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Am I Depressed or Anxious?

By    |   Monday, 06 Apr 2015 03:57 PM

Question: My doctor thinks I may have depression or an anxiety disorder, but says there’s no test to tell the difference. Are there some telltale signs that I might have one or the other, and how should I treat it?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:

You need to change doctors! There are tests and methods that do discriminate between anxiety disorders and depression. The more sensitive and accurate tests are somewhat time consuming and are usually administered by specialists such as psychologists or psychiatrists.

Your doctor should have access to more simple screening tools for these very common disorders that should be able to be completed in no more than three to five minutes during your office visit.

While both these conditions may seem to share common ground, we often find that there seems to be a transition zone where mixes of both are common. Telltale signs include isolation from friends or family, sleep deprivation, excessive sleeping, work disruption, excess dwelling on the past, thoughts of self-harm or negativity, appetite or weight changes, concentration problems.

Sorting out whether this is depression or anxiety will involve a direct encounter, where your insight, demeanor and presentation will all play a role in determining what is best for you, regardless of how you want to label it. In the end, the label is not important, the management is.

Start by selecting a physician you can talk to freely, and avoid the prescription-mill doctor. If you do not feel you have the time or resolve to help yourself, or you feel a sense of despair, doom, agitation, hallucination, or sense thoughts of self-harm, ask a friend to take you to your local emergency department and to ask for help.

If no one is available to a take you and you cannot get there by yourself, it’s OK to call 911 for help.

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Dr-Hibberd
Tests and methods can help your doctor determine the likely cause of your condition and suggest appropriate remedies.
depression, anxiety, signs, remedies
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2015-57-06
Monday, 06 Apr 2015 03:57 PM
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