Seek treatment for your anxiety disorder before you suffer an anxiety attack.
Feeling anxious and having an anxiety or panic attack is two different things. Because anxiety can really impact one’s thoughts, feelings, and even physical condition, it can become very hard to live with. Fortunately, we know that life must go on, and we have to learn how to live with anxiety.
The first step to living with anxiety is to get professional help.
When you seek help, moving on with your life — in spite of the anxiety — becomes a little easier. Your therapist or doctor will help you to understand that your condition can be treated and that even though treatment may take a while to work, there is a light at the end of the tunnel you have been walking through.
When trying to live with anxiety, the worst thing that one can do is to assume that a pill is going to fix the problem. There is medication that lessens the anxious feelings; however, you must also learn how to deal with the stressful life in a more effective way, as well. You have to learn when it is normal to worry — and when that worry has passed out of the “normal” range.
The mistake of thinking that it`s a doctor’s job to “cure” us is a mistake one often lot do. While it is his job to find out what is wrong with us, and to prescribe treatments to cure what is wrong with us, we must also take responsibility for our own treatment, as well. You need to learn to work with your doctor for treatment if you want to be able to live a life with anxiety disorder.
Discuss your anxiety with the people who live in your home. If they don’t understand what is going on with you, or why you feel the way that you do about certain things, life is more difficult for both you and them.
If they understand that there is an anxiety disorder; it gives them an entirely new perspective on things. It could be that all of you require group or family counseling to deal with your anxiety disorder.
Depression does require medication.
If you suffer from depression, and your doctor has prescribed an antidepressant for you, you will find that, in about three weeks, you are able to function in your life again — even while taking the medication.
Unfortunately, this gives people a sense of “I’m all better now” that isn’t quite true. You see; depression does require medication, but it also requires counseling. Without proper counseling, you will never get to the root of the problem — what is causing the depression. The medication will not make that go away — it only deals with the symptoms of depression.
Counseling is needed to deal with the cause of the depression.
Counseling for depression may have two parts. The first part may be traditional therapy so that the counselor can help you to discover what the problem is, in the event that you do not already know. Sometimes depression has no visible cause. Other times, it may be caused by a physical condition that does not need any counseling at all — the depression lifts when the condition is treated.
So, traditional therapy may be needed, but that will usually be followed with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy essentially teaches you a new way of thinking — a new way of looking at or approaching a problem, — something that enables you to deal with the problem in a more constructive, timely manner. Once the problem that is causing the depression is taken care of, the depressed state lifts.
CBT can take anywhere from 12-20 weeks. Furthermore, depending on the severity of your depression, your doctor may not feel that counseling should be sought until the medication prescribed has a chance to work. On the other hand, he (or she) may think that the depression warrants immediate counseling. This varies from one individual to another.
Note that most therapists are not licensed to prescribe medication. That requires a medical doctor or a psychiatrist.
Like an anxiety attack, depression can also be darned normal
Often events occur in our lives that actually give us cause to feel depressed. If a relationship has failed, it is normal to experience a short period of depression. The same is true if a loved one dies. In fact, you would not be considered normal if you never had any days where you felt “blue.” It is perfectly healthy.
However, there does come a point when the depression is not normal. It is no longer normal when the depression lingers on for more than two weeks. It is also no longer normal if thoughts of suicide enter your mind. When the depression is preventing you from doing your usual activities, this is not normal, and treatment should be sought.
Many people don’t recognize the signs and symptoms of depression — either in themselves or other people. It is vital to know what the signs are so that you can seek treatment, or offer support to a depressed friend or a loved one.
The most common signs and symptoms of depression are:
1. Loss of energy
3. Physical aches and pains
4. Problems concentrating or staying focused
6. Change in sleep patterns — either not sleeping well or sleeping too much
7. Change in appetite — may eat more or eat less than usual
8. Loss of interest in daily activities
9. Feelings of helplessness
10. Feelings of hopelessness
If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, even short term, this is a sign that a serious depressed state exists. You should seek treatment. You can start with your medical doctor, and he will determine whether or not the depression is caused by a physical condition. If it is not, he will refer you to the appropriate doctor for treatment.
Never assume that the depression will pass. If it hasn’t passed within a couple of weeks, it most likely will not pass without the proper treatment.