Medical Q&As

Anxiety / depression - help?

I have ongoing feelings of anxiety and worry about everything e.g. being fired from my job even though I have a very successful career and am likely to be promoted again in the next couple of months. However, my current work involves making presentations to various groups. This I find exceptionally difficult to the extent that I'm physically incapable of standing in front of the group and presenting. Recently I am finding it increasingly difficult to sleep and when I do sleep I wake up several times each night to find my heart racing. I have an awful feeling that something is terribly wrong with me. Am I depressed?

You could be depressed but your symptoms do indicate an extreme level of anxiety, which is currently affecting your ability to perform essential elements of your work such as group presentations. Your current difficulties could be stress related but they might also be physical in origin. Sometimes hormonal disorders such as thyrotoxicosis can present with symptoms of anxiety. I think that you should arrange to visit your GP for a check up. Your doctor will probably want to check your blood pressure and examine you with a view to excluding a physical cause for your symptoms. On balance your symptoms are most likely of psychological origin however, it is very important that you don’get channelled prematurely into a psychological explanation for your symptoms. This could result in the neglect of an underlying medical condition that may be contributing to your problem. A basic medical check up should be your first step in solving your current difficulty.