A GOOD LOOK AT DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
WHAT is Depression? The word “depression” describes a “hopeless” state of mind; a disconnect with your life force; a foreboding; a seeming inability to make life work. Often there’s a lack of energy and foggy thinking. Sleep can be an inviting escape. Accomplishing daily tasks often takes a lot of concentrated effort. Life has to be “pushed”, or forced. It is a cheerless feeling.
Is this your experience? Are you struggling with these feelings and difficulties? If so, you might consider calling my office. A therapist’s office is a safe and confidential place to give voice to feelings you have been holding in. I am trained to educate, guide and support you through such difficulties.
WHY Would Seeing a Therapist Help? It has been said: “What negativity is not expressed, is de-pressed.” It is true. The more we express, that is, bring out whatever we are hiding in, the more alive we feel. The more we give voice to the pain we are feeling, the less crud or crust we build up between our inner self and our way of living in the world.
WHEN does one seek out a therapist? It can be troubling to bear witness to our pain. We usually seek help when the feelings of pain and shame are greater than the fear of being vulnerable and judged.
The following questionnaire can perhaps be helpful.
- Have you lost interest in doing things that used to give you pleasure?
- Do you often have feelings of hopelessness, sadness, just generally down?
- Are you fatigued, listless, tired. . .most of the time?
- Are you often distracted from whatever activity you’re trying to accomplish?
- Do you generally feel bad about yourself and often compare yourself unfavorably to others? Or feel you’ve never been good enough?
- Have you noticed a lack of focus, or inability to concentrate when conversing, reading or working?
- Do you often feel like crying?
- Do you have thoughts of hurting yourself, or thinking you would be better off dead?
- Not at all
- Several times a day
- Once or twice a year
- Once every day
- If you’ve had days with above issues, how difficult has it made for you to function--at home, work, school, socially?
- Not difficult
- Sometimes difficult
- Every day difficult
If your answers to these questions disturb you, you might seriously consider a good therapist (Me) to help you.
ANXIETY IS A DIFFERENT STATE OF MIND, but often mixes with depression. Whether depressed or anxious, we are hiding ourselves to some degree. Often depression offers temporary cover for hiding but sometimes our cover is blown; literally or figuratively. When that happens, we feel anxious, edgy, fearful. Panic attacks occur, often seeming to come out of the blue, along with physical symptoms like trouble breathing, a hurting in the chest, or stomach distress.
Generalized anxiety exhibits as a general sense of hyper-alertness; a hyper vigilance for danger or things to go wrong. This usually goes along with an overwhelmed feeling; so many things to keep an eye on; so many situations to control/patrol for safety. Insomnia is often a problem for those who feel their general safety is threatened and must keep a watch. It is a tiring job.
HOW does life become so difficult to manage? Depression and generalized anxiety both usually originate in childhood. Our self-esteem, our sense of being wanted, worthy, and important gets damaged to some degree. We disown the parts of our self that meet with disapproval from our all-important early caretakers. And strive to BE whatever self it is that wins approval. By and by we consciously forget our disowned parts, but our subconscious doesn’t. An inner conflict develops.
The result? A disconnected feeling, a feeling of being a fraud, that we don’t really belong, a feeling of emptiness. We deal with those feelings then in various ways, though sub-consciously. A few common ways involve:
- Complete denial of the problem(s)
- Disassociation and spacing out
- Hair-trigger anger
- Frequent sickness
- “Cutting” oneself
- Over working
- Over drugging
All are efforts to escape depression and/or anxiety, and to relieve pain.
I am trained and educated to help explore and alleviate these issues. In a comfortable and confidential environment, you are guided to move forward, face shame, learn to accept your true self. That’s how you make it right.