Sorting Out Signs of Anxiety and Depression

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In This Chapter

^ Figuring out how depression and anxiety affect you ^ Finding your personal starting point ^ Knowing when to get more help

£veryone feels sad or worried from time to time. Such emotions are both natural and unavoidable. People worry about their children, bills, aging parents, jobs, and health. And most people have shed a tear or two watching a sad movie or a news story about a poignant tragedy. That's normal. A little bit of anxiety and depression is part of everyday life.

But when sadness fills most of your days or worries saturate your mind, that's not so normal. You may be experiencing a real problem with depression or anxiety. Anxiety and depression can affect how you think, behave, feel, and relate to others. The discussion and quizzes in this chapter help you figure out how depression and anxiety affect your life. When you understand what's going on, you can start doing something about it.

Don't freak out if the quizzes in this chapter reveal that you have a few symptoms of anxiety or depression. Most people do. We let you know if you should be concerned.

If your symptoms are numerous and severe or your life seems out of control, you should consult your primary care physician or a mental health professional. These quizzes aren't meant to replace trained mental health professionals — they're the only people who can really diagnose your problem.

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