“It tastes like ashes,” Justine reacts to her bite of meatloaf. Claire, Justine’s sister, has prepared what was once Justine’s favorite foods, but Justine is clinically depressed. What was once a source of delight is now disgusting. Depression often turns people’s world upside down. Justine sobs uncontrollably. Like many other loved ones, Claire is trying her best to cheer up her sister, but depression is not a simple mood swing—it is a serious mental illness. Justine’s struggle, portrayed by Kirsten Dunst in the movie, Melancholia, is a glimpse into many people’s reality as they struggle with depression and anxiety.
Depression is more than passing sadness. Anxiety is more than the jitters. The longevity and severity of symptoms characterize anxiety disorders and depression. These mental illnesses disrupt people’s ability to function within daily life, and they can make focusing upon important tasks more difficult, even impossible. There are effective treatments for anxiety and depression, and skilled therapists and counselors can often formulate a treatment plans that offers their clients relief.
If you or a loved one is experiencing depression and/or anxiety, you do not have to fight this battle alone. Thriveworks Counseling in Cary, NC offers anxiety therapy and depression therapy. Our professionals have walked step-by-step with many clients as prioritize treatment and experience relief.
More than Sadness: What Are the Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety?
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental illnesses. Over 15 percent of adults in the United States will experience depression at some point in their lives, and approximately 25 percent of adults will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress syndrome are examples of common anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders and depression are separate diagnoses, but they are often co-occurring. About half of people who are diagnosed with depression will also experience an anxiety disorder. What does it look like to have depression, anxiety, or both?
“Depression is like a bruise that never goes away. A bruise in your mind. You just got to be careful not to touch it where it hurts. It’s always there, though.”
– Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
Well-meaning but misinformed loved ones may describe depression as the blues, but anxiety and depression are so much more. They disrupt everyday life, and their symptoms are far-reaching. Such symptoms may include….
- Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities
- Inescapable and persistent emotions such as emptiness, sadness, and hopelessness
- Emotional pain that is felt as physical pain
- Suicidal attempts and/or thoughts of death
If you recognize these symptoms in your own life or in the life of a loved one, it may be time to reach out for help from a mental health professional. Cindy Goulding, Licensed Behavioral Counselor at our Cary office, explains that while anxiety is one of the most common challenges, it is one of the most treatable, “Therapy can help address the symptoms of anxiety as well as the underlying causes. Because anxiety is often triggered by the ‘what ifs’, practicing being in the present moment is an effective way to manage anxiety. Techniques such as deep breathing, exercise, and meditation can keep anxiety at bay.” When people receive a difficult diagnosis about their physical health, working closely with their physician is imperative for treatment. The same holds true for mental health. When people struggle with anxiety and depression, they have many treatment options, and a skilled therapist or counselor can help them find the options that are right for them. Finding good treatment is worth the effort, because depression and anxiety exact a toll.
The Price of Anxiety and Depression: Physical and Mental Effects
What affects one’s mind inevitably affects their body because they are interconnected. As people struggle with anxiety or depression, they often find themselves also struggling with physical effects from these illnesses. Such physical problems may include…
- Irregular Sleep: Some people may have difficulty sleeping (insomnia). Others may desire to sleep all the time. In either case, anxiety and depression often affect people’s rest cycle.
- Listlessness: Whether people experience irregular sleep patterns or not, anxiety and depression often induces lethargy. Lack of energy can make accomplishing everyday tasks more difficulty, and people may have slowed reaction responses.
- Difficulty Focusing: Distraction, especially by negative thinking, can plague people fighting anxiety and depression. Simple tasks often feel far more complicated when people cannot think clearly.
- Disrupted Eating Habits: Whether it is eating too much or barely eating anything, people often experience a disturbed appetite. People may even swing between extremes.
- Indecisiveness: Anxiety and depression can make decisions more difficult. Instead of processing information, making a decision, and moving forward, people may become stuck in indecisiveness.
Treatment can often ward off these effects, and many people are reaching out for help. There is no silver bullet when it comes to fighting anxiety and depression, but when people commit to treatment, they often experience relief they never imagined possible. Therapy often gives people options and hope that they need.
Depression and Anxiety Therapy at Thriveworks in Cary, NC
Often, the best way to counter depression and anxiety is through multiple forms of treatment—usually a form of medication and a form of talk-therapy. Medications may reduce anxiety’s and depression’s symptoms so that clients have the energy and focus on healing and coping skills. Medications may be selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI). An example of talk-therapy is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Therapists and clients explore negative, untrue thoughts in CBT, and they work to replace them with positive, true thinking. CBT is a proven method for treating anxiety and depression.
If you are ready to meet with a professional about the symptoms of anxiety or depression that you have experienced, know that Thriveworks Counseling in Cary, NC has appointments available. When you contact our office, you may have your first appointment within 24 hours. We also accept multiple forms of insurance.
Let’s get started. Contact us today.