In today’s high-pressure modern world, it seems as though more and more of us are struggling with our mental health. It seems as though depression and anxiety are on the rise throughout the state and throughout the country, and our hectic 21st century lifestyle is doing little to improve matters. It seems as though many of us are leading increasingly stressful and insular lives and this can go a long way towards exacerbating our issues with depression and anxiety.
If left unchecked, these common mental health issues can result in lasting damage to your quality of life. They can impede your concentration in work and studies, drastically reduce your chances of living a healthy and active social life, result in feelings of low self-esteem and possibly even thoughts about self-harm and suicide.
At Reid counseling, we understand that reaching out for help with issues such as anxiety and repression can be extremely difficult. It can make us feel vulnerable and some may even feel embarrassed or ashamed. It’s a sad testament to the stigma against mental illness that still pervades in this country. But getting help for your mental health issues isn’t an admission of defeat. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. It just means that you’re taking steps to repair your health and wellbeing.
After all, you wouldn’t think twice about calling a professional if you developed a rash or started getting headaches. Why should you view your mental health any differently?
The longer your mental health issues go untreated, the more they will start to erode your quality of life. They can potentially impede your concentration and progress at work, college or school and prevent you from being the best that you can be. They can even increase your chances of developing urgent physical health problems. Studies show that people with depression are at a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general populace.
However, with the right therapist, you can gain the tools you need to empower yourself and take control of your wellbeing, mastering your anxiety and conquering your depression.
Depression and anxiety have an unpleasant way of warping the way we see ourselves. They can lead us to believe that we’re the “odd ones out” or that everyone else is having a happier and better adjusted life than we are. Scrolling through the Facebook or Instagram feeds of friends and family members can only worsen those feelings. But the truth is that depression and anxiety affect more people than you may think within the state, within the country and around the world.
20% of adults and 16.5% of 6-17 year olds in the US experience mental health issues each year, mood disorders are still the most common cause of hospitalization for all people in the U.S. under the age of 45 and suicide is still the secnd highest cause of death in people under 35. Although depression and anxiety can make us feel isolated, abnormal and alone the truth is that you are far from alone.
And with help, you’ll be able to tackle the symptoms of these illnesses and address the causes, implementing positive and meaningful changes to your life to put your back in the driving seat.
It’s hard to determine what causes depression and anxiety as this is a very personal and individual thing. Causes can be rooted in past trauma, toxic relationships or other behavioral, environmental and lifestyle factors.
But it’s fair to say that the trappings of 21st century living are doing little to help matters.
We’re spending more and more time at work and less and less time with family and friends. We’re spending more time interacting with the people we love through digital communications and social media, and less time interacting with people face to face. We’re spending the majority of our day sitting down and snacking on high-calorie low nutrition foods to get us through the day.
And all these combined factors can combine to create the perfect conditions for anxiety and / or depression or exacerbate existing issues.
At Reid Counseling, we don’t just address the symptoms themselves, we target the causes behind them and the factors which can trigger bouts of depression or anxiety. This makes for a much more comprehensive, holistic and empowering form of therapy, coaching you to avoid potential triggers and take control when you feel attacks coming on.
When it comes to our mental health, there are few blacks and whites. Most things are in shades of grey. There are many different spectrums in mental health and anxiety is one of them. People with anxiety may have a very particular type of anxiety, or experience more than one type to varying extents at different times. That’s why we don’t believe in “one size fits all” solutions. We believe in creating courses of therapy based on the needs of each individual.
Let’s take a look at some of the different types of anxiety that we can treat at our practice in Katy, TX.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is also known as chronic anxiety. It’s where the “fight or flight” instinct that has helped us to avoid and outrun predators as we evolved can be triggered by a range of everyday circumstances. It can result in feelings of exaggerated worry and tension or feelings that something terrible is about to happen, even when there is very little (or even nothing at all) to provoke it.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is characterized by recurrent, unwanted obsessive thoughts that can pop into your head unbidden and have a profound impact on your state of mind. This can trigger a range of repetitive behaviors. These are known as compulsions.
Common repetitive behaviors include hand washing, counting, checking on things around the home, or cleaning even when things are already clean. These are often performed in the hope that they will either prevent obsessive thoughts or make them go away.
Many people with OCD call these their "rituals". Performing them can provide them with a temporary feeling of relief, while not performing them can cause a sharp increase in their anxiety.
Panic disorder or panic attacks are an extreme form of anxiety, characterized by unexpected episodes of intense fear. These are often accompanied by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath, or abdominal distress. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can often develops after one has encountered a frightening or traumatic event or ordeal. In many cases, this was an incident in which serious physical harm either occurred or was threatened. There are many different kinds of traumatic events that can trigger PTSD. These may include military combat, violent personal assaults, terrorist attacks, accidents such as fires, or natural disasters like floods or earthquakes.
Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as Social Phobia, is usually characterized by overwhelming anxiety in everyday social situations. This may also be accompanied by extreme self-consciousness and feeling as though you are under scrutiny from others or that people are laughing at you. It may be limited to specific social scenarios (e.g. eating or drinking in front of people) or, in severe cases, may be experienced almost any time sufferers come into contact with other people.
Drug addiction does not simply refer to illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin. It also includes painkillers and other legal substances.
Many people believe that they can control how often they use the drug, but over time, drugs change how the brain works, and these physical changes last. They mean you won’t have the self control that you thought you had, and you will likely behave in a way that damages your life and reputation.
Drug abuse is using legal or illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t - like taking a prescription meant for somebody else. However, you are still able to change these unhealthy habits and stop using.
Addiction is when you can’t stop even when it puts your health in danger. You can’t stop even when you’re experiencing financial difficulty, and issues with your loved ones. The urge to use overtakes your entire day, and you want to use all the time, even if you also want to quit.
Believe it or not, it’s completely possible to suffer from depression without even realizing it. It can sneak up on you slowly and incrementally, gradually removing the joy and color from your life.
In this case, knowing the symptoms of depression when you experience them is absolutely critical to ensuring that you get the help you need when you need (and deserve it).
Symptoms of depression may vary in severity and can get worse over time if left unchecked. Symptoms include psychological symptoms like;
The psychological symptoms of depression include:
You may also suffer from physical symptoms which may include:
Any of these symptoms can be extremely difficult to live with. But it’s important to remember that no matter how isolated you feel… you are not alone.
Your therapist will give you the coping strategies that you need to deal with depression or anxiety effectively as well as helping you to reach out to your own support network when you need it.
It can be very scary when we start to experience thoughts that are unlike us, especially when they are paranoid or encourage us to harm ourselves. However, your therapist will help you to better understand your symptoms as well as giving you practical strategies to help you to better cope with them.
This will liberate you from the fear of your symptoms which can cause you to avoid confronting the causes.
Dan Johnson is a certified LPC-S (Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor) and he runs REID Counseling Group, based out of Katy, Texas. As well as people with anxiety and depression, he also provides a range of family therapies and men’s health services.
As well as being a licensed counsellor, Dan is also a practicing Christian and offers a biblically based counselling service to help families maintain a healthy relationship with God even as they work on their relationships with themselves.
Of course, if you are of a different faith or even no faith at all, Dan can still provide practical and psychologically backed therapies and coaching to help clients with anxiety and depression in order to...
If you’re ready to free yourself of the effects of depression or anxiety and regain control of your life, perhaps it’s time to get in touch with Reid Counseling. Get in touch with us today on (281) 968-9119.
It might just be the most important phone call you ever make!