Depression and anxiety can affect men, women, and children, yet many individuals do not understand the symptoms associated with these mood disorders or understand the best ways to treat them. However, the long-term repercussions of not seeking treatment for depression and anxiety can be severe. To avoid these repercussions, it is crucial to learn about depression and anxiety and their impact on a person’s physical and mental well-being.
What Are Depression and Anxiety?
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a person to feel ongoing sadness and hopelessness, and a lack of interest in people, places, or activities that were previously enjoyed. The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe, and they include tiredness, insomnia, difficulty thinking or concentrating, back pain, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Anxiety affects people at different stages of life, and it causes persistent fear or worry. For people who experience repeated episodes of extreme fear or worry, an anxiety disorder may be present.
People sometimes experience anxiety and depression at the same time. Anxiety may lead to depression, or it can occur as a side effect of depression. In either scenario, an individual should seek out treatment for depression and anxiety due to the risks associated with failing to manage these conditions.
Possible Long-Term Social Repercussions of Not Seeking Treatment for Depression and Anxiety
Not seeking treatment for depression and anxiety can impair a person’s relationships with family members, friends, and others.
Untreated depression and anxiety can negatively affect one’s personal life, and can make it difficult to develop new relationships or maintain existing relationships, according to Emin Gharibian, a psychologist at Verdugo Psychological Associates. Gharibian points out that people coping with depression and anxiety sometimes start isolating themselves from others, and their work productivity can also suffer.
In addition, depression and anxiety can impact how the mind and body respond to different life situations, says Jacob Kountz, a wellness blogger for Kern Wellness Counseling. Kountz notes that the long-term effects of depression include intense sadness and feelings of lethargy, and the long-term effects of anxiety include constant racing thoughts and an increased risk of panic attacks.
Depression and anxiety become progressively worse if they go untreated for an extended period of time, says Stephanie Woodrow, a licensed clinical professional counselor and nationally certified counselor who treats adults dealing with anxiety and related disorders. Woodrow states that in the long-term, depression and anxiety can cause a person’s world to feel smaller and less pleasurable than ever before.
Possible Psychological Side Effects of Not Seeking Treatment for Depression and Anxiety
Dr. Stephanie J. Wong, a licensed clinical psychologist, states that individuals can experience a wide range of long-term side effects if they do not seek treatment for depression and anxiety. These side effects include chronic loneliness, difficulty connecting with others, co-occurring abuse or dependence on substances, and psychosomatic symptoms like stomach aches and migraines.
Some individuals coping with depression and anxiety also experience “imposter syndrome,” according to Wong. This condition is common in people working in high-stress fields such as the technology industry, and it causes them to feel like they will be found out as being incompetent — even if their performance evaluations or daily productivity indicate otherwise.
People dealing with depression and anxiety may use unsafe coping mechanisms to hide or manage their symptoms as well. For example, Wong points out that binge-eating is an unhelpful coping strategy that sometimes affects people dealing with depression and anxiety.
What Are the Best Ways to Manage Depression and Anxiety?
Dr. Mehwish Mursaleen of iCliniq suggests individuals seek immediate help if they experience any symptoms of depression or anxiety, or if they see these symptoms in people around them. Depression and anxiety can cause an imbalance of chemicals in a person’s brain, Mursaleen says. If left unaddressed, depression and anxiety can get severe, and will require additional time to treat in comparison to when the conditions are treated at their onset.
There is no single treatment modality that will help every individual cope with depression and anxiety, so one or more therapies may be needed.
Dr. Daryl Appleton, LMHC owner at Cioffi Appleton, LLC, recommends the use of a life coach or therapist to help manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety. A life coach or therapist teaches effective coping skills that help people deal with depression and anxiety, Appleton says. This coach or therapist also helps individuals become accountable for keeping feelings like sadness and worry in check.
In some cases, psychotherapy is used to help people manage depression and anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other types of psychotherapy are available, and they can help a person identify negative thought patterns or behaviors that contribute to depression and anxiety and find ways to replace them with positive ones.
Medication is sometimes recommended to help depression and anxiety patients. However, as Mursaleen notes, the side effects of medication can be disturbing, to the point that an individual decides to abandon treatment for depression and anxiety.
Alternative therapies may be recommended, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS offers a drug-free therapy for treatment-resistant depression, and it has also been shown to help individuals cope with anxiety. The treatment involves the use of electromagnetic pulses to stimulate neural activity in the brain to help relieve depression and anxiety symptoms and improve quality of life.
At Achieve TMS, our expert medical clinicians can help individuals avoid the long-term repercussions of not seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. We encourage individuals to come to us to discuss their depression and anxiety symptoms and pursue treatment. We offer TMS to help manage depression and anxiety, and we are available to teach individuals about this therapy. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact us online, or call or text us today at 877-822-7267.