Health Info

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General Health - Anxiety and Depression

General Facts:

Anxiety and Depression are both very common, yet highly treatable, medical illnesses that can affect anyone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mood disorder in the U.S. More than 1 in 20 Americans get depressed every year. One half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. These are medical disorders (just like diabetes and high blood pressure) that affect your thoughts, feelings, physical health and behaviors.

Depression Symptoms Include:

Anxiety Symptoms Include:

Causes & Risk Factors:

It appears to be a variety of factors including:


The good news is that treatment works. Treatment can involve medications, counseling or both. There are also some lifestyle measures that may help as well, see the following recommendations.

Lifestyle Measures:


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Many doctors start depression treatment by prescribing an SSRI. These medications are safer and generally cause fewer bothersome side effects than other types of antidepressants. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro) and others.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

These medications include duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq).

Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs)

Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is in this category. Bupropion has few side effects, but it has been associated with seizures in people with eating disorders; it is not recommended for people who have bulimia or anorexia. The drug carries a small risk of seizures in other people as well. Other side effects of bupropion may include mild anxiety or insomnia and decreased appetite with weight loss. Unlike other antidepressants, bupropion does not have sexual side effects. It is sometimes used at low doses to help counter the sexual side effects of other antidepressants.

Other medication strategies

Your doctor may suggest other medications to treat your depression. In some cases, your doctor may recommend combining two or more antidepressants or other medications for better effect.

Important Medication Facts:

In an emergency go to Mount Nittany Medical Center or call 911 for an ambulance.

Test Results and Advice Nurse

Send secure message to advice nurse via the UHS website or call 814- 863-4463.


Appointments can be made online via the UHS website, by phone 814-863-0774, or in person. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call or go online to cancel. Otherwise you will be charged for the visit.

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. Approved by the UHS Patient Education Committee, revised 4/25/2017.

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