Anxiety and Depression can affect anyone, at any age, from any cultural background and any race. They are the most common problems that people seek therapy for. You can decide to get therapy at any point in your journey of coping with these two challenges.
Anxiety and depression can be triggered by a single, major life factor, or they can develop from on-going smaller events you experience. Biological, personality, environmental and human support factors can play a role in how anxiety and depression affect you.
Sometimes the reasons why you experience anxiety or depression might be easily identifiable by you. However, there are times when there just does not seem to be a reason. Even when you cannot seem to pinpoint a specific reason for your anxiety and/or depression, I encouraged you to call or reach out for help. Feeling anxious or sad can be situational and happen to everyone; it may even last a few days after a life event. But if such feelings or experience persist for over two weeks and begin to affect your daily activities and relationships, you should see a therapist or family doctor for support to cope with or resolve what is happening within you.
Note: Be true to your own personal experience and body. Do not let others prevent you from getting the help you deserve by trying to convince you that “you just need to get over it”; “you have everything you need and there’s no reason why you should be the way you are”, etc. Talk to a professional!
Anxiety Disorders Include
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Anxiety Disorder
Specific Phobias (Egs: Fears of spiders, being in a public space, using elevators, etc)
Depression Disorders Include:
- Major Depression – An episode tend to last for more than 2 weeks, is disabling and interrupts your ability to work, eat, sleep, study and socialize as you would normally do. It can be intense and may contribute to thoughts about not wanting to live
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) – Usually persists for at least 2 years
- Bipolar Disorder (previously name Manic Depression) – Involves moods that shifts from severe highs (Mania) to mild highs (hypomania) to severe lows (depression).
Stress Management and self-control go hand in hand. Practicing better self-control plays a huge role in learning to manage stress. Without self-control and mindfulness, it is next to impossible to manage your anger and automatic reactions to people, things and events. In therapy, you would learn of practical tools that you can do and apply to gain better self-control; then as a result of your applying learned tools, you would see your ability to handle personal feelings and emotions in difficult situations or after stressful events improve.
Quite often an individual who attempt suicide is also experiencing other mental health and emotional problems like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, relationship break-down, loneliness and existential issues as to their purpose in life. If you identify with such experience, you may think suicide or a suicide attempt is an ultimate cry for help, well-needed attention and needed support; but please believe that this is not the only way out of your current unhappy or painful life situation. Suicide is absolute and final, so please speak to a qualified professional ASAP. You experience and outlook on life can change for the better. Studies have shown time and time again that individuals, youth especially, who attempted suicide but lived, later revealed that they actually did not want to die but they saw their actions as the only way out. – Very sad!
At Psychotherapy4Success, the goal is not only suicide prevention just before it happens (because in many cases, even the survived victims themselves did not know they were going to attempt when they did) but to prevent suicidal intent and planning upon earliest identification of suicidal ideation (thoughts). If you have suicidal thoughts, seek support as soon as possible. Seek support also for the conditions in your life that are supporting such thoughts and experience.
If you hear someone talk about having suicidal thoughts, remark about not wanting to live or killing themselves, please take it serious and tell someone. It is better that you risk telling and the person becomes upset at you for doing so, than having to regret that you did not take it serious enough and the person actually needed to get help. At the same time, people make decisions on the knowledge and sense of urgency that they have about an issue. Do not live in guilt if you missed signs of someone’s attempted or completed suicide. “Hindsight is 2020” – It always appears obvious, what needed to be done, after an event has already transpired. So be kind to yourself.
Here are some factors to help you identify if you or someone else is at risk for suicide:
Sex – Studies have shown that females attempt suicide more often than males but because males tend to use more violent means to attempt. For every 1 death by suicide in female there are 3 deaths by suicide in males in Canada
Prior suicide attempts and self-harming behaviours
A family history of suicide
Experiencing a significant personal loss or crisis and living in despondent conditions
Feeling isolated from others
Living with past or present trauma or abuse
Minority sexual orientation (gay, lesbian, binary, bisexual or transgendered, etc.)
Living under chronically stressful social conditions, such as extreme poverty or homelessness
A history of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, or substance abuse
Access to lethal means, such as guns or medications
Exposure to suicide in the media or through personal relations