Anxiety and Depression Information
It can be difficult to personally determine whether you are just down in the dumps or if you are suffering from depression, but at Find Your Own Star, you can engage in counselling and talk therapy to help you understand and address your feelings. Nearly 8% of the population suffers from some form of depression; you aren’t alone and you don’t have to go through this alone.
If you feel hopeless, have a lack of motivation, suffer from aches and pains and digestive problems, have low self-esteem and self-confidence, have low energy levels, find yourself sleeping all day or unable to get out of bed, have a loss of appetite or sex drive, feel sad or agitated all of the time, have lost the ability to concentrate, find yourself constantly overeating, or are uninterested in activities that you used to enjoy—and if these symptoms have lasted longer than two months—you could be suffering from depression.
Depression and Gender
Women are twice as likely as men to experience major depression, and are also at risk for serious depression following childbirth (postpartum depression). Men are more likely to hide their symptoms of depression and mask them with alcohol or substance abuse. Men are also less likely to seek treatment for depression.
Causes of Depression
Some factors including family history, high amounts of stress, the loss of someone very close, or a serious illness can make you more vulnerable to depression.
Depression can also have environmental causes. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is characterized by serious mood changes caused by changes in the amount of daylight. Symptoms of SAD include irritability, fatigue, social withdrawal, oversleeping, weight gain, feelings of hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide.
Depression can also be caused by physical factors. Vascular depression is caused by restricted blood flow to the brain and organs and is most often experienced in older adults.
Whatever the source or type of depression you are experiencing, counselling can help you to understand and work through the challenges associated with depression and address the factors that may be contributing to or causing it.
While anxiety is something that everyone experiences from time to time, it can be incredibly distressing to experience anxiety and distress when it is not related to a situational trigger or when it happens very intensely or frequently. Anxiety disorders can interfere with your ability to lead a normal life when they cause you to experience constant and overwhelming worry and fear.
Anxiety disorders are experienced in a wide range of ways with varying symptoms, but if you have consistent feelings of fear or panic, always feel uneasy, have trouble sleeping, experience cold and sweaty hands and feet, have shortness of breath or heart palpitations, have the inability to be still and call, experience dry mouth or nausea, have muscle tension or numbness, or feel dizzy, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: People with generalized anxiety disorder are extremely worried even when there’s little or no reason to worry. They’re very anxious about just getting through the day.
Panic Disorder: People with panic disorder have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly without a warning. Symptoms of a panic attack include sweating, strong or irregular heartbeats, a feeling of choking, and difficulty breathing.
Social Anxiety Disorder: Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. People with social anxiety disorder tend to be very anxious about being around and talking to people, very self-conscious and afraid that others are judging them, and may have physical reactions to being around others such as blushing, sweating, and trembling.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders may be caused by problems in the brain circuits that regulate fear and other emotions. Severe or long-lasting stress can change the way nerve cells transmit information from one region of the brain to another. Other studies have shown that people with certain anxiety disorders have changes in brain structures that control memories linked with strong emotions. Anxiety disorders run in families.
Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which can mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse.
Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented?
There are many tools that can help manage anxiety. In addition to making physical changes to your daily routines and activities (such as limiting caffeine), counselling can help you to identify and address thinking patterns and behaviors that underlie and perpetuate anxiety. With the right tools and time spent learning how to use them, you can live a normal and fulfilling life despite an anxiety disorder diagnosis.
I offer by-the-hour counselling (in-person in New Westminster and Surrey or via Zoom video call) to address these issues and more. Fill out the form below to get started today: