The day was absolutely ideal. Justine had the fluffy white dress. Flowers were everywhere. Champaign flowed at this black-tie wedding. Everything was perfect, except that Justine was not happy. Her sister, Claire, observed her sadness. “I thought you really wanted this,” Claire tells Justine. “But I do,” says Justine. And she does. Justine wants to be happy, but sometimes, happiness is not as simple as it seems. Justine has depression, and as wonderful as the flowers and Champaign and dress are, they do not cure this mental illness. No, depression is far deeper and take a bigger toll.
Justine’s story is told in the movie, Melancholia, but the experiences she portrays are all too real for many people. Anxiety and depression are two of the most diagnosed mental illnesses in the United States. Claire is not the only family member and loved one who misunderstands what depression is and the toll it takes in someone’s life. Despite anxiety and depression’s ubiquity, there are still many myths about them. People may call them the jitters or the blues, but in reality, they are serious mental illnesses that disrupt people’s ability to function in their daily life. Just like any other serious disease, like cancer or diabetes, anxiety and depression often need treatment.
In these instances, treatment is led by a mental health professional. And many treatment options are available that can be tailored to an individual’s symptoms. Many people are working with a therapist to fight their anxiety and depression, and they are regaining their happiness and their lives. The counselors and therapists at Thriveworks Counseling in Winston-Salem, NC understand the difficult realities of anxiety and depression, and we understand what the road to healing can look like. We have worked with many clients who are battling depression and anxiety, and we have helped them find the healing. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression (or both), consider working with a therapist at Thriveworks in Forsyth County. Call us today to schedule your appointment.
What Is Anxiety? What Is Depression?
Anxiety and depression are complex mental illnesses and can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Within each broader category, many different diagnoses can be made.
For example, an anxiety disorder can look like…
- Panic Disorder –Anxiety can look like an intense panic attack, and when these occur repeatedly, people may be suffering from panic disorder. During a panic attack, people may experience a racing heart rate, numbness, stomach pain, dizziness, chills, loss of breath, hot flashes, a choking sensation, and more. Often people feel as if they will die during the attack.
- Social Anxiety Disorder –Is a form of anxiety where people expect the worst outcome from social interactions. People may feel judged and nervous in social settings, and they may fear strangers and having to meet new people. When they are not around people, social anxiety disorder can cause people to worry about potentially embarrassing themselves.
Emma Beneke, LCSW, a therapist at Thriveworks in Winston-Salem—specializing in anxiety, self-esteem issues, and stress—knows just how impactful anxiety can be on your life. “Anxiety can present in the mind and in the body. Sometimes, anxiety looks like persistent worrying. Other times, it looks more like increased heart rate and physical restlessness, and most often there is a combination of all of the above.”
To help relieve the feelings brought on by anxiety, she recommends getting up and moving, such as going for a walk, stretching, or dancing. “A therapist can help you notice the patterns that might be contributing to your anxiety and guide you to find strategies to help your mind and body to relax again.”
Similarly, a depressive disorder can look like…
- Major Depressive Disorder –Is what most people simply call depression. When people have Major Depressive Disorder, they may experience changes in their sleeping habits and appetite—either a decrease or an increase—with accompanying weight fluctuations. They often have difficulty concentrating. Difficult and hard to control feelings may overwhelm them—feelings like emptiness, sadness, hopelessness, and despair. They may even experience thoughts about death and suicide. These can persist for longer, but the symptoms will be experienced for at least two weeks for Major Depressive Disorder to be diagnosed.
- Adjustment Disorder –Life changes can trigger significant stress and even depression. When depression arises during a transition, it may be Adjustment Disorder. There are infinite changes that can trigger Adjustment Disorder, but common examples include illness, loss of a loved one, career change, job loss, relocation, and more. The signs and symptoms are the same as Major Depressive Disorder, and treatment often focuses on emotionally processing the adjustment. When people grieve the losses and accept the adjustment, the depression often resolves itself.
Schedule an Appointment at Thriveworks Counseling in Winston-Salem, NC in Forsyth County
As you read through the different types of anxiety and depression, did anything resonate with your experiences? If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, you are not alone and treatment options are available. Often, the best treatment for these serious mental illnesses is a multi-faceted approach. A skilled therapist can help each client find the right diagnosis and treatment plan that fits their symptoms. Sometimes these treatment plans include medications that can relieve symptoms as well as commitment to a form of talk therapy that can help people process emotional wounds.
If you are ready to meet with a therapist, the professionals at Thriveworks in Winston-Salem are ready too. When you call us, your first appointment may be within 24 hours. A scheduling specialist will answer your call and help you make that appointment. Evening and weekend sessions are available, and we work with most insurance companies to accept most insurance plans.
Let’s fight anxiety and depression together. Call our office today.