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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Anxiety and depression

01/22/2009

Question:

I have always been the type of person to sit in a coner at social events because big crowds make me nervous. Lately though I have not wanted to leave my house and all I do is cry and want to be alone. I have 3 children and this makes it hard to do things with them. Can you tell me if I am going through depression or if it is anxiety? What should I do about it?

Answer:

Sounds like either depression or anxiety (or a combination of both) could be leading to some of your problems.  Depression can lead to isolation, tearfulness, lack of motivation or interest in things that used to bring you pleasure.  Social anxiety leads a person to experience severe fear, palpitations, sweating and worry in public places, large crowds and being in new or uncomfortable situations.  While I encourage you to look at some of the weblinks to get more information about anxiety and depression, the most important thing for you to do is to to see a professional for an evaluation.  You can always start with your primary care physician, who should be able to start you down the diagnostic and treatment path.  You will also likely need a counselor or a therapist -- your primary care doctor can often be a good resource for finding such a person.

The good news is that both depression and anxiety are treatable illnesses, and that within weeks, you can start feeling better!  Good Luck.

Related Resources:

anxiety disorders of america
Depression screening test
NIH NIMH anxiety

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati