Anxiety and depression are two common mental health disorder among Americans. Chances are, you or someone you know has experienced anxiety or depression before. It's important to be able to understand anxiety and depression so you can talk about it and get the help that you or a loved one needs.
Mental health has a stigma around it, and that can prevent someone from getting professional help. Like any health issue, it's critical to seek treatment for anxiety and depression so you can feel better and keep it in check. The first step to recover from anxiety or depression is to talk about it.
Someone with anxiety or depression likely will need support and understanding from someone they can confide in, like a friend or family member. But you may not know what to say to them or how to offer help. Or, if you are experiencing anxiety and depression, you might not know whom to turn to or how to start a conversation about it.
By first understanding what anxiety and depression are, and how to talk to someone experiencing symptoms, you can make a difference in someone else's life — or even your own.
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health disorders among Americans. Each year, anxiety disorders affect almost a fourth of adults.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but here are some common symptoms to look out for:
Anxiety can come from a lot of different sources like stress, trauma, physical illness, social situations, and more. This is why it is so common.
Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a common and severe mental health disorder. Each year more than 8 percent of U.S. adults have a major depressive episode, a major bout of depression, or form of mental health crisis if not immediately addressed.
Depression is often medically diagnosed. Common symptoms of depression include:
Depression can develop from the loss of a loved one, job loss or stress, a traumatic experience, and many other adverse experiences.
You may not know how to talk about anxiety or depression.
It's critical to avoid language that blames or shames someone experiencing anxiety or depression. To change how you talk about anxiety and depression, use the following phrases instead of stigmatizing ones:
To have a supportive conservation about anxiety and depression, follow these tips:
Know the warning signs of suicide and seek help right away if someone is conveying suicidal thoughts or actions.
Take the time to listen.
When talking about depression, don't assume that discussing it will make things worse.
If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, it's also important to talk about it with family and friends. They can't help or support you if they don't know what's happening.
When talking about your anxiety or depression, there's no right or wrong way to share information. But these tips from the National Alliance on Mental Illness may help:
It's important to encourage someone with anxiety or depression to seek professional treatment.
Treatment for anxiety and depression often includes medication and talk therapy with a mental health professional or a combination of the two. Keep in mind that medications differ, and you may need to try several until you find one that relieves your symptoms without side effects. Some side effects can make other conditions worse. Lifestyle changes and self-care also play a crucial role in managing anxiety and depression. These include:
To learn more about how you can help yourself or someone else with anxiety and depression, visit these sources:
Call 988 if you or a loved one are in distress and thinking about suicide. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (previously the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) is a national network of more than 200 crisis centers.
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers trained crisis counselors 24/7. They can help people experiencing mental health-related distress, including thoughts of suicide or any other kind of emotional distress.
Suicide prevention hotlines include:
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly National Suicide Prevention Lifeline): Call 988 or chat online at 988Lifeline.org. Services are also available in Spanish at 1-888-628-9454 and for those who are deaf or hard of hearing through online chat and text telephone (TTY).
Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.
Call 911 if it's an emergency and you need immediate help.