
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Brain fog

Anxiety can also induce panic attacks, typically involving chest pain and difficulty breathing.


It’s normal to feel down in the dumps or even occasional hopeless, especially during difficult life events. But if these sad thoughts are persistent, they could signify depression. When you have depression, feelings of emptiness can linger even during a positive life event.

Signs of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and guilt
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • Withdrawing from your partner, family, and friends
  • Losing interest in the activities you typically enjoy
  • Significant changes in weight or appetite
  • Having difficulty concentrating or being unable to make decisions
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Feeling angry or irritable

Depression can also manifest itself in physical symptoms, including headaches, muscle pain, indigestion, and nausea.

Anxiety and depression have some overlap in their symptoms. Both these mental health conditions can make you irritable, affect your sleep, and cause gastrointestinal issues. To properly treat them, it’s essential to seek help from a professional.

Signs you need professional treatment

While it’s normal to feel emotional and nervous from time to time, these feelings should pass on their own. But if these feelings last for more than a week or two or they start affecting your daily life and routines, it may be time to seek help. Anxiety and depression can be treated with medication, therapy, and overall life changes.

If you’re ready to take the next step in restoring your mental health, you can call our office at 708-627-2710 or request an appointment online today.