Depression and Anxiety Counselling
Anxiety is a state of mind which negatively affects a person’s emotional and physical well-being. It is a normal reaction to stress, usually prompted by a worrying or frightening event or situation in a person’s life. It may also be caused by on-going circumstances which generate instability or insecurity. This could be at home, work or school.
When a succession of worrying events occurs, a person may find themselves in a general anxiety state, called an anxiety disorder. Symptoms can be physical, emotional and behavioural: physical symptoms can be sweating, trembling, headaches, stomach ache, and tension in neck, shoulders and back. Emotional symptoms can be nervousness, fear, panic, uncontrolled thoughts. Behavioural symptoms can be withdrawing, avoiding situations, repetitive actions, sleeplessness.
Other disorders which manifest themselves as a consequence of stress are phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Depression can be caused by various factors, for example helplessness or hopelessness – living in, or finding yourself in a situation from which you can see no way out. We all need a measure of control in our lives and if we feel unable to take that control in order to change our existence or experiences, we can feel trapped and ultimately depressed. If we feel exhausted, mistreated or bullied, anger and hurt which we may feel we have no outlet for can also lead to depression.
Symptoms can be low self-esteem, loss of energy or enjoyment in the usual things which give us pleasure, low mood and loss of desire to communicate and no interest in sex. It can become hard to focus on tasks or follow conversations and there can be general fatigue, listlessness and thoughts of dying.
How counselling can help
In both circumstances anxiety and depression can disturb your life and that of those around you. Counselling can help you gently explore your personal situation, helping you gain some insight into, and understanding of possible factors causing your symptoms.
Areas to consider and make changes will be: relationships, which if not functioning well can have a major impact on our emotional and physical state of being; thought processes, which affect brain function – our thoughts can affect our emotions and actions. It is recognised that the brain can change (called neuroplasticity) and be affected by what we think and do. Another area to consider will be our life style – what we eat, do and the exercise we take, and how this affects us emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Also re-defining ourselves in terms of self-worth, assertiveness and regaining a lost sense of purpose will be an important aspect of recovery.
How long will it take?
Anxiety and depression are often the end result of a period of time of discomfort or stress or unhappiness. It may take time to understand how this has come about and to get to the position of being able to take steps to recovery. Sessions will last for as long as required to regain your ability to handle your circumstances with confidence and a sense of well-being.