Anyone who has suffered from depression or anxiety knows only too well how paralyzing it can be. Statistics show that 1 in 5 adult Americans suffer from a mental health condition, with depression and anxiety at the top of the list.
Many people go through life without realizing they are suffering from depression or anxiety disorders and although the stigmas associated with depression and anxiety have been removed, there are still those that believe you should “just get over it”.
Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions and according to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In the United States, depression is responsible for nearly 40,000 suicides each year.
Depression negatively impacts the way we feel, and how we think and act but, on the upside, it is treatable! In fact, it is one of the most treatable of all mental health conditions, and between 80% and 90% of people suffering from depression respond well to treatment and gain that much-needed relief from their symptoms.
Signs of depression can include continual feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, and changes in appetite and sleep patterns. When we are depressed, we may find it difficult to think, concentrate and make decisions. Many people experience a loss of energy and feel a lack of purpose. This often leads to feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and even thoughts of death.
Anxiety is a normal emotion, but those suffering from a disorder experience feelings well beyond the normal nervousness and fear everyone experiences at some stage. When suffering from an anxiety disorder, we will often overreact when our emotions are triggered, and we are unable to control our responses to situations. These behaviors interfere with our ability to live normally; the emotions are so overwhelming that they have a major impact on our quality of life.
One of the most effective methods of treatment of anxiety is Brainspotting. Brainspotting significantly helps and relieves any negative experiences that may be impairing the quality of your interpersonal relationships or any aspect of your life, targeting deeper areas of the brain to identify, process, and release the core neurophysiological sources of trauma and negative experiences. It’s important to find a licensed therapist that is certified in this revolutionary treatment.
People who suffer from an anxiety disorder are not only impacted from an emotional perspective but often feel the physical impacts as well. Symptoms typically include a racing heart and sweating which often are indicative of a panic attack.
Both anxiety and depression can be debilitating. Fortunately, both of these conditions are common and treatable. There is never a reason to feel that we have to deal with either of these on our own. It takes courage to acknowledge that there is a problem and to ask for help but it is the only way we will be able to move forward.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a form of treatment for mental health. As the phrase talk therapy suggests, psychotherapy involves talking to a therapist about our challenges. It is a process whereby the therapist will use a combination of verbal and psychological techniques to help us recover and implement positive changes in our lives.
There are many different forms of psychotherapy and sessions may be held individually with a therapist or in a group session dependent on our needs. Individual therapy generally forms the basis of psychotherapy but sessions with families or groups are sometimes held, and these can provide therapists with additional insights.
Group sessions can be particularly useful as everyone gives and receives support from the group when it comes to dealing and coping with a particular issue, as well as providing an opportunity to learn from each other.
Psychotherapy is sometimes used in isolation for treating mild depression and anxiety. But for more serious forms, it is often used in conjunction with medications like antidepressants.
Is psychotherapy effective?
Having a safe space to talk through our emotions, moods, triggers, etc plays an important role in dealing with our depression and anxiety. And that’s exactly where psychotherapy fits in. During these sessions, we learn more about our condition, feelings, thoughts, and associated behaviors but most importantly, we learn healthy coping skills enabling us to take back control of our lives.
Psychotherapy is only effective when we form a relationship with our therapist, where together we can identify any negative behavior and thought patterns. The advantage of psychotherapy is that we are able to be open and honest in a safe space where there is no judgment. The therapist is on our side.
When treating anxiety, common approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. CBT is the most popular approach, and this form of therapy helps us recognize thought patterns and behaviors that lead to our anxiety. Our therapist will help us come up with coping mechanisms and strategies to enable us to work on changing them.
Exposure therapy is focused on dealing with the underlying fears of our anxiety and helps us effectively tackle activities and situations we have been trying to avoid.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also used to treat depression but is actually the combination of two different forms of therapy. Cognitive therapy is centered around the concept that our thoughts affect our emotions. This type of therapy helps us identify common patterns of negative thinking and provides us with the skills to turn these negative thought patterns into more positive ones.
Behavioral therapy is focused on changing behaviors that negatively impact our emotions.
The goal is to identify activities that we can engage in which will enhance feelings of well-being and avoid the negative ones.
Anxiety and depression are not things we can wish away or simply get over. We need support and a psychotherapist is in the best position to know which type of therapy will work for each of us. Therapy helps us understand what we’re feeling, why we are feeling it and how to cope. It is not easy to identify the cause of our depression and anxiety on our own and finding the solutions or seeing the light is exceptionally difficult when we are feeling these extreme emotions.
Experiencing chronic sadness, fear, feeling empty, lonely, and insecure can easily lead to depression and other mental health issues. We need to remember that our emotions, thoughts, and actions have a direct effect on our energy, productivity, and quality of life. Taking care of our mental health should be a priority as it strengthens our ability to cope and handle life’s challenges more effectively.
You are not meant to go through it alone. It’s imperative that you get the right professional help for your mental health or if your relationship is suffering at this time. Jousline Savra helps men and women address difficult issues in their relationships during the process of their individual therapy, and specializes in psychotherapy. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is certified in Brainspotting Therapy. Give her a call today and see how she can help you.