Some advice please

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I know for a fact that I have anxiety, and I see symptoms of depression in my daily life and inside of my own mind, but lately I’ve realized I may also hold symptoms of schizophrenia. It scares me, to be quite honest.

I can’t find a place that will get me medicine that I need automatically – it almost seems like they do not believe me, and that also scares me.

My depression, to me, is like a person holding me under water for fun until I can not breath much more for much longer.
I want it to go away. Before I am able to get medication, what kind of techniques can I do myself to help lessen the depression & anxious feelings?

Give me some advice, please. This is really hard to deal with.

A: Please, please be careful. You are trying to diagnose yourself. When an anxious person tries to figure things out on her own, it’s common to become anxious about the anxiety and to ramp things up to a more intense level. I don’t know enough about you to say that’s what is going on here. But it’s at least a possibility.

No reputable doctor or mental health clinic will give you medication without a thorough evaluation by a trained mental health counselor or psychiatrist. Sometimes symptoms are the result of an undiagnosed medical condition. If that’s the case, the condition needs to be properly treated first. Psychotropic medications are not something to fool around with. They need to be prescribed specifically to meet the needs of the person. Most have side effects. In all cases, the doctor and patient have to weigh the risks of the medication against the possible benefits from taking it.

I suggest you make an appointment with a mental health professional to see if your suspicions about yourself are true or not. The two of you will then make a treatment plan to help you. A plan may include medication, therapy, or both.

In the meantime, be good to yourself. Pay extra special attention to eating right, getting enough sleep, and getting in some exercise at least every other day. Practice any calming technique that works for you. Deep breathing, meditating, praying, and journaling are all techniques that help people settle down.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Aug 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Some advice please. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/08/10/some-advice-please/