If you are concerned that you or someone you love may be suffering from anxiety and or depression, here are some resources that can help.
- Do you frequently feel overwhelmed or experience feelings of panic?
- Do you struggle to relax and find yourself often worrying about the future?
- Are you experiencing fatigue, weight fluctuations, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath?
- Do feel like you’ve lost control over your thoughts, emotions, and even yourlife?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these you may be suffering from a clinical anxiety disorder.
- Do you find it difficult to get out of the bed in the morning? Do you struggle to keep commitments and arrive at appointments on time?
- Are you experiencing a numb sense of hopelessness, as if the pleasure has been drained out of life, leaving you without a tangible sense of what to live for?
- Has your suffering become so great that thoughts of suicide pass through your mind?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions you may be suffering from a clinical mood disorder. Though they are separate mental health concerns, depression and anxiety often occur together.
Anxiety and depression can significantly interfere with nearly every aspect of your life
Anxiety can turn the tasks of daily living into an exhausting ordeal. It can hinder your ability to sleep, complete tasks and make decisions. It can cause damage to your most cherished relationships, and even to your health! For example, increased rates of the primary stress hormone cortisol are linked to nearly every major illness. Worry can consume your life to such a degree that one day you wake up and realize that you haven’t really been living at all because you have been lost in the fear of what could go wrong.
Depression can cast a dark shadow that literally sucks the joy right out of your life and cause it to feel like a prison. Activities and relationships that used to give you pleasure and satisfaction can become empty and meaningless. Your ability to achieve your goals in life, or even remember what they were, can be greatly inhibited, and you may experience painful feelings of isolation. Your depression may also appear so vast and unmoving that hopelessness sets in and you find yourself struggling with the fear that you may never emerge from this deep dark fog.
There is Help
No matter how long you may have experienced these challenges or how bad they have gotten, please know that you can feel better and your life can transform. Both depression and anxiety are treatable and one-on-one counseling has been shown to be an effective means of treatment. Even if life doesn’t feel worth living, do not give up hope. The transformation of your suffering into positive growth is a very real possibility if you are willing to reach out to a mental health professional and take one step at a time toward healing.
Understanding Anxiety and Depression
Both anxiety and depression are very common. In the U.S alone, approximately 40 million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder and 20.9 million adults suffer from a mood disorder that includes depression.
Depression and anxiety can be thought of as symptom of a larger problem, a sign that something is not right. A complex set of factors are involved in the creation of these symptoms, however it is safe to say that it involves both your mind and body and is a mixture of your unique upbringing, life events, inherited biology, and brain chemistry.
As a counselor, I find it best to use a holistic approach when helping individuals overcome anxiety and depression. This means that all the possible factors that may have lead to your current state are explored and worked with in a balanced way. On your journey toward a joyful life we will also work together to identify the underlying root cause that holds the key to your feeling better. When the messages of your symptoms are listened to and honored, instead of brushed away in favor of an easy fix, deep and long lasting change can occur.
Once you have a clear understanding of the causes to your depression and anxiety, and experience a tangible taste of relief, you will then learn tools and develop skills in counseling to work with your own internal state. As you begin to experience the power to shift your own experience firmly in your hands, therapy often progresses rapidly.
Perhaps You Still Have Questions and Concerns?
I’ve felt this way for so long, how do I know that therapy will help?
You may have struggled with this for many years and it’s my guess that you have done your best to work with it. You may have even sought out help before, perhaps many times. I can empathize with your frustration, concern, and even hopelessness. It’s hard to take action and do something new for yourself, especially if the very challenge you are seeking help for is limiting your ability to reach out. All I can say is don’t give up. I have seen many people who, just like you, didn’t believe things could change and discovered that they can and will if you simply stay with it. The transformation that takes place is often beyond what you thought possible.
If my brain chemistry is messed up, what’s wrong with just taking medication?
There is nothing wrong with taking medication. After several months of therapy, or in severe cases of anxiety and depression, I often refer clients to a consulting physician to evaluate if medication could be an effective part of treatment. The key word however is “part.” If medication is the only form of treatment you may find yourself in a never ending uphill battle of continually increasing and changing meds to combat the shifting landscape of your brain chemistry. Psychotherapy can help identify and transform many of the underlying causes of your symptoms and lead to a long lasting change. Studies show that,in many instances, a combination of medication and counseling is the most effective form of treatment.
I feel anxious and overwhelmed just thinking about talking about my problems.
Though it may seem counterintuitive at first, it is important to understand that facing your problems actually helps to reduce your anxiety. What we resist persists, but when we accept what is happening it immediately begins to shift. It may seem scary to confront your problems, but I can assure you that relief and healing wait just around the corner.
I am struggling to get anything done, I don’t know how I can take on therapy.
If you are depressed it is very difficult to balance all of your commitments. It can seem like adding one more thing would be like adding a crushing 100 lb. weight to an already very heavy backpack. However, unless your depression is addressed, this challenge will continue and the weight will remain. By taking a step toward healing through anxiety and depression counseling you can actually begin to empty your backpack, and the things that once felt like drudgery can begin to lighten up, and ease can return to your life.
In my life I have struggled with both depression and anxiety. There was a period in my early 20’s where I could see very little reason to go on living and moments where I had to come to terms with just how much my anxiety was damaging my body. It has not been an easy journey and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. However, I have learned a great deal by walking it, and my trust in the fact that it is possible to heal from these ailments is rooted in my own experience of that healing.
A Call To Action
I encourage you to gather what information you need, but not to wait to reach out. You have the ability within you to transform your suffering, and all it takes is the willingness to reach out and take the next step. The sooner you can begin working on your depression/anxiety the faster and easier it can shift.
Please contact me to schedule your initial consultation for depression and anxiety counseling. This first appointment is 100% risk free, meaning that you have the opportunity to see if I am a good fit for you as a psychotherapist. If you choose not to continue you will not be billed for your consultation.
Also, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding the treatment of depression and anxiety.
I wish you all the best on your journey towards healing.