Each year, about forty million Americans are diagnosed with either depression or anxiety. In fact, they are the most prevalent mental illnesses with 1 in 4 adults being diagnosed with anxiety at some point in their lives and 1 in 6 being diagnosed with depression. However, just because they are common does not mean they are always understood. Anyone who has suffered from either can explain. Even though these mental illnesses are not the blues or jitters that all people experience, people who have anxiety and depression commonly hear things like…
“My aunt told me about these relaxation and breathing techniques. Can I show you some? They really helped me.”
“Maybe you should try to get some more sleep. Everything looks bleak to me when I’m tired.”
“Maybe yoga or meditation would help. Do you want to come with me to a class?”
“Are you getting enough fresh air and sunshine? I’ve heard that being outside more can lift people’s mood.”
Without a doubt, family members and friends are showing concern for their loved ones who are struggling. Without question, they offer advice like this with kind and earnest intentions. But it is also clear that they may be underestimating the severity of anxiety and depression. The severity and longevity of anxiety and depression’s symptoms distinguish them as mental illnesses—they are not a part of the normal highs and lows of life that all people experience. Depression and anxiety disrupt daily life.
“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
Intense illnesses often need holistic treatment, and anxiety and depression do have effective treatment options available. Often, treatment plans for anxiety or depression include a medicinal element and a form of talk-based therapy. Therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may help go deep, find the psychological wound that may be causing the illness, and apply deep healing to that wound. Medications may provide symptom relief so that therapy can more easily be pursued. Such holistic treatment often requires the supervision of a mental health professional who can make a diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.
If you are suffering from anxiety and/or depression, you are not alone. Many others are affected by these illnesses, and many are also experiencing the relief they need by working with a mental health professional. That is why Thriveworks Wilmington offers therapy for anxiety and depression: our staff has walked with many clients as they found healing and relief.
Diagnostics for Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are often taken as one illness. While they are separate diagnoses, there is good reason to talk about them together. They often accompany one another. As many as half of all people who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder will also receive a depression diagnosis at some point in their lives.
Within the broader categories of anxiety and depression, there are a variety of forms these illnesses can take. A few of the ways that depression can manifest include…
- Major Depressive Disorder – This is the form of depression that most people think of when they talk about depression. Symptoms include difficult emotions such as despair, emptiness, hopelessness, and sadness that are difficult to control. People may experience fluctuations in their appetite or sleep patterns (either increases or decreases). They frequently experience difficulty concentrating, and they may even experience suicide idealization or thoughts about dying. These symptoms will persist for at least two weeks to be diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder.
- Bipolar Disorder – This is a form of depression that swings people between two emotional extremes: mania and depression. The depression phase includes the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder. The mania phase is a furious feeling of either irritation or happiness. During a manic episode, people may make risky and unhealthy choices about their finances, sexuality, and health. They may not sleep but still experience excessive energy.
In the same way that depression has many forms, so does anxiety. A few examples of the different types of anxiety disorders include…
- Panic Disorder – Sometimes, anxiety manifests as repeated panic attacks. When this occur, people may have panic disorder. Panic attacks are characterized by a racing heart, people may feel hot or cold, and they often believe they are going to die.
- Social Anxiety Disorder – People can feel extreme worry and nervousness within a normal social setting. They often feel embarrassed or judged, even though no one is judging them.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Involves the lingering effects of a traumatic situation. People may experience nightmares or flashbacks that make them feel as if the event is happening. They often continue to feel the high stress and anxiety that they felt during the trauma long after the trauma has passed.
Appointments at Thriveworks Wilmington
If you are ready to meet with a mental health professional about the signs of anxiety or depression you are experience, then the professionals at Thriveworks Wilmington are ready to meet with you. When you call us, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We accept many different forms of insurance, and we offer weekend and evening appointments. Call Thriveworks Wilmington today.