Justine’s wedding day was sheer perfection. She had the big, beautiful dress. Flowers overflowed the reception hall. The whole affair was black-tie, and champagne flowed. There was just one problem: Justine was not happy. Her sister Claire notices and says to her, “I thought you really wanted this.” Justine responds, “But I do.”
You see, Justine wants her smiles to be genuine, and she wants to be happy. This is easier said than done, however. Depression has hijacked Justine’s happiness, and a marriage, a fancy event, or a beautiful dress cannot cure depression. Melancholia tells the rest of Justine’s story, and even though her character is not real, the experiences she portrays are very real for many people. Anxiety and depression are some of the most frequently occurring mental illnesses in the US, and almost 40 million people each year are diagnosed with them.
As Justine’s sister under-estimates what depression is and how to cure it, so do many others. It is not uncommon for people who have depression or anxiety to be told they have the blues or the jitters. Anxiety and depression, however, have severe and long-lasting symptoms that distinguish them from the normal highs and lows that all people experience. These symptoms prevent people from carrying on in their daily lives. Like many other illnesses, anxiety and depression can be treated. Skilled therapists understand these diseases and the treatment options available. Many people are reaching out for the help they need and reclaiming their happiness, their focus, and their lives.
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Counseling in Somerville, MA have worked with many people fighting anxiety and depression. Our staff understands that committing to treatment takes time and effort, but we have also seen many clients find the relief and healing they desire.
Anxiety and Depression: Common Symptoms
As many as 15 percent of adult in the US will struggle with depression at some point in their lives, and the rate is higher for anxiety—25 percent. They are often addressed together because they often occur together. As many as half of people who are diagnosed with anxiety will also struggle against depression as well.
Well-intentioned loved ones can minimize the severity and seriousness of these mental illnesses. While myths abound, it is important to remain grounded in true information. Anxiety and depression are not simple seasons of worry or sadness. They can cause long-term harm, and in the short-term, they are always disruptive. People who have anxiety and/or depression have difficulty maintaining their normal personal and professional lives. Other symptoms include:
- A lack of interest in life. Activities that were once enjoyable may now feel painful.
- Persistent, negative emotions that are difficulty to control. People often feel sadness, emptiness, and worthlessness.
- Psychosomatic pain. Emotional pain sometimes displays itself as physical pain.
- Suicide idealization. People may experience thoughts about death, dying, and even suicide.
These symptoms can persist for months and even years. When you have experienced them, however, for a period of two weeks or longer, it may be time to reach out for help. Mental health professionals can make a more accurate diagnosis, and a good diagnosis is often the foundation of good treatment. A good diagnosis may also help people avoid some of the more difficult effects that anxiety and depression can bring.
The Side Effects of Anxiety and Depression
People’s minds and bodies are interconnected—what takes a toll on one takes a toll on the other. Anxiety and depression are not exceptions to this rule. In fact, they are examples. The effects that anxiety and depression can take on an individual are both physical and emotional and may include:
- Hypersomnia or Insomnia – Disruptions in one’s sleep patterns commonly occur with anxiety and depression. Certain people may want to sleep all the time. Other people may have difficulty sleeping or experiencing a restorative sleep.
- Fatigue – Fighting a mental illness is often a depleting and draining experience. Regardless of whether they are also experiencing sleep disturbances, people frequently feel listless and fatigued.
- Difficulty Focusing – Clear thinking is often elusive to people who are fighting anxiety and depression. Specifically, negative thoughts can become a distraction and make focus more difficult.
- Disrupted Eating Habits – As with sleep, some people experience difficulty regarding their appetite and eating. Some may have an increased appetite while others feel a decrease. Accordingly, people may also gain or lose weight.
- Indecisiveness – Small decisions can leave people feeling stuck. Even choosing what to wear or which movie to see can feel overwhelming when anxiety and depression are present.
Setting up an Appointment at Thriveworks in Somerville, MA for Depression or Anxiety
When you read the diagnostic criteria for and effects of depression and anxiety, did anything stand out to you? Maybe you recognize some signs in your own life. Maybe you are feeling the toll that these mental illnesses can take. If you are ready to meet with a mental health professional to find a diagnosis and treatment, then the staff at Thriveworks Counseling in Somerville is ready to meet with you.
When you contact our office, know that you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We offer evening and weekend appointments, and most forms of insurance are accepted.
Let’s work together against anxiety and depression. Contact Thriveworks in Somerville today.