When an individual enters therapy with a reported problem, the problem is viewed through his or her specific lens. This is because we are constantly influencing and being influenced by our environments, including the people around us. How you interpret your environment and relationships may be negatively affecting you.
Therapy focuses on shifting perspectives to find new meanings and interpretations that ultimately affect your emotional experience and behaviors. It is a model of therapy that attempts to increase an individual’s power and influence over his or her environment.
Worries and anxiety are an unfortunate part of life. First dates, applying for a job promotion, health or financial difficulties – feeling anxiety is normal in these situations.
But what if your worries are overwhelming? What if you feel your anxieties are interfering with your daily life?
CAUSES OF ANXIETY DISORDER
The exact causes are unknown, but anxiety (and other mental illnesses) are not caused by a personal flaw or weakness, or a person’s upbringing. Scientists hypothesize that anxiety disorders are caused by a malfunction in the brain circuits that regulate fear and emotions. There may be a genetic link and females are more likely to experience anxiety disorders.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY DISORDER
Feeling worried, tense, on edge, or panicked
Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet, or numbness and tingling
Constant fidgeting, inability to be still and/or calm
Dizziness or light-headedness
Shortness of breath
*Heart palpitations are the feeling that your heart is beating too hard or too fast, skipping a beat, or fluttering. You may notice heart palpitations in your chest, throat, or neck. These may be a symptom of anxiety, or a more serious medical condition.
MAIN TYPES OF ANXIETY DISORDERS
GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD)
GAD is characterized by constant feelings of worry, even when you don’t know what is causing the worry. Anxiety related to GAD often shows up as physical symptoms like insomnia, stomach upset, restlessness, and fatigue.
Panic disorder is most commonly characterized by panic attacks. Panic attacks often involve shortness of breath or hyperventilation, heart palpitations and/or chest pain, trembling, shaking, or dizziness, and/or nausea.
A phobia is an extreme fear of a particular object, activity, or situation. For example, someone with arachnophobia has an irrational fear of spiders beyond the common aversion to spiders experienced by many people.
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)
Those with OCD may fear catastrophic consequences if they don't complete an action correctly (such as closing a door) and often cannot suppress the compulsion to do so. Or, they may have obsessive worries about particular objects or events.
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER
Social Anxiety Disorder is a debilitating fear of being seen in a negative light or humiliated by others, often to the point of avoiding social situations altogether. This is distinct from agoraphobia, which is the fear of having a panic attack in front of others.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
After a traumatic event, it's normal to feel fear and have difficulty trusting, but these feelings typically fade with time. Those with PTSD mentally re-live the event, numb themselves to the world, or feel constant and unrelenting fear, vigilance, and sometimes guilt.
Dietary and lifestyle changes
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 18% of the adult population – that means that about 1 in 5 American adults are also battling an anxiety disorder.
Depression is different from a regular case of “the blues.” For many people with depression, symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily activities and personal relationships. Symptoms are intense and unrelenting. But there are ways to feel better. Anti-depressive medications and therapy are the two most common treatments.
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
As with many mental illnesses, the exact causes of depression are unclear, but neuroscience can offer some insight. People with depression have been shown to have physical differences in their brains, as well as chemical differences. Hormones play a factor, and depression also has a proven hereditary link.
Depression, although often chemical in nature, can be triggered or worsened by external factors, including: trauma or abuse, serious or chronic illness, financial strain, or other mental illnesses.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Anxiety or restlessness
Feeling sad, isolated, or empty
Feeling guilty or worthless, fixating on past “mistakes”
Difficulty making decisions, concentrating, and remembering details
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
Trouble sleeping, or constant oversleeping
Changes in appetite – either a marked increase or decrease
Dietary and lifestyle changes
If you currently feel like you or someone you know is in danger of harming themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline right away at 1-800-273-8255. Your call is free and confidential.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based psychology for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The model on which EMDR is based, Adaptive Information Processing (AIP), asserts that much of psychopathology is due to the maladaptive encoding of and/or incomplete processing of traumatic or disturbing adverse life experiences.
The eight-phase, three-pronged process of EMDR facilitates the resumption of normal information processing and integration. This treatment targets past experiences, current triggers, and future potential challenges.
The desired results are the alleviation of presenting symptoms, a decrease or elimination of distress from the disturbing memory, proved view of the self, relief from bodily disturbances, and resolution of present and future anticipated triggers.