ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- There are moments when we feel angry, agitated, irritated, nervous or sad. We need to be aware of when these feelings require professional treatment.It is important to remember any of these feelings could represent a normal response to a number of events in our lives.These feelings could also signal more serious needs or treatable mental illnesses, which require diagnosis, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.Having these feelings should not cause serious concerns, but why you feel them and how they affect your day-to-day activity is certainly cause to be alarmed.For example, stress is a natural response to external factors, such as deadlines at work, family matters, financial worries or an anniversary. If these deadlines or worries pass over and you feel better, chances are, you are probably fine.Anxiety, however, is persistent and excessive – occurring more days than not for a continuous number of months after stress triggers are gone.At some point, you will find it more difficult to control the worrying and it may soon begin to interfere with your day-to-day life.According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 18 percent of American adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, making this category of disorders the most common mental illness in the country.There are many ways you may be able to deal with these feelings on your own if:• The feelings of distress are reasonable and not intense• You think or do something good that makes you feel better, at least temporarily• You soon find the worry is beginning to go away after a few hours or days• You can clearly identify the cause of the stressHowever, you should always consider seeking professional help if negative feelings persist, such as:• The worries are unrelenting• You do not have a clear cause• The anxiety impacts your daily routine or your interaction with your loved ones• The anxiety and/or worry lasts more than a few days and becomes more difficult to shake offThere are a variety of treatments for mental health conditions, including directed therapy, group support and certainly medications.Anytime negative feelings become so intense or pervasive they affect your overall quality of life, it is time to get help.According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than six million men in the United States suffer from depression, though creating an accurate estimate is difficult because men are often reluctant to seek help for mental health.More importantly, Veterans are even more reluctant to seeking help because of the stigma mental health has on service members.Many people were raised to believe feelings of depression or anxiety are common, which is correct, yet see an inability to cope with them as a sign of weakness, not a medical condition.As a result of this stigma, they keep their feelings of distress bottled up, which makes it harder for them to know when normal feelings end and a mental illness begins.It also makes it difficult when coping mechanisms used previously no longer work and we turn to different, more destructive, coping mechanisms.It is important to be able to identify the signs of these concerns in those around you.Persistent anger, anxiety, irritability, loss of energy, loss of interest in activities or a dramatic change in sleep pattern could be signs that require professional attention.Getting helpIf you are one of the individuals suffering in silence, please reach out to your Anniston Army Depot Employee Assistance Program coordinator for help.• Juanita Bruno: 256-741-5785 or juanita.c.bruno-jacob.civ@mail.mil• Boyd Scoggins: 256-240-3182 or Boyd.g.scoggins.civ@mail.mil