General Question

Mariah's avatar

How does one determine that one's anxiety or sadness is beyond an ordinary reaction to circumstances and might require medication?

Asked by Mariah (25846points) May 15th, 2011

How do you know if your anxiety or depression is too extreme to be an appropriate reaction to a tough situation? How do you know when to get meds involved?

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Find a good therapist and talk over your issues. They are trained to make diagnoses and then refer you to a psychiatrist who can recommend an antidepressant.

augustlan's avatar

When it goes on for too long, and is resistant to other methods. “Too long” can be quite subjective, of course, but if it’s affecting your life negatively for more than several weeks, I’d say it’s time to see someone.

Mariah's avatar

Thanks folks. I figured professional help was going to be the first step – I was having a bit of trouble even deciding when to seek that, though I’m thinking that when you start wondering about it is when you probably need it.

augustlan's avatar

@Mariah You’re probably right… if you’re wondering, it’s probably time. Maybe even past time, because we tend to be in denial at first. Hugs to you, friend.

Kardamom's avatar

Yes, the amount of time that you are having the sad depressed feelings can be a good indication that you may need some therapy or some meds to help you get over the hump. If you’ve been feeling this way for weeks on end without a let up, then it’s probably time.

The other indication would be when your feelings actually get in the way of you fully participating in your every day life.

Another indication is when your friends and your family notice that you are having an especially hard time.

And last, but not least, when you just feel like total sh*t and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight (even if you’ve only felt bad for a few days). If your feelings are really extreme, that in and of itself is an indication that you might need some help.

Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

Mariah's avatar

@Kardamom Yes, I am finding myself putting a lot of mental check marks next to your list of indicators; I am probably long overdue at this point.

Thank you; I think by putting up with my venting and sending supportive thoughts my way now and then, my fellow jellies are already doing quite a lot to help.

Kardamom's avatar

@Mariah Yea! Don’t ever hesitate to come to us, we’re up late!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I usually notice when something happens that’s happened before, but I’m having a much harder time with it this time around. Or when small things get to me and really bug me for days and days, but it’s more in the realm of someone cutting me off in traffic than someone dumping me.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

It requires medication when you cannot move past it/deal with it on your own. Even if your reactions are normal, you still may need help if you can’t function the way you want to in your daily life.

lillycoyote's avatar

It can be very, very difficult. It is not, by far, an exact science for a person or for a mental health professional. I suffer from depression but have also lost both my parents and I was very close to both of them. It was difficult for me to separate, sometimes, what was real grief and what was depression. There is this weird opposing tendency in our society to both minimize and trivialize real grief and honest sadness and to treat every episode of grief and sadness as though it was some kind of pathology, some kind of disorder, that needs medication.

But @Mariah both @Kardamom and @augustlan make good points, Kard’s mental check is pretty good though some tough situations interfere with daily life and relationships, my grief did that, and Auggie’s comment that if you are at the point where you are asking, if you have gotten to point, whatever your issue is, that you are wondering if it might be time to see someone then it very well may be and you probably should. A profession would at least be able to assess your situation. Life is very hard and very sad sometimes and medication doesn’t and can’t fix that and I’m not sure I would want it to, your heart can only be broken if you are capable of love, but if talking to someone or taking medication can help in yours or mine or anyone’s circumstances I’m all for that.


I think when the anxiety or sadness gets to the point where it overwhelms you, interfering in your daily thought processes and making you very unhappy, preventing you from doing your work productively and/or effectively. And when this state goes on for awhile, for example, more than two weeks or so. You begin to notice that what you’re feeling is irrational, yet you cannot fight it.

Sunny2's avatar

If you are suffering symptoms that are painful or debilitating (get in the way of things you would normally do), then seek help. There may be good reasons for you to feel as you do, but you don’t have to suffer the pain. I hope there’s a public health clinic or hospital in your area where you can talk to someone who can guide you.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

While there is no substitute for a proper clinical assessment by a psychologist or a psychiatrist, asking yourself if the way you feel is having a significant impact on your daily life and your ability to function is a good first step.

nurse3223's avatar

I personally feel like the way to figure out if your anxiety or depression is too much can only be determined within yourself. If your anxiety and depression are to the point that you cannot and aren’t functioning in everyday activities than maybe you should talk to a psychiatrist. Anxiety is normal for everyone but it is when this interferes with your decision making and happiness that there is a problem. I do suggest talking to a psychiatrist and maybe discovering new coping methods and ways to handle struggles before focusing on taking medication.

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