Descriptions, Symptoms and Therapy
The normal ups and downs of life mean that everyone feels sad or has "the blues" from time to time. But if hopelessness, worthlessness or helplessness have taken hold of your life you may have depression. Depression has been described as a "black hole" or an empty feeling of doom. Others feel empty, apathetic and lifeless. Men sometimes report feeling angry, aggressive, and restless.
Depression often interferes with work, eating, sleeping, studying and enjoying life. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. Understanding the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment of depression is the first step to overcoming the problem.
Depression may involve:
Depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. Lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills matter just as much—if not more so—than genetics. However, certain risk factors make you more vulnerable to depression. These include:
DEPRESSION AND OLDER ADULTS AND THE ELDERLY
Depression is a common problem in older adults. The symptoms of depression affect every aspect of your life, including motivation, energy, physical problems, appetite, sleep, and interest in work, hobbies, and relationships. Physical complaints, such as arthritis pain or worsening headaches, are often the predominant symptom of depression in the elderly.
Unfortunately, all too many depressed seniors fail to recognize the symptoms of depression, or don’t take the steps to get the help they need. There are many reasons depression in older adults and the elderly is so often overlooked:
Seniors do not have to live with depression. Senior depression can be treated, and with the right support, treatment, and self-help strategies you can feel better and live a happy and vibrant life.
How we can help with Depression
The thought of tackling your depression may seem overwhelming, but don’t panic. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of your situation. It does not mean that you’re weak or you can’t change! The key to depression recovery is to start small. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can be an enormous help.
Therapy gives you tools to treat depression and what you learn in therapy gives you skills and insight to prevent depression from coming back.
In our work, you will learn practical techniques to reframe negative thinking. We will work with positive lifestyle changes such as developing supportive relationships, eating healthfully, regular exercise and sleep, stress management, relaxation techniques, and emotional regulation. Therapy can also help you work through the root of your depression, helping you understand why you feel a certain way, what your triggers are for depression, and what you can do to stay healthy.
Don't continue to struggle with this alone.
Anxiety disorders are a family of disorders that can affect anyone at any age, and they are the most common mental health problem.
Sometimes, anxiety disorders are triggered by a specific event or stressful life experience. Anxiety disorders may be more likely to occur when we have certain ways of looking at things (like believing that everything must be perfect) or have learned unhelpful coping strategies from others.
Anxiety can be a helpful feeling when it motivates or warns us of danger. An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, causes unexpected or unhelpful anxiety that seriously impacts our lives, including how we think, feel, and act.
Anxiety disorders are a result of a combination of biological, psychological, and other individual factors.
Biologically, problems with brain chemistry can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders can have a genetic basis, and can run in families. Traumatic life events, such as the death of a family member, witnessing a death, war, and natural disasters may trigger anxiety disorders.
There are several types of Anxiety Disorders
An intense fear (life disrupting) around a specific thing like an object, animal, or situation. You change the way you live in order to avoid the feared object or situation.
Panic attacks, feelings of sudden and intense fear that last for a short period of time, can be a normal reaction to a stressful situation. Panic disorder is a disorder that you experience when, after your first ‘out of the blue’ panic attack, you begin to have periods of worrying about having other and/or repeated attacks. You also begin to have concerns about what the panic attacks could do to you (fearing you will die, or lose control).
Often when people have Panic Attacks, the episodes are so overwhelming that they will do anything that they can to avoid having the experience again. This avoidance behaviour is called Agoraphobia. People often think agoraphobia means fear of crowds or open spaces but it is actually a fear of having a panic attack in a situation where you feel you won’t be able to escape. A person with agoraphobia may avoid public places or even avoid leaving their homes.
Social anxiety disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia is the most common anxiety disorder. It is a condition which involves being afraid of becoming appraised or judged negatively by others and as a result, feeling embarrassed or humiliated. Your fears of about what others will think are out of proportion to the actual situation and even though you may know this, it will still concern you and makes you very anxious and will encourage you to want to avoid social situations.
This will often result in avoidance of situations where you may feel that you will experience an increased likelihood of being judged negatively. People with Social Anxiety Disorder can become quite afraid of eating in restaurants or in front of anyone, going to parties, blushing in public, meeting new people, etc.
Common symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder including:
Generalized anxiety disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a condition whereby you experience chronic and debilitating anxiety and/or worry. The amount of time that you spend worrying is usually out of proportion to the likelihood that whatever you are worrying about would actually happen. Your worry, however, affects your ability to function in important areas of your life like work, home, school and your personal relationships.
Some of the physical symptoms that you are likely to experience if you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur after a very frightening or traumatic event, such as abuse, an accident, or a natural disaster. Symptoms of PTSD you might experience include reliving the event through nightmares or flashbacks, avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, and feeling unsafe in the world, even when not in danger.
Symptoms of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder include:
How we can help with Anxiety
Working together, we will identify the thoughts and thought patterns that make you anxious and keep you anxious and then challenge them. We will also explore the source of the anxiety and determine the values and beliefs that underlay it.
We will explore how anxiety is a natural life-protecting mechanism. We will learn to regulate emotions to face, rather than fear, the anxiety. You will come to learn to face the situations and sensations that you have been avoiding out of fear and you learn to gain control over the anxious feelings rather than letting them control you.
Don't continue to struggle with this alone.