May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
– Nelson Mandela
Feeling nervous or anxious on occasion is a normal part of life. It can also be normal to occasionally feel “blue” or “down in the dumps.” However, if you have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations, or if your symptoms cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in day-to-day activities, you may have an anxiety disorder or clinical depression.
If left untreated, anxiety and depression can severely impact your everyday life, from making you avoid certain situations, to causing you to no longer enjoy the things that used to make you happy.
Therapy, often in conjunction with medication prescribed by a physician, can help put an end to your suffering. Anxiety therapy—unlike anxiety medication—treats more than just the symptoms of the problem. Therapy can help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears; learn how to relax; look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. Therapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety and teaches you how to use them.
Similarly, when used for depression, therapy provides a mental tool kit that can be used to challenge negative thoughts. Over the long term, therapy for depression can change the way a depressed person sees the world. Studies have shown that cognitive therapy works at least as well as antidepressants in helping people with mild to moderate depression. Treatment with medication and/or psychotherapy can shorten depression’s course and can help reduce symptoms such as fatigue and poor self-esteem that accompany depression.
At Shorepointe Counseling, we have nearly 40 years of combined experience in the mental health and social work professions assisting individuals with issues ranging from common life stresses to severe and persistent mental illness. In addition to first class responsiveness and flexible hours to accommodate the most demanding of clients, our direct but warm and assuring approach provides clients with all of the tools necessary to improve themselves, their lives, and relationships with people they love.
Laura A. Bloom, LMSW