ZocdocAnswersHow does depression affect confidence?

Question

How does depression affect confidence?

For the past year my confidence has been falling and falling. I just hate high pressure situations especially social situations - where I have to 'perform'. I dread them and always feel like I failed. Am I depressed?

Answer

Depression is very common and your symptoms may be due to depression. While confidence is something that is often lost with depression, there are other more specific signs that you should look out for. The best type of physician to initially approach about this problem may initially be a primary care physician such as a family doctor, but you may eventually need to see a psychiatrist. Symptoms of depression include problems sleeping, sleeping too much. appetite that is very large or very small, feelings of guilt, emotional instability, and a feeling of hopelessness. The most specific sign of depression is Anhedonia, or the inability to enjoy things you used to enjoy. What you are describing may be closer to social anxiety disorder. In this disorder, people feel very afraid of social situations, they want social interaction but avoid it out of fear of embarrassment. People with this disorder avoid public speaking, or any situation where they could be scrutinized. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as an initial consultation. He or she can take a detailed history of your symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. You may be initially started on an anti-depressant if you doctor thinks that would help. Afterwards, you may warrant a visit with a psychiatrist for evaluation of social anxiety disorder. Good luck.

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