Constant worry. Sleep problems. Decreased concentration. Easily irritated. General fatigue. Fearing that nothing can ever change. Anxiety and depression affect over 50 million people in the United States and that number is growing daily. If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of anxiety or depression, it is time take a closer look at what may be going on…
Feelings of stress or sadness can arise during a one- time life situation. Anxiety and depression last longer and persist. Anxiety appears when there are too many stressful situations occurring that may overwhelm you. Depression occurs when you find that you are frequently feeling negativity towards yourself and others and that unhappiness continues to hamper your daily living. Both depression and anxiety affect the quality of your life, impacting work, school, relationships, and family. Additionally, depression and anxiety have a biological basis and affect brain chemistry. These mental health problems are difficult to handle on your own, yet they are highly treatable.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
- Your worry is disproportionate to the circumstance you are facing.
- Your sleep is disturbed or you have insomnia.
- You obsessively over-think each and every little decision or circumstance.
- Your body is always tense, with headaches or digestive problems frequently present.
- You may have seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of having another one.
- You may have a Phobia which is an irrational fear that makes you avoid an object, place, or situation that poses little or no threat of danger.
- You may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in which you perform uncontrollable repetitive actions such as excessive cleaning, checking, counting, picking or arranging.
- You may have Social Anxiety where anxious feelings heighten in social situations to the point where you may avoid people or group activities for fear of being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated.
- You may be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which involves recurring nightmares, flashbacks, or emotional numbing related to a traumatic event that occurred several months or years before.
Common Symptoms of Depression
- You have a lasting sad, gloomy or “empty” mood.
- You have lost interest in the pleasurable activities you once enjoyed.
- You are sleeping too much or too little, or you are experiencing early morning awakening.
- Your appetite or eating habits have changed noticeably.
- You feel hopeless, guilty, worthless or pessimistic.
- Your energy level has decreased and fatigue is prominent.
- You have repeated difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
- You have persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders, and/or chronic pain that have not responded well to medical treatment
- You have thoughts of death or suicide.
Adults and teenagers may experience many of the above symptoms. They are real and they will improve with therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a well-known, empirically based treatment for both anxiety and depression. As a specialist in delivering CBT and other integrative therapeutic approaches, I have an individualized and unique treatment philosophy that begins with a focus on:
- Challenging beliefs and thinking in order to stop worrying and decrease anxiety.
- Instilling and improving communication skills to help improve relationships at home and at work.
- Implementing behavioral changes that help with both anxiety and depression such as relaxation techniques, problem solving skills, and self-esteem building.
- Teaching you skills to improve motivation and decrease negative thinking patterns which alleviate depressed and anxious moods.
- Learning skills to cope with sleep issues, chronic pain, and other medical problems.