I have been told by doctors that I suffer from anxiety and depression. I do worry quite a bit in general and for the past two years I have been worrying a lot more since starting a demanding postgraduate course.
My low self-esteem, that has always been an underlying problem, has severely worsened due to finding the course really difficult and subsequently thinking i'm "too stupid" to be doing this. I have been stressed and finding it hard to cope. I avoid studying and procrastinate a huge amount. I worry about not being able to pass it on a regular basis and the worry often prevents me from studying which then makes me more worried and now I'm trapped in a cycle. I know that if I could just believe in my ability to pass the course then I wouldn't be anxious and I would be able to work. I have just started to see a CBT therapist to help me with my low self-esteem. She has suggested that I go on Sertaline for my depression and anxiety, to be used to compliment the CBT.
Thing is, I don't really know if I actually have depression and anxiety. I am definitely a "worrier", I have been ever since I was young, but I'm only *really* anxious about my course and not other things (well I am, but it doesn't stop me from living life fully). The anxiety is only affecting my ability to study. Also, with the "depression": I am not unhappy all the time and I think maybe it's natural to struggle with and feel down sometimes about a difficult postgraduate course, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's depression, does it? The reason I am apprehensive is the doctor and CBT therapist have been very quick to diagnose me and prescribe me Sertaline. They saw me once and relied on my answers to a questionnaire to determine whether I am depressed/anxious or not. Since I think my anxiety and depression stems from low self-esteem and isn't 24/7 I am concerned that medication isn't the right thing for me and I am worried about long-term side effects even after coming off them. I don't want to take depression/anxiety medication if I am not actually depressed or anxious, but it's so hard to define it, or gauge the severity of it. If I were to diagnose myself, I'd say that I feel mildly depressed. very anxious about my course due to my low self-worth and that is affecting my ability to do my course, which is basically my life at the moment.
I wondered what your opinion was on taking medication in these circumstances or if there are other people that are taking medication even if you think your anxiety/depression symptoms are not "severe"?
In my case, I am really confused because my doctors advice to take the medication is conflicting with what I think I should do.
Sorry for the ramblings and thanks in advance!