San Francisco, CA Anxiety and Depression—Therapy and Counseling
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US. Examples includes Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Panic Disorder, but there are many different versions that can leave people crippled with fear and worry. As many as 40 million Americans suffer with depression and/or anxiety each year. Even though they are widespread, myths and misconceptions about these mental illnesses are abundant. Even loved ones may offer well-intentioned but ill-informed advice about how to find relief from their symptoms. It is not uncommon to hear…
“Taking a walk might help. Try to get outside and get some fresh air. Being in nature is good for the soul.”
“When you feel nervous or sad, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. That usually helps me.”
“Have you ever taken a yoga class? My friend started meditating and that seemed to help.”
“Try getting a good night’s sleep. Life is so much harder when you are tired. I bet life will look differently in the morning.”
Without a doubt, friends and family members offer such advice with the best of intentions, but there is also no doubt that anxiety and depression are complex illnesses. Things like sleep therapy, exercise, and meditation may be elements of a holistic treatment plan, but treatment often also involves much more. Just as physical illnesses, like cancer or diabetes, requires a physician’s supervision and care for treatment, so anxiety and depression often need a mental health professional’s care. The longevity and severity of anxiety and depression’s symptoms distinguish them from the normal highs and lows of life that all people experience. Anxiety and depression often inhibit normal, healthy functioning in daily life.
Many of those symptoms can be mitigated, however, with psychological interventions. And effective treatments are available. The staff at Thriveworks San Francisco understands the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and we also know the treatment options that are available. We have crafted individualized treatment plans for many clients who are fighting anxiety and depression, walking with them as they heal.
Anxiety and Depression: Varying Diagnoses
“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. . . It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope.” —J. K. Rowling
Depression and anxiety are separate diagnoses, but they often accompany one another. As many as half of those who receive an anxiety diagnosis will also receive a depression diagnosis. Within each illness, there are also a variety of subcategories. Anxiety disorders, as previously cited, includes diagnoses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Depression has a variety of forms as well.
Examples of diagnoses within the larger category of depression include…
- Major Depressive Disorder is what many people think of simply as depression. People with depressive disorder experience intense emotions such as emptiness, hopelessness, despair, and/or sadness. Apathy toward everyday life accompanies these emotions, and people may also experience disruptions in their eating and sleeping patterns. Accordingly, major depressive disorder may cause people to gain or lose significant amounts of weight. Suicidal idealization or thoughts of death can recur, and people often feel distracted and having difficulty concentrating. These symptoms will last for much of the day and for more days than not over at least a two-week period to be considered major depressive disorder.
- Minor Depression is mostly what it sounds like—a less severe version of major depressive disorder. People may experience fewer symptoms or a shorter timeframe for the symptoms.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder is the clinical term for chronic depression or dysthymia. It carries the same symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder, but these symptoms remain for at least two years.
- Adjustment Disorder is a type of depression that can arise when people are in the midst of changes. The stress that accompanies transition, like moving, divorce, illness, and job loss, can spark depression symptoms similar to Major Depressive Disorder. When the transition is process and resolved, often the depression also lifts.
- Bipolar Disorder is often referred to as manic depression because it is a form of depression that is accompanied by phases of mania. Depression phases have symptoms similar to Major Depressive Disorder, and manic phases are characterized by frenetic euphoria or irritation. During mania, people often take unnecessary risks that can put their lives in danger, and they may even experience psychosis.
- Postpartum Depression can affect new or expecting mothers. The basic symptoms overlap with Major Depressive Disorder, but they also include fear of one’s baby or caring for the baby, intense worry about the baby, or possibly disinterest in the baby.
Scheduling an Appointment for Anxiety and/or Depression at Thriveworks San Francisco
The first step toward healing anxiety and depression may be reaching out for help from a mental health professional. Skilled therapists and counselors understand the varying symptoms, and can often make a precise diagnosis that leads to more precise treatment. No one has to fight anxiety and depression alone.
If you are ready to meet with a mental health professional about the symptoms of anxiety and depression that you have experienced, the staff at Thriveworks San Francisco is ready to meet with you. When you contact our office, you may meet with your counselor the following day. We offer evening and weekend appointments, and we accept most insurance plans.
We can work together. Contact Thriveworks San Francisco today.