WHAT IS ANXIETY?
People who don’t suffer from anxiety have no idea how painful it is, and how difficult it is to control. Feeling worried, restless, unable to sleep, feeling like something bad is going to happen, always expecting the worst, having difficulty concentrating, feeling on edge or feeling exhausted all the time can be signs of an anxiety disorder. High anxiety can lead to disruption in marital relationships, difficulties at work, and feeling overwhelmed by daily life. The good news is control of anxiety is a skill that you can quickly learn, using simple but powerful techniques.
Therapy for anxiety gives you an opportunity to examine your worry in a way that helps you feel normal about it. You tell your therapist what you’re upset about. Your therapist helps you understand how you’ve been using anxiety to cope with your life and teaches you methods for feeling more in control of your feelings and your life.
HOW IS ANXIETY TREATED?
Treatment for anxiety uses cognitive behavioral methods (see link) to help you disrupt the painful pattern of becoming upset and feeling out of control. Relaxation training, breath control, self-instruction training, neurolinguistic programming and self-hypnosis are some of the techniques that you will learn in order to gain control over run-away worry and to increase self-confident, adult coping with life’s daily challenges.
WHAT DO I DO?
Come to therapy with an open mind, prepared to talk honestly about the things that are bothering you. Many people who struggle with anxiety feel reluctant or apprehensive about trying new things—including giving up their anxiety. I can help you feel more comfortable about making simple changes in the way you handle your daily problems so that you are able to function with greater ease. You’ll feel stronger and better equipped to deal with life.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Anxiety and depression are very closely related. People who suffer from either condition, often suffer from both. When you feel depressed, it’s hard to gather the energy to do the things you need to do in your life. Feelings of sadness, emptiness, loneliness, helplessness, worthlessness or guilt may be overwhelming. Experiences of loss, betrayal, abuse or perceived failure may contribute to the development of depression. Depression may be both physiological and learned. You can learn how to overcome it, even without medication.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M DEPRESSED?
Depression is categorized as a mood disorder. Feeling sad, lethargic, blue, angry, irritable, withdrawn, suicidal, alone, abandoned, worthless, or hopeless can be symptoms of depression. Being easily frustrated, feeling incompetent, or feeling like other people are to blame for your difficulties may also be related to depression. Feeling like you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, wanting to sleep all day, feeling like nothing makes you happy or feeling that you don’t enjoy anything anymore may also be symptoms of depression. Simple screening devices are available to help your therapist understand you better in order to diagnose depression.
HOW IS DEPRESSION TREATED?
Depression and anxiety are not singular conditions in which there is one cause for all people. Your particular situation may be a combination of the two problems, or more of one than the other. A multimodal treatment approach including psychotherapy, diet, exercise and adaptive daily activities is always required for the treatment of depression. This means that several approaches or treatments are used at the same time to get you feeling better quickly. I use cognitive behavior therapy to help you overcome self-defeating patterns of thinking about yourself and the world, directed activities to help you push back against the energy-robbing effects of depression, goal setting to increase self-confidence, and visualization exercises to correct your self-image as part of an overall method I call “Depression Busting”. Depression Busting is direct, structured and rapid treatment for the relief of depression.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MEDICATION IN THE TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY?
Medication can be an important part of your treatment for anxiety or depression. Medication by itself is usually not considered complete treatment. Medication allows you to deal with the process of psychotherapy so that you can manage your life well without medication. As a psychologist, I do not prescribe medications. I am familiar with the full range of psychoactive medications. I work in a coordinated way with your prescribing provider to ensure that you receive the best care that is possible for the fastest resolution of your distress.