Anxiety and depression can be very challenging to live with. Thousands of people around the world struggle with anxiety and depression every day. Without treatment and therapy, anxiety and depression may continue to worsen, making it supremely difficult to lead a quality life. Therapy can help patients regain control over their day-to-day lives.
Are anxiety and depression the same thing?
Depression and anxiety are two completely different conditions. But they exhibit very similar symptoms, which lead people to think they are one and the same. Unfortunately, this lack of clarity about the two conditions can make the process of seeking treatment more difficult than usual. Recognizing and understanding what you suffer from is imperative to seek the right treatment, which can be helpful.
Symptoms of anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders are characterized by extreme fear-induced stress and paranoia. Anxiety manifests itself through these symptoms:
- Excessive worry
- Sudden fatigue
- Loss of focus
- Muscle tension
Symptoms of depression
Depression is a condition which leads to feelings of extreme pessimism, associated with mood swings. The symptoms associated with depression include:
- Very low mood
- Decreased appetite
- Lack of interest in social activities
- Low energy
- Sluggish body movements
- Feelings of low self-worth
- Loss of focus
- Hypersomnia or insomnia
- Suicidal thoughts
As seen above, despite the symptoms of anxiety and depression being so similar, the sources of these symptoms are completely different. While people with anxiety are chronically worried because they fear the future and they detest the uncertainty the unknown brings; people with depression are convinced about their lack of self-worth and their perceived uselessness, which makes fear for their future.
The link between anxiety and depression
Medical research does show that anxiety and depression are related to each other and they stem from one another in certain situations. For example, one type of anxiety disorder – Social Anxiety Disorder – instills feelings of “anxious distress”, which is a state of feeling where the person is constantly worried, afraid & restless and as a result, depressed about having these feelings.
These feelings of depression that come with social anxiety disorder, often make the person feel more anxious than normal about spending time with other people or engaging in activities, out of fear of the outcome.
Often, this has a direct impact on the person’s ability to form lasting, meaningful and healthy relationships with other people.
When to seek professional help?
Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression require focused care and therapy to live with. If this care isn’t given on time, it can be very difficult for the person to cope with the symptoms. If you notice these 8 signs or behavioral changes in yourself, its time to seek help from a therapist:
- You experience sudden bursts of emotion and sudden mood swings.
- You have inexplicable headaches, body aches and frequent bouts of sudden fatigue or illness.
- You’ve received bad feedback from friends, co-workers and employers about your slipping work.
- You’ve started using drugs or non-prescribed medication to cope with your condition.
- You feel completely disassociated with people around you and you’ve begun isolating yourself from society frequently.
- Your loved ones have voiced their concern about your changed behavior.
- You have a history of trauma and you’ve started revisiting these memories.
- You have feelings of very low self-worth.
It’s important to note that you may actually not suffer from these conditions, even if you do exhibit one or few of these symptoms. But it’s still worth seeking help from a therapist, to ensure these feelings don’t escalate and do you harm.
Therapy for anxiety and depression
Therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression by helping you recognize the triggers that bring on the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Therapy helps you reframe your mind and your perception and helps you adopt a more positive worry-free mindset.
Each of the therapies listed below use a mixture of counseling and behavioral modification, to bring about the desired results:
- Cognitive Therapy
This therapy helps you recognize and change those negative mindsets and behaviors which trigger anxiety and depression. It helps you create a more positive perception about your life.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
This therapy provides patients with behavioral coping mechanisms that can help them deal with intense feelings of anxiety, substance abuse and self-harm tendencies. It has been specifically designed for people who show signs of Borderline Personality Disorder
- Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy
This therapy is designed to help people control and set-right their biological (circadian) rhythm and the resultant social behaviors, in order to help them better respond to sudden mood swings and extreme stress.
- Psychodynamic Therapy
This therapy focuses on helping the patient acknowledge past traumas and find ways to deal with his internal psychological conflicts by breaking down maladaptive coping techniques.
- Somatic and Hakomi Transformation Practices
This therapy focuses on aligning the mind and the body and trying to bring peace and balance between both, through guided mindfulness counseling.
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
This therapy uses mindfulness counseling to help patients become more aware about their feelings and to help them acknowledge these feelings and cope with them safely. This therapy mixes cognitive therapy with mindfulness.
Choosing online therapy sessions over physical sessions
The stigma associated with mental health conditions can make it very difficult to seek treatment. Many sufferers feel uncomfortable approaching a therapist for the fear of being questioned or mocked. Other times, patients are unable to find specialists with the right credentials near their residence and they may not have the resources to visit a therapist who practices far away.
Online therapy sessions are the answer to both these problems. Here are a few benefits of online therapy sessions:
- Easily accessible by anyone
You can access these therapy session no matter where you are located in the world. You will also have access to medical knowledge which your onsite therapist may not have or may not be equipped to provide.
- More number of therapists to choose from
You don’t have to restrict yourself to a single therapist in your neighborhood. Instead you can find a therapist who’s halfway across the world, but who’s perfectly-qualified to treat you. If you’re unhappy with the therapist you’re working with, you can easily change and find a hundred others to work with.
- Greater privacy
You won’t need to deal with societal pressure about seeking mental health therapy, since online therapy sessions can happen in the comfort and privacy of your home.
- Very flexible scheduling
You have the option of scheduling the session at any time that is convenient for you; something which is not possible if you visit a physical center.
- Less expensive over a period of time
Costs of travel to & from the center and your home can be very expensive over a period of time. Online sessions eliminate these expenses, helping you make more savings.
- Option to schedule family counseling sessions
If you don’t wish to attend a group session with strangers, you can always ask your online therapist to schedule a group session with people you love and trust. With technology like Skype, you can have a family therapy session from anywhere in the world.
At [name], we are licensed therapists, specializing in anxiety and depression counseling. If you need someone to talk to or wish to seek help from professionals, feel free to reach out to us. We are always here, should you need us.