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Depression and Anxiety

Depression and Anxiety are two of the most common symptoms clients of Don Sizemore & Associates experience. Everyone experiences sadness and fear, but they are temporary, usually in response to a specific event such as loss of a loved one, going through a divorce, or losing employment. A depressed mood that lasts more than 2 weeks and is associated with other symptoms like trouble sleeping, changes in appetite, and increased irritability are typical of what may be a Major Depression. It is really important that you have a knowledgeable and experienced counselor assess this to determine the diagnosis and type of treatment necessary. This is why you want to see a therapist or counselor who knows what they are looking at and can recommend the best approach. The approach usually includes counseling and possibly a referral for medication evaluation, depending on the severity of the depression or anxiety.

It is more common for women to be diagnosed with depression than men. And the symptoms are different. Men will become more irritable, tired or angry. There is often reckless behavior and substance abuse of alcohol or drugs. Women tend to experience feelings of worthlessness and guilt, along with pronounced sadness.
It is estimated that almost a third of adults experience some kind of anxiety disorder in their life time (National Institute of Mental Health). Just like there are different types and severity of depression, anxiety disorders fall into different diagnostic categories, such as Generalized Anxiety, Panic Attacks, or Obsessive-Compulsive disorders. Also, almost every person struggling with depression experiences anxiety along with their depressed mood. So anxiety is a very common symptom and one that has to be carefully evaluated, and the appropriate treatment approach prescribed. Again, an experienced therapist or counselor is critical for receiving the best help possible.
There has been amazing advancements in understanding how to treat anxiety and depression. We have a greater understanding of how the brain works and how to change the way the brain works. Counseling methods (like neuroscientist Dr Jeffery Schwartz’s You Are Not Your Brain) have been developed that allow for “rewiring” the way the brain is working. Medication can be useful but it is not a panacea. It is better understood as helping to take the edge off symptoms so as to facilitate a better response to counseling methods. The decision to take a medication is always up to the client, and our clients’ decisions, on any type or course of therapy, will always be supported. Making lifestyle changes to include exercise and eating healthier foods can have a significant effect on depression and anxiety. Incorporating practices like meditation and mindfulness have been demonstrated to help reduce symptoms in often dramatic ways. These factors, and others, like having a strong social support system, are good reasons for hope for those experiencing these very challenging conditions.

Don Sizemore & Associates is dedicated to helping individuals, couples, and families restore, renew, and transform broken and disconnected relationships and overcome mental, emotional and physical struggles.

Don Sizemore & Associates
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