Anxiety

Anxiety and fear are normal responses of our body and mind to a threat. However, it can happen that the individual has is an imprecise and irrational fear of the unknown, which does not easily go away and may get worse over time.  If it is persistent and associated with excessive worry and rumination and causes a state of uncertainty  it could be or become an anxiety disorder, in which case a counsellor can be helpful. 

Symptoms of anxiety

  • Excessive worrying

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Increased breathing rate

  • Irritability

  • Sweating

  • Muscle twitches

  • Trouble concentrating and focus

  • Restlessness

  • Fatigue

  • Irregular heart beat

  • Chest pains

  • Exhaustion

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Weakness

  • Feeling faint and dizzy

  • Headaches

  • Stomach pains and cramps

Depression

  

Depression is a common and highly treatable mental health issue. It is not a sign of weakness or laziness.

If you experience these symptoms:

  • Often feeling restless and irritable

  • Irregular sleep patterns- sleeping too much or too little

  • Feeling always tired, gloomy and sad with crying spells

  • Difficulty in maintaining concentration

  • Loss of the sense of identity

  • Tendency to isolate yourself, avoiding friends and usually pleasurable

    activities

  • Considerable body weight changes during the last month. Significant

    increase or decrease of appetite

  • Frequent headaches and backpain or vague aches like joint and muscle

    aches

  • Feeling empty and confused.

  • Thinking about suicide.

    The causes can be numerous and varied: it could be an issue with medical or multiple other causes. They might be physical, emotional and environmental factors or a combination of factors.

    Feeling sad is normal for all of us, sadness it is a natural human emotion.

    Depression on the other hand is a serious mental condition that can effect every aspect of your life.

    A person experiencing depression may feel helpless and alone. Normal activities like getting out of bed, bathing and dressing can feel like an impossible feat.

 

The condition is highly treatable. Even if you feel ashamed about your condition, you need to ask for help.

Many emotions such as anger, shame and fear can sometimes manifest in the body.

Depression may cause feelings of tension or irritatability and feeling intensely fatigued without relief.

Sometimes the trigger can include divorce, loss of job, financial situation and other major changes in life.

It can be a situational depression or due to individual biochemistry.

The important thing is to seek help.

A counsellor can help you to find the reason behind your depression.

Trying to talk to your GP first can be important to avoid possible physical problems that can be linked to depression.

After a medical examination, it is advisable to talk to a counsellor or therapist.

Remember that depression is not your fault. It could be an issue with medical causes. Your counsellor can help you to understand the source of your depression and the best therapy for you.

Therapy can also help you to recognize your strengths and capacity for change. Doing more exercise and a healthy diet can help you to feel better.
Yoga and meditation can make you find your balance again.
But most importantly, remember to look for help.

You are not alone and depression is treatable! 

Stress

Stress results from pressure. It is defined as "non specific responses that result from a variety of different kind of stimuli" H.Selye (1936).

Over many millions of years, humans have developed complex emotional responses to survive threats in their environment.

When humans experience some form of threat, they will respond automatically in a number of different ways.

These can include:

–Flight: Escaping a threat.

–Fight: Fighting back against a threat.

-Freeze: Playing dead so the threat looses interest.

These are normal human reactions. We are facing stress when demands exceed the capacity to cope.

  • If individuals see their capacity to cope as low, and environmental demands as high, stress  will result.

  • When demands are too low, individuals may experience boredom, also resulting in stress.

  • Desirable for situations where demands and coping are balanced.

  • Moderate demands can actually increase performance (eustress), high demands can decrease performance.

 Physiological changes can include:

  • Increased breathing rate.

  • Increased heart rate.

  • Higher blood pressure.

  • Muscles tense and blood vessels widen.

  • Surface blood vessels contract (going pale).

  • Blood sugar increases and digestion slows.

  • Pupils dilate for better vision.

  • Difficulty focusing on small tasks, attention on perceived threat.

©2020 by Dr. Laura Trevisan Mauriello