Q&A: As a student, what can I do to help with my depression and overwhelming anxiety?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

Good evening doctor. Lately I have found myself extremely depressed, filled with anxiety and overwhelmed as a whole. I am currently a student and with both I am finding it extremely hard to concentrate. I am coming up to a time in my schooling where I have to go out into the field and I'm afraid my anxiety and lack of concentration will greatly effect my performance. I have never been on any medication for any of these symptoms but I would like to try anything that will help me focus on my future career. What can I do? Caitlin


Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT -

Being aware of the difficulties you are having is a very helpful step to being able to start addressing things and finding your way back to wholeness and peace in your life. When you know that the symptoms that you are having will become a barrier to your success, getting help is certainly the right thing to do. It is possible that there are options for medication that can be helpful in situations such as the one that you describe, but to determine this you would need to consult with and be treated by a psychiatrist. From the description of some of the things that this has been rooted in, you would also be advised to seek out psychotherapy to go along with the use of medication. This provides the opportunity for people who have things going on like you have described to address some of the underlying contributors to feelings of depression and anxiety as well as to develop coping techniques that will maximize your chance of success. Ideally, when this course of action is followed, the psychotherapist and psychiatrist will be able to work together and with you form a team to address everything that is going on.

--Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT
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