40 million adults in America suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. These complex mental health disorders are so common that anti-depressants are – according to many estimates – the most prescribed drug in the US. Economic implications are equally significant – it is estimated that every year these disorders cost the American economy $42 billion.
Causes of depression and anxiety are diverse and complex. However, an imbalance of chemicals in the brain is found to be the primary driver of the symptoms in people affected by these conditions. The composition of these chemicals can be altered by external factors – the root cause is, therefore, often an external event that has an effect on the balance of chemicals in the brain.
These external stimuli often include traumatic events experienced by an individual in the past. Abuse in childhood, death of a loved one or losing one’s job are common examples. Anxiety disorders are particularly linked to stress in all its variety of forms.
Signs and Symptoms
The feeling of intense emotions that fade over time is a normal response to traumatic events. In the case of depression and anxiety a number of differences occur – the emotions are often far more intense and do not dissipate over time. They are experienced far in excess of what is considered a normal response.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Lack of sleep
- Heart palpitations
- Constant worry
- Intense emotions
- Unusually persistent emotions
Treating disorders such as depression and anxiety is a complex process. There are a number of different methods of treatment and a combination of all of them is often the best answer. Lifestyle interventions such as improved nutrition and exercise are often effective at reducing the symptoms.
Ian Esmay, LCMHC, a therapist at Thriveworks Counseling in Durham, NC—specializing in marriage, family, trauma, anxiety, and depression—says that practicing deep breathing is a common way to reduce your fight-or-flight response. But, one of the best ways to cope with your anxiety is through therapy. “It is important to remember that anxiety is a normal part of everyday life. Therapy is not only for people with anxiety disorders, but for anyone who wants to find ways to cope with and reduce their anxiety levels.”
In a similar vein, medical interventions such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication also provide the benefit of greatly reduced symptoms. The problem, however, is that neither of the above interventions address the root cause.
This is where talk-based therapy methods such as the counseling services provided by Thriveworks Counseling in Durham, NC come into play. Our expert counselors and psychologists will guide you through the rehabilitation process to find the root cause of your problems. Call us now to arrange your introductory session.