Feeling sad, angry, or irritable has become a normal part of daily life in our age of anxiety. But when these emotions are extreme or last for long periods of time and affect your ability to engage in regular activities, it is time to seek help.
Anxiety, depression, and other difficult emotional states can stem from negative thought patterns, a traumatic experience, conditioned or learned behavior, or a biochemical imbalance – or often a combination of the above.
Depression affects how you think, feel, and behave. Some manifestations of depression include:
- Being consumed with irrational guilt or emptiness
- Preoccupation with thoughts of death and suicide
- Physical problems such as insomnia, memory issues, body fatigue, weight loss or gain, and increased chance of heart attack
- Disconnection from social outlets, work, family, friends, and romantic partnerships
When you are suffering from depression, your motivation system is low and you may stop doing the things that make you feel good. This makes depression a vicious cycle that is hard to break
Anxiety & Panic Disorder
Our body’s natural response to stress is to create the emotional and physical sensations of anxiety. However, when anxiety becomes constant, creates hopelessness, or results in overwhelming feelings of loss of control, then it crosses into an Anxiety Disorder, aspects of which can include:
- Feeling on edge
- Having racing thoughts
- Perseverating on negative memories or experiences
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbances
- Physiological sensations such as heart palpitations and chest pain
A mood disorder is a mental health condition that impacts an individual’s overall mood and functionality. The term refers to both depressive and bipolar disorders, where mood symptoms might present as extremely low (depressive) or as intense energy or other extreme behaviors.
Individuals with a mood disorder often have a hard time constantly engaging in daily activities, or may often have interpersonal challenges. Symptoms of mood disorders can include:
- Isolating oneself
- Loss of interest in activities
- Suicidal ideation
The exact cause of mood disorders is unknown. There does seem to be a genetic component and possible chemical imbalances in the brain. Also, stressful life events can be a trigger.
How can you manage all of these complex and interconnected issues? Depression and anxiety therapy can help.
Therapy, as well as a proper pharmacotherapy evaluation, is essential to effectively treat depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
Through scientifically backed methods, therapy can help you navigate a tough period in life or break out of the throes of depression. Techniques that help you manage these challenges include:
- Lowering physiological stress or arousal
- Reducing cognitive misinterpretations
- Developing coping skills such as mindful breathing and meditation
- Interoceptive exposure and exposure to feared stimuli (which have been found to be more cost-effective over the long term (two years) than pharmacotherapy)
Ultimately, we work together to identify patterns and engage in strategies that can restore a sense agency and empower you to enjoy life again.