Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

When You Need To Seek Treatment For Anxiety

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Experiencing some amount of anxiety is not uncommon for most people. In fact, in some situations it is even necessary for our survival. Anxiety at its best signals potential danger or a need to pay attention and be alert to what is going on or what is about to happen.

At its core, anxiety is fear, a sense of unease, a sense that  something “bad” is about to happen. It is a signal in our nervous system that tells us to be aware or alert.

“Healthy” anxiety happens in response to appropriate signals or situations. However when it becomes chronic or seemingly random and uncontrollable, it may be a good time to seek help. This type of anxiety signals overactive nervous system which is either genetically or trauma based. It is also important to note that if anxiety is not treated it can perpetuate itself and lead to more distressing types of anxiety such as panic, obsessive compulsive disorder, claustrophobia or agoraphobia.  These conditions ultimately limit one’s activities and the ability to lead a full life. They can also cause pain and suffering.

In order to treat anxiety, it is a good idea to start with psychotherapy to establish genesis of the anxiety. It may then be decided after a complete assessment if a particular anxiety can be treated with “talk therapy” or if there is a need to medication. The reason for medication is that genetically based anxiety may not respond to psychotherapy unless it is somewhat controlled. Even anxiety that is a result of trauma, may need to be helped by medication before any meaningful insight oriented or trauma work can take place.

It is important not to let chronic anxiety run amok as it can have serious life and emotional consequences.


Am I Sad or Depressed?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Many clients come to my office wondering if what they are experiencing is depression or sadness.

Sadness is a normal and healthy human emotion, in response to variety of experiences. It often is connected to disappointment which is mild to moderate, feeling hurt by someone or something, feelings of occasional loneliness, work related stress or mishap of some kind or another. It is an opposite of feeling “happy” or joyful. This is usually a feeling that passes relatively soon, it can be days or hours and the person will return to a “normal” emotional state. Usually when one is sad there is no disturbance in sleep or appetite, no issues with functioning at the workplace or school or generally in any major area of life. Feelings of sadness usually resolve spontaneously.

Depression on the other hand is a more profound state. It is deeper than sadness, or is a sadness that does not lift over time. In fact, it usually gets worse. It is also, unless, biologically driven, connected to disappointment, failure, rejection, sense of aloneness, low self esteem and generally a profound sense of loss. Depression is characterized by low energy, lack of desire for anything, inability to experience any pleasure, social withdrawal, disruption in sleep and eating, a general sense of hopelessness and futility. It is a much deeper, darker and more profound state. Whereas a sad person can sometimes be cheered up, a depressed person, generally can not get out of their state and attention and intervention by loved ones do not help or if they do, it is not lasting. Depression can last a long time, and, over time can get worse and needs professional attention.

There is usually no treatment needed for sadness, it is part of natural ebb and flow of human emotions, and is as normal as joy. In case of depression, usually psychotherapy and often times medication as well, are in order. This combination is usually sufficient to resolve depression over time.