Facebook Pixel

Getting the Help You Deserve for Depression or Anxiety

By Anonymous
Rate This
Anxiety related image Photo: Getty Images

A new national report is out and the use of antidepressant medications -- including those prescribed for anxiety -- is up 400 percent by Americans over the last 20 years. And 11 percent of Americans age 12 and older take such medication. The study shows women are more likely than men to take antidepressant medication at every level of depression severity.

What is troubling is most people who take these medications have not seen a mental health professional within the past year. That bothers me since studies consistently show that patients do best with a combination of medication and counseling.

It's understandable that those of us with busy, high stress lives would rather just take a pill to help us cope. Scheduling a visit with a counselor can be seen as just one more hassle that raises our blood pressure. But these medicines are not sugar pills. They are powerful and need to be monitored.

Depression and anxiety are real illnesses that need to be taken seriously. So it is good that Americans seek treatment. But understanding what these terms really mean and getting to the right treatment is a process. An anxiety disorder, for example, is more than just anxious feelings that just come and go away.

If you are interested in learning more this then please listen to my interview with Dr. Catherine Frank from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago: Anxiety Disorders: How to Control Worrying Yourself Sick at http://goo.gl/W8LoH

Depression and anxiety should not be ignored, but, if you have seen a provider and are on a medication to treat one or both, you no doubt were told that the pill is just part of the solution. Lifestyle changes, self-reflection and counseling are important too. Your health -- every aspect of it -- is important for your own well-being.

About the author: Andrew Schorr is a medical journalist, cancer survivor and founder of Patient Power, a one-of-a-kind company bringing in-depth information to patients with cancer and chronic illness. Audio and video programs, plus transcripts, help patients make informed decisions to support their health in partnership with their medical team.

Add a Comment1 Comments

I agree . . . so many go without help. I am so excited to see the movement toward integration of mental and physical health systems. Also - the use of internet and cellphone for mental health and wellness services. Lastly - the help of qualified wellness/wellbeing coaches for those with mild depression or those who want to do prevention. Simple things, like the "three blessings" exercise is evidence-based and can be done by anyone daily as one of many ways to improve our ability to flourish. Thank you for your write-up.

October 26, 2011 - 7:57pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Anxiety Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!