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As one of the leading mental illnesses in the world, depression can cause disruptions to daily life that are incredibly difficult to overcome. Depression often lies just below the surface of our day to day experience, sneaking up from it’s hiding just below the surface to suck away the joy and destroy motivation. Unfortunately, mental health issues are far different from physical illnesses that may go away with time.

In recent studies, the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that depression impacts individuals in such numbers that it has become the second leading reason that is reported in leave requests and disability applications. Even the staggering numbers – 15 million in the US alone are diagnosed with depression – are but the iceberg’s tip when it comes to those suffering.

The impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic have only exacerbated the effects of depression on individuals. Shutdowns, closures, and constant fear of the unknown surrounding the virus have led many to withdraw from friends and family and fall into an even deeper illness state. For those struggling with depression at any level, knowing how to find hope and help may seem miles away.

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Depression is so common that it likely affects at least one person you know.  Some people are fortunate enough to be diagnosed with depression, but many others suffer without a diagnosis, wondering why they feel the way they do. 

Depressive episodes can be short-term and feel easily overcome at their best, or like life isn’t worth living anymore at their worst. The feeling may only come on as sadness or listlessness, but it may also manifest in ways that may not seem related to your mood, like changes in appetite or problems concentrating.

What depression is not, is something you just “get over.”  Depression needs the attention of professionals like any other serious medical condition.

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Loneliness counseling can help you.  Many people protect themselves from this painful feeling by keeping busy or finding themselves needing to check the next device. Loneliness may not always be obvious.

Others find themselves going from partner to partner without a break —pulled to seek out another relationship as fast as possible as soon as one ends. The feeling may just be a “need” to always be on the go; on to the next thing one “must-do”; or “shoulds” and “have tos” feel unbearably compelling. Loneliness counseling is a great way to deal with this.

But we are social beings. We need to connect deeply with others. Running frantically from thing to thing or person to person is a way to ensure that this will not happen.

On the other hand, you may feel your loneliness. You may feel like you don’t belong, or don’t feel connected to others .. maybe you’re feeling isolated, like an outcast, or just plain unwanted.

You may find yourself believing your friends don’t really care about you, or like you can’t seem to find people who will connect with you, or like you have no one to call on in a time of need.

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If your feeling unmotivated, sad and low, wanting to retreat and avoid people, or weeping at the drop of a hat, likely you are suffering from depression and grief.

Maybe you have lost someone you treasured and can’t seem to “get over it”.  Or maybe you are sad and dragging about but do not really know what is wrong.

The advantage of seeing a therapist for these problems has been proven time and again.  And the more experience a therapist may have, the more likely they can help you quickly get to the root of your distress. 

Psychotherapy can give you a place to share your feelings and experiences so they can be processed and alleviate your suffering.

If this sounds like your life right now, maybe it is time to take the next step and share your heartache with a compassionate and knowledgeable psychotherapist like Dr. Lynn Winsten in Berkeley.  

 

Anxiety counseling Berkeley 

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Depression Therapy

Depression and anxiety are two quite common mental health issues, and while they are often referred to together, there are important distinctions between them.

They can often be present together and sometimes depression can cause anxiety or anxiety can cause depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Slowing of movement
  • Lack of energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

People suffering from depression usually feel hopeless about the present and are unable to carry on with their daily lives.

Depression usually comes in waves, sometimes triggered by a memory or specific event but sometimes seemingly at random.

Most of the time, depression lasts for hours or days at a time without intervention, but if symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks, it is advised that you reach out for professional help from a therapist specializing in depression.

Symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Excessive worry
  • Restlessness
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Muscle tension

People suffering from anxiety usually feel hopeless about the future and struggle to focus on what is in front of them because of their uncontrollable fears.

Anxiety can also be triggered (separation anxiety, panic disorders, or phobias) or come on randomly and it is recommended that you talk with an anxiety counselor if your symptoms last longer than 6 months.

Some symptoms like sleep problems, fatigue, irritability, and trouble concentrating are common among both depression and anxiety.

It is imperative to know that both depression and anxiety disorders are treatable conditions, and you should not be ashamed if you need to consult a psychologist for help controlling your depression and anxiety.

That is what they are there for and they are experienced in helping people just like you.