What are Anxiety and Depression?

null

Anxiety and Depression

People experiencing anxiety and depression can feel isolated and alone, but they aren’t. Depression affects 15 million people in the United States each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million people annually, says the Anxiety Disorder Association of America. This guide will help you understand these disorders, learn about the many available treatment options and reassure you that you aren’t alone.

What are Anxiety and Depression?

For years, many people believed depression was just feeling sad or out of sorts, and anxious people were considered hyper or sensitive, but both are medical issues with a biological basis. In this section, learn how depression and anxiety differ from everyday sadness and worry.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Depression and anxiety are closely related disorders, and it’s not uncommon for a person who has one to have the other. As a result, many Web sites address both disorders.

Dulcinea's Picks

For an overview of depression …
For an overview of anxiety …
For depression in seniors …
Back to Top

Anxiety and Depression Risk Factors

No one is immune to depression or anxiety, but certain groups, such as teens, the elderly and new mothers are at higher risk of depression. Depression and anxiety can also run in families, or occur because of a trauma. This section provides Web sites that explain the differences in signs, causes and risks of various higher-risk groups.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Teenagers are often misunderstood and their moodiness is chalked up to teenage angst or hormones. Some Web sites are specific to children and teens, and can help parents and those who work with them by offering insight into dealing with teenagers who display the signs of depression or anxiety.
  • Forgetfulness, fearfulness and sadness in the elderly can be overlooked because they may have other medical issues or their behavior is attributed to aging. Web sites geared toward senior health can help you learn what to watch out for.
  • Post-partum depression can develop into something very severe and devastating if it’s not detected and treated. It’s more than the baby blues—it’s a true, treatable illness. There are many sites available on the Web that can help women and their families learn how to cope with post-partum depression.

Dulcinea's Picks

For teens and children …
For parents and teachers …
For post-partum depression …
For depression and anxiety in the elderly …
Back to Top

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

If you’re having trouble managing your emotions but aren’t sure if it’s temporary or severe, taking the time to evaluate how you feel can help put things into perspective. And while the idea of looking for help may be daunting, the Web can provide some guidance. This section provides questionnaires for self-evaluation and sites that discuss how to find and choose professional help.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Questionnaires on the Web can help you evaluate yourself or someone you know, but don’t forget that their results are meant to provide guidelines for speaking with your doctor, not a diagnosis.

Dulcinea's Picks

For depression screening tests …
For anxiety screening tests …
Back to Top

Anxiety and Depression Treatment

There are many types of depression and anxiety, so there isn’t one treatment that will help everyone. Some therapists specialize in certain types of therapy, while others use combinations of therapies. This section provides sites that can explain the different types of treatments available for depression and anxiety disorders.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • The Web is a good place to sort out what type of treatment you’re looking for. If you’ve tried one type of therapy and it didn’t work for you, you can focus on sites that cover other treatments. Always discuss any new treatments with your doctor or therapist before starting them.

Dulcinea's Picks

For therapy …
For medication …
For medications and children …
For clinical trials …
Back to Top

Finding a Therapist to Treat Anxiety or Depression

Finding a counselor or therapist isn’t always easy and may call for some detective work. Not all counselors or therapists are a good fit for every client. In order to get good personal mental health help, it’s important that you trust your counselor. By using the Web, you can learn about methods of treatment, and where to find doctors that adhere to various schools of thought.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you don’t click with a counselor or therapist, don’t be shy about looking for someone else. Talk to your primary physician about referrals.
  • One option for finding a therapist is to consult your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). According to the Employee Assistance Society of North America, an EAP is designed to help employees cope with a range of problems, including substance abuse, domestic trouble or personal issues. These programs are confidential and often operated outside the company to ensure employee privacy. Many companies post contact information in public areas, or in employee handbooks.

Dulcinea's Picks

To learn about the different types of therapists …
To find a therapist …
For anxiety …
For children and teens …
For seniors …
Back to Top

Depression and Anxiety Crisis Hotlines

In this section, you’ll find some Web sites that provide 24-hour a day, 7-days a week telephone and/or online support for people who are suicidal or in an extreme crisis situation. If you or someone you know needs help, you can easily find information and emergency aide at one of the sites listed below.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Don’t be ashamed for feeling the way you do. People who work at crisis centers are there to help you, not judge you. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
  • Usually, there are warning signs that a person has suicidal tendencies. It’s always better to get someone help before he’s in an actual crisis situation. If you suspect someone you know is suicidal, there are sites that have information about suicide, statistics and advice for talking to people who are at risk.

Dulcinea's Picks

For a hotline in the United States …
For hotlines in other countries …
For seniors …
Back to Top

Support for Anxiety and Depression

It’s easy to feel alone when you’re battling a mental illness like depression or anxiety. There are times when you just need to connect with someone who has been there and understands what you need, be it a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen or even a reality check. This section provides sites that have online support groups and newsletters you can have delivered to your e-mail box.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • When looking for sites that provide support, be sure that there are no hidden agendas or promises for getting well quickly if you buy their products or send money.
  • Moderated support groups on the Web are groups that are supervised, usually by someone who either has gone through the same issues as the posters, or someone who has worked in the field. Check the board’s “About Us” section or click on the moderator to learn more.
  • Be wary of people touting remedies or medications in online forums. Remember that what works for one person may not be the best for another. If you’re interested in a specific treatment or medication, discuss it with your mental health practitioner.

Dulcinea's Picks

For newsletters …
For anxiety and depression forums …
For postpartum support forums …
Back to Top

Anxiety and Depression News and Research

Research is ongoing to try to find ways to manage these two groups of mental illness. This section provides some Web sites where you can find information on the latest research.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Although scholarly journals are geared toward health care professionals, visiting their Web sites can be interesting as you may find information that hasn’t been talked about yet.

Dulcinea's Picks

For news …
For journal articles …
Back to Top

Most Recent Guides