talking to someone about anxiety and depression

How To Talk About Anxiety And Depression

Many people have depression and/or anxiety but often feel scared to visit a healthcare provider for a variety of reasons, including the stigmas that. While being eroded, are still attached to mental health. Among all medical disorders, people with depression and anxiety seek medical attention the least. Sometimes they are not aware that their symptoms are the result of a depression or anxiety disorder, and at other times, they feel the symptoms will spontaneously get better. But, in general, most people who have depression and anxiety are simply afraid to speak to others, including healthcare workers, about their symptoms. Here we provide you with some tips on how to talk about anxiety and depression.

talking to someone about anxiety and depression

What Symptoms Are You Experiencing?

Before you visit a healthcare provider, it is important to know what types of symptoms you are experiencing. If you have depression, you may experience the following symptoms over a period of weeks or months, and they include the following:

  • Feeling low or worrying constantly
  • Feeling anxious that something bad will happen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Persistent negative thoughts about yourself
  • Irritability and moodiness for no obvious reason
  • Finding it difficult to focus and concentrate
  • Not enjoying life as you did once
  • Have no energy and feel fatigued
  • Even feel too tired to eat or wash up
  • Either sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping
  • Sometimes you may experience generalized pain and constant fatigue
  • Wishing life would end
  • Wanting to harm yourself or pondering thoughts about suicide

If you recognize these are symptoms of depression or if you feel that something is just not right, it is highly recommended you speak to a healthcare provider.  Are you wondering how to talk about anxiety and depression?  Is it difficult for you to begin a conversation? 

Risk Factors For Depression

  • Being female
  • Having suffered an adverse event in childhood
  • Moderate to high natural stress
  • Having a family history of depression
  • Having given birth recently
  • Feeling alone
  • Having developed a chronic or serious illness
  • Using certain prescription medications
  • History of drug or alcohol abuse

How Can A Healthcare Professional Help You?

It can be difficult to know how to tell people you have anxiety and depression. You may feel afraid or apprehensive about speaking to a stranger about your symptoms, but mental health disorders are very common and healthcare workers are fully aware of the problems of patient anxiety and distress. A mental healthcare provider can make a big difference in your life. Not only can they help make the diagnosis, but they can provide you with resources to help you better deal with the disorder.

If you decide to visit a healthcare provider regarding your symptoms, here are some things that he or she can assist you with:

  1. Listening to you, and answering your questions
  2. Help you understand your thoughts and feelings
  3. Help make a diagnosis of any mental health disorder you may have
  4. Provide support to help you overcome the disorder
  5. Offer you a treatment that can help reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of your life
  6. Recommend lifestyle changes that can help improve your symptoms
  7. Refer you to another specialist if there is a need


If you are having feelings of causing self-harm to your body or committing suicide, you should speak to someone immediately. Today, there are several organizations that you can reach out to for assistance. These hotlines offer confidential emotional support 24/7. If you don’t know how to tell people you have anxiety and depression, you’re not alone. Trained professionals can help you start the conversation. 

Preparing For Your Appointment

Before you decide to go to your healthcare provider, prepare yourself and make a list of questions that you would like answered. Here are some questions that you should ask:

  • Why am I developing these symptoms and what do they mean?
  • What might my triggers be?
  • What types of treatment are available for depression?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes that can help me?
  • Do I need frequent follow-up appointments?
  • When will I start to feel better after starting treatment?
  • Can psychotherapy help depression?
  • Are there any support groups?
  • Is there any reading you can recommend on the subject of depression?

In addition, make a note of the following:

  • All possible stressors in your life
  • A list of all your medications and/or supplements
  • A list of your medical conditions and history
  • A list of your allergies

Always feel free to take a family member with you to the interview. If there is anything you do not understand, never feel afraid to ask again.

Signs That The Healthcare Provider Will Look For

To make a diagnosis of depression, your healthcare provider will also observe your behavior and make a note of the following signs:

  • Preoccupied appearance
  • Not making eye contact
  • Consistently not remembering things
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Appearing tired or moody
  • Crying and/or sad
  • Speaking in a slow monotonous tone
  • Moving very slowly
  • Being negative about oneself
  • Appearing to have given up on life

Be Honest And Open

  1. Remember you are not alone. Approximately 10% of American adults over the age of 18 may be suffering from a depressive illness (e.g., major depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder) each year. Depression tends to affect women twice as frequently as men. The earlier you deal with depression, the better the outcomes.
  2. Always be open and honest with the healthcare provider. Remember this professional can only help if you provide detailed honest information.
  3. Do not be afraid to ask questions and look over your notes to see if there is something you do not understand. This is a two-way street: the healthcare provider is trying to learn about your condition, while you are trying to make sense of what is happening to you.
  4. If there are any sensitive issues that you are afraid to discuss, do not be embarrassed; healthcare workers deal with these issues every single day. They are retained to deal with sensitive issues professionally and everything in your medical file is confidential.


Before you are given any medications or offered treatment, the healthcare worker will perform some blood tests to rule out other organic disorders that can cause similar symptoms. For example, under-activity of the thyroid can present with all the symptoms of depression, and the condition is always tested because it can be easily treated. It is also possible that your symptoms of depression may be a side effect of medication. In general, before treatment is started, you will be called for another interview to explain the type of medication, the dosage, the adverse effects, when you will feel better, and so on. 

Second Opinion

For whatever reason, if you feel that you are not happy with the diagnosis and would like a second opinion, just ask the healthcare provider for another referral. You have every right to ask for a second opinion to ensure that you have received the right diagnosis.


If you have questions about how to talk about anxiety and depression, the knowledgeable staff at Cano Health will be happy to assist in answering them.  Call them today at 855.975.5119.


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