Erie, PA Depression and Anxiety—Counseling
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental illnesses in the US, with almost 40 million people suffering with a diagnosis each year. And yet, despite their prevalence, myths and misunderstandings about what they are and how they function still abound. People who are fighting anxiety or depression may be told things like…
“Here’s a new breathing technique I learned online. It really works for me when I’m stressed.”
“Maybe it would help if you got a little more sleep. Life is always overwhelming when I’m tired.”
“Have you ever tried yoga or meditation? I hear that helps!”
“I don’t think you get enough fresh air. Try to take a walk outside every day, in the sunshine. I always feel better after my walk.”
There is no doubt that friends and family members give these suggests with the best of intentions; however, advice like this greatly underestimates anxiety and depression. Far more than the jitters or the blues, anxiety and depression are serious mental illnesses. While treatment options may involve a small element of a sleep routine, exercising, breathing technique, and the like, holistic care is best done with the supervision of a mental health professional, just as serious physical illnesses often require the intervention of a physician.
Anxiety and depression’s symptoms distinguish them from the regular ups and downs that most people feel. Daily life becomes difficulty if not impossible when people suffer with depression and anxiety, and these are not moods that clear with time. No, they can persist for weeks, months, and even years.
“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
– Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story
Effective treatments are available for anxiety and depression. Many people are coming out of the nightmare that they have experienced and reclaiming what anxiety and depression have taken. Many people are also working with a therapist or counselor to learn how to do this. The staff at Thriveworks Erie has walked side by side with many clients as they heal from depression and anxiety.
Depression and Anxiety
While they are distinct mental illness, depression and anxiety are often spoken about together—and for good reason. They frequently accompany each other. As many as half of people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder will also be diagnosed with depression as well. Within each, there are a variety of subcategories that can be diagnosed. Here is what each can look like within an individual:
Depression, far from a single diagnosis, can look very different from person to person. The a few of the diagnoses within the main category of depression may include…
- Major Depressive Disorder is what most people simply call depression. It involves feeling intense emotions such as emptiness, sadness, hopelessness, and/or despair. Often, sleeping and eating habits are disturbed, and people may gain (or lose) weight. Major depressive disorder makes it difficult for people to concentrate, and they may also have thoughts of suicide. These symptoms are experience for most of the day and for at least two weeks.
- Adjustment Disorder is a type of depression that occurs when people experience significant stress from major life changes. These may include divorce, illness, relocation, job loss, loss of a loved one, and more. The symptoms of adjustment disorder are the same as major depressive disorder, but they are often tied to the life event that induced them. When people process the stressful change, their depression often is relieved.
- Bipolar Disorder may be referred to as manic depression because it involves two phases—depression and mania. The depression phase involves symptoms from major depressive disorder, but people with Bipolar also swing dramatically in the other direction. They experience mania which is a frenetic, unnatural irritation or euphoria. During a manic phase, people often take unnecessary risks, make poor choices, and may even experience psychosis.
- Postpartum Depression may affect new or expecting mothers. Most of the symptoms are the same as major depressive disorder, but new mothers may also have negative emotions about their baby, worry incessantly about their baby, or fear having to care for their baby.
Just as with depression, anxiety is a complex disorder that comes in a variety of forms. A few examples include…
- Panic Disorder occurs when people experience anxiety in the form of regularly occurring panic attacks. During these attacks, people often feel as if they will die.
- Social Anxiety Disorder means people experience intense fear or nervousness when in everyday social settings. They often feel embarrassed or judged, even when surrounded by people who support and love them.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may involve the residual effects of a traumatic event. Even though the event has passed, people may feel the anxiety from the event as if it were still occurring. They may also experience flashbacks and nightmares.
Scheduling an Appointment for Depression and/or Anxiety at Thriveworks Erie
If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms for anxiety and/or depression, consider reaching out for help. At Thriveworks Erie, we understand the difficulty that these mental illnesses bring to people’s lives, and we also understand the treatment options that are available. When you contact our office, you may have your first appointment within 24 hours. We also accept most forms of insurance and offer weekend and evening appointments.
Let’s work together. Call Thriveworks Erie today.