Mental Health – Your Questions Answered.

I have recently been fortunate enough to meet a beautiful, intelligent and incredibly kind lady.

Not only is Dr Melissa Welby a hugely talented psychiatrist she is also an outright wonderful human being.

As most of you know, she thoughtfully agreed to answer your questions relating to mental health.

Here are her answers, I am so very pleased to introduce you to, Dr Melissa Welby.

Dr. Melissa Welby is a Harvard-trained, board-certified psychiatrist in solo practice. She writes a blog to educate and empower others to take charge of their mental health. She shares her reflections on various topics related to psychiatry and overall well-being at,

Is depression heredity? I have had depression on and off since my early 20’s and I’m really worried the same thing is going to happen to my daughter.

Yes, depression is hereditary although that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee that your child will have it. What you can do is role model your own healthy self-care and an openness to discussing emotions and allowing her to express her feelings. Listen for depression (remember depression in a kid or teen doesn’t always “look” like adult depression. It can have more irritability) and get her therapy or a psychiatric evaluation if you are concerned. Discussing depression as a medical condition that is treatable takes the stigma away.

Does having social anxiety mean you also have ordinary anxiety as well?

Anxiety is an overall description of a spectrum that includes many different types of anxiety. So yes, if you have social anxiety you could say you have anxiety. Often people don’t fit into one pure category but have a-little-of-this or a-little-of-that from different anxiety conditions. People with one type of anxiety may be more prone to be anxious in general.

Can mental illness be cured?

What do you mean by a cure? The answer also varies depending on the condition we are talking about. Sometimes, someone can have an episode that is triggered by high stress or some other event. When they learn how to better balance self-care and stress, or successfully are able to process the event, the symptoms they are experiencing may pass and not come back.

Some people experience a complete resolution of symptoms by taking medication. Do you consider this a cure? Or with therapy, they know how to intervene early to control symptoms so the symptoms don’t progress.

My doctor has told me I don’t have OCD but I have weird things I have to do like when I go shopping I have to choose a certain bar of chocolate even though they are all the same and stuff like that. Do you think I need to see a different doctor or is it that not OCD symptoms.

Some people have OCD-like symptoms but still don’t have OCD. The OCD symptoms have to interfere with functioning in life in order to rise to the level of an OCD diagnosis. People that have anxiety may use OCD-like behaviours to calm their anxiety by increasing their sense of control over a situation. For example, I may obsessively try to keep my house organised if I am feeling anxious so that I feel I can control something in my environment.

I worry about everything all the time I’m constantly worried that my friends have started hated me even if I haven’t even spoke to them. Is that anxiety?

Anxiety can invade every aspect of life. Some people have a generalised anxiety disorder and they can worry constantly about everything. It is extremely unpleasant to go through this. It is treatable though!

I am so scared of going out in public because I’m nervous around people I don’t know and I don’t know why.

Anxiety can take different forms and be expressed differently with different people. Some people have social anxiety disorder and by definition are uncomfortable around people (even their close friends!). Social anxiety disorder can interfere with life as people can make decisions that keep them more isolated due to their fears. It’s important to seek help for this.

I’ve been told anxiety and depression are linked. What does that actually mean?

Yes, sometimes anxiety and depression go hand in hand. The symptoms of anxiety and depression often overlap and are expressed in varying degrees with different people. The brain chemical causes of both of these conditions are thought to be similar in some people and are often successfully treated with the same medications.

Can adults get ADHD?

ADHD is an illness with a childhood onset. ADHD cannot begin in adulthood. HOWEVER, sometimes people don’t begin to struggle with their symptoms of ADHD until adulthood. Everyone with ADHD has a different point at which their symptoms begin to overwhelm their ability to function smoothly.

For example, some kids with a higher IQ may be able to get away with last minute cramming for exams so they don’t see it as a problem until they get to college and can no longer keep up. Some don’t recognise their limitations until they no longer have the structure of school to organise themselves, or they have a job that requires un-enjoyable tasks that they have significant trouble getting done.

As you can see Dr Melissa Welby truly cares about the people she helps. Answering these questions without a one to one must be incredibly difficult, yet she has managed to not only answer them but put so much time and thought into them to really make a difference. She spends her free time updating her website with information to help those struggling with their mental health. I really do recommend a visit to the blog section and giving her articles a read, I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed. You can click here to be taken straight to the website!

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