Anxiety and depression are two of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses in the United States, and yet, there is misinformation that is still being spread about them. Loved ones with the best of intentions may tell their family members and friends who struggle with depression things like…
“Do you know any breathing exercises? When you feel stressed, try a new breathing technique.”
“Life is always harder when you are tired. In the morning, this will not seem so hopeless.”
“Maybe you could try yoga. I’ve heard it helps people relax.”
“Do you get enough fresh air and sunshine? If you spent more time outside, you may feel better.”
While advice like this is offered sincerely, it is rarely what people need if they have a depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder. Instead, people usually need treatment from a mental health professional to counteract the potentially devastating effects of these serious mental illnesses.
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Counseling in Dallas, TX understand what it takes to battle depression and anxiety. We know what treatment options are available, and we have helped many clients find the treatment they so desperately needed.
Depressive and Anxiety Disorders
As many as 25 percent of adults will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, and as many as 15 percent will be diagnosed with clinical depression. While the two are separate mental illnesses, they often accompany each other. About half of people who have an anxiety disorder will also be diagnosed with a form of depression.
What Is Anxiety? Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is characterized by racing, negative thoughts. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) describes what it is like to experience anxiety. The definition of Generalized Anxiety Disorder DSM-5 300.02 (F41.1) is:
- For a period of at least six months, feeling extreme worry or anxiety, more days than not.
- Difficulty controlling the worry and anxiety.
- Feeling at least three of the following symptoms (children may only experience one):
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Difficulty staying on task.
- Muscle tension.
- Sleep disturbances (insomnia or hypersomnia).
- These symptoms will cause distress and impairment to one’s social and/or professional life.
- These symptoms cannot be caused by a substance or another medication condition.
There are different forms of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder, which is characterized by day to day anxiety about a range of events and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by anxiety and other harmful symptoms that stem from a traumatic event. Another common anxiety disorder is panic disorder, which is characterized by panic attacks.
What Is Depression? Signs and Symptoms
The DSM-5 also gives symptoms for major depressive disorder. Therapists rely heavily upon clients being able to self-report their symptoms as there is a wide range of what symptoms look like. Some people are unable to sleep while others want to sleep all the time. Some people cannot eat while others experience an increased appetite. Some people lose interest in sex while other crave it. Some have headaches, others have stomach aches, others have no physical pain. These are measured against what people experience as normal.
Additionally, the DSM-5 lists the following depressive symptoms. People must experience at least five for most of their days, almost every day for a two-week period, at least. Major depressive disorder often last six to eight months. In addition, these symptoms will be disruptive to people’s personal and professional life. If you are suffering from depression, you might experience…
- Intense emotions such as sadness, emptiness, worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt, self-hatred, or despair.
- Daily activities have lost pleasure.
- Significant shifts in weight (loss or gain).
- Fluctuations in appetite.
- Disrupted sleep patterns (e.g., hypersomnia or insomnia).
- Changes in one’s activity levels.
- Loss of energy.
- An inability to concentrate or think clearly.
- Thoughts about death or suicide.
People are whole beings—mind and body. When anxiety or depression attacks people’s minds, they often feel its effects in both their body and mind. Some of those effects may be fatigue, weight gain, and the inability to concentrate. Both anxiety and depression disrupt people’s ability to function in daily life. They make working and living difficult.
Scheduling Depression or Anxiety Therapy at Thriveworks in Dallas
There are a variety of options for treating anxiety and depression. None are quick-fixes or silver bullets, but with time and effort, they are often effective. Often, the best treatments are multi-faceted, combining talk-therapy with medication.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one proven treatment and is a talk-based therapy. CBT focuses on negative thinking patterns that people can learn to control. Therapists work with clients on identifying these undermining thoughts and replacing them with true, positive ones. For example, people may tell themselves that they have no options for treatment, but the truth is that they have many options.
Medications may also be necessary for clients to experience some symptom relief as they build coping skills and heal. Some therapists prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).
If you are ready to start treatment, the therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Dallas are ready to work with you. When you contact our office, a real person will answer your call—not a voicemail, not an automated response.
A scheduling specialist will help you make an appointment, which may be within 24 hours. New clients often have their first appointment the day following their first call to our office. Weekend and evening appointments are available because we know that not everyone can make appointments that are between 9am and 5pm. We also accept most forms of insurance.
Let’s get started fighting anxiety and depression. Contact Thriveworks Dallas today.