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Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

Good Care Rare for Depression and Anxiety.

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These days, many insurance cards have an 800 number for mental health services on the back, he says, giving patients a handy way to get a quick evaluation and referral to a specialist.

Depression is difficult to diagnose because it can be a combination of physical symptoms and emotional feelings. It includes feeling sad or losing interest in things you used to enjoy. People with depression may have problems concentrating or making decisions, or feel unusually slow or restless. But depression also has bodily symptoms, including sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping, feeling tired all the time, having a big increase or decrease in appetite, and even general aches and pains.

An anxiety problem may manifest in many ways -- worry about physical health, feeling short of breath, a pounding heart. There may be a sudden attack of panic that comes out of nowhere.

All of us have experiences like this occasionally. But when they persist, it's time to visit the family doctor and discuss whether treatment for anxiety or depression is needed.

"Even with top-quality treatment, many people with anxiety and depressive disorders are left with lingering symptoms," Kisch says. "They often drop out of treatment and do less well than they might. What works best varies from person to person, but usually a combination of medication and counseling is better than either one alone. Consumers need to be aware that these symptoms may linger, and therefore, they need to be persistent in continuing to seek care."

Full results from the study appear in the January issue of the medical journal Archives of General Psychiatry. The research was supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health.

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