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Am I Likely Depressed or Is It Just a Fear of Depression?

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For the last two years I have been dealing with a chronic health issue that has really taken its toll on me. Around this time I started also developing strong anxiety and panic attacks. I have never really had a feeling of hopelessness or sadness as I wanted to get back to the life and activities my chronic illness was preventing me from. Fast forward to now and I no longer feel motivated or excited by anything and I have this overwhelming feeling of regret that I could have avoided the situation I am in.

When my anxiety used to get really bad, being in a social setting with other people helped calm it down but now I am just too exhausted to go anywhere. Every once and a while I have a day of high motivation where I again can pursue productive tasks but that shortly reverts to the overwhelming dread that I have missed my opportunity to get better, and that I have now done irreversible damage to myself. I tend to develop specific phobias so I am not sure if this is actual depression or just my anxiety bringing me to this conclusion. Thank you.

Am I Likely Depressed or Is It Just a Fear of Depression?

Answered by on -

A.

You have noticed a change in mood. Things that used to make you feel better no longer have the same positive effect. Depression is a possibility.

Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. In fact, about half of people diagnosed with depression also have anxiety.

You described feeling an “overwhelming dread” about a missed opportunity to get better. Why do you think that you are to blame for having developed a chronic health issue? Sometimes, people blame themselves for things that are not their fault. It’s also characteristic of people with depression. If I knew more about why you blame yourself for developing health problems, I could determine if you are thinking accurately about your situation.

The bottom line is this: if depression and anxiety are degrading your life, then you should seek help. We all experience sadness and anxiety from time to time ,but it shouldn’t be a daily struggle. If you’ve never tried counseling, you should. Counseling can help to clarify your thinking and help you to feel better. Some people with chronic health conditions also benefit from support groups. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Am I Likely Depressed or Is It Just a Fear of Depression?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Am I Likely Depressed or Is It Just a Fear of Depression?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/03/28/am-i-likely-depressed-or-is-it-just-a-fear-of-depression/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.