Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety is a word that has become part of our daily life language. As the community becomes more aware, some are more comfortable speaking about it. However, this is still not the case for many. In my experience, those struggling with high levels of anxiety that impact their daily lives often feel embarrassed and ashamed to have it. Causing difficulty in asking for support and trust there is help for them. Clients may experience anxiety on its own or as it often occurs with other mental health disorders, such as depression, as a symptom of PTSD. Anxiety can have a negative impact on our relationships as well.
Some common symptoms of anxiety are feeling dread, fearing the worst nervous, restless, or tense, a sense of impending doom, intense fear, disruption of sleep patterns such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, avoiding social situations, increased heart rate, racing thoughts and irritability among others. These symptoms can also be physical changes such as increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, some may feel like they are frozen or can’t move, and shortness of breath.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is known as the best treatment approach for anxiety. Other strategies can be effective such as mindfulness techniques and EMDR treatment. As a therapist I draw from all CBT, EMDR & mindfulness to support your healing process. We will work on learning to identify triggers, symptoms, and ways to manage them. All this will assist you in experiencing a decrease in how it negatively impacts your life. EMDR is found to have a positive impact on the treatment of anxiety. Therefore, I use it as the framework for treating most individual clients and, when appropriate, with some couples.
Anyone can experience depression at any point in their life. Depression is a mental health condition many are predisposed to develop genetically. No one chooses to feel depressed. And we can’t control it despite what many may believe about changing your thoughts. It does help if you try what your healthcare providers may recommend; it usually does not resolve independently. Research findings support combining therapy and medication management treatment for optimal results. Depression can be chronic or acute, possibly triggered by an event. The good news is that there are treatments that are effective you can access. As a provider, I always encourage my clients to learn to understand what is affecting them and their options to make an educated decision to choose their treatment options.
Some common depression symptoms are a pervasive sense of helplessness and/or hopelessness—a lack of enjoyment of daily activities. Disruption in sleep patterns, sleeping more than usual or less than average. Changes in appetite. Low sense of self and negative thoughts of self. Decreased libido. Low motivation and/or low energy. In more severe cases, it may disrupt daily life activities such as participating in family activities and difficulty concentrating at work or school. Frequent thoughts of death and or dying could also be present. If you have struggled with symptoms like this, seek help; waiting may cause your symptoms to linger and worsen. As a client, you can communicate with your providers to create a treatment plan that meets your needs and honors your values while seeking healing and health.
As a provider, I use a Cognitive Behavioral approach, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), which is highly effective in many cases where depression is present and utilized if deemed clinically appropriate.