The most common types of emotional distress for which individuals seek professional assistance are forms of depression and anxiety.
Depression commonly refers to feelings of sadness, loss of interest or motivation, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, and withdrawal. Loss of appetite may be present, but depressed individuals may also exhibit significant weight gain. Depression is also manifested in the form of physical symptoms, such as chronic pain. Brief sadness or mild depressive symptoms are normal — but as symptoms become more severe and frequent, professional assistance is usually necessary.
Anxiety refers to the experience of fear, tension, worry and stress. Symptoms can include panic, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, phobias and negative physiological reactions. Excessive anxiety often is associated with avoidance of social activities or specific situations that can later result in a depression. Everyone will experience episodic anxiety. This is a normal life experience, and can even be a warning to promote an adaptive response to threat. However, if anxiety becomes persistent and intense, it usually reflects some underlying disturbance.
It is also known that many individuals are predisposed genetically to experience heightened anxiety. There are varieties of other possible causal factors, such as a traumatic experience or insecurity. A thorough assessment will help you to better understand the sources of your anxiety.
Anxiety and depression can be tolerated by many individuals, even as they go about their normal lives, and may even not be apparent to others. However, anxiety and depression can also become seriously debilitating. Fortunately, in most cases, counseling and appropriate medication can make a big difference. Counseling often helps individuals to identify and modify underlying maladaptive assumptions which give rise to or aggravate emotional distress.
With severe depression, worry about suicide is a concern. What is most important is to take any thoughts or verbalizations of wanting to die or take one’s life seriously. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please seek professional assistance. Much can be done to help.
If you’re concerned for a family member or friend, please encourage him or her to get help. If the circumstances are urgent, and a PsyCare clinic is not open, either call 211 (Help Hotline) or go to the emergency room.
If you or your loved one is already receiving services at PsyCare, please keep the PsyCare clinicians informed about what actions you are taking.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of Depression or Anxiety, or have concerns about a family member, please call PsyCare at 800-242-4604. There is help available for whatever you’re facing.