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Anxiety/Depression Archives - Flourish Psychology
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Proven Strategies for Tackling Social Anxiety This Summer

Proven Strategies for Tackling Social Anxiety This Summer

While many people are looking forward to a summer of outings, gatherings and socializing, others may be experiencing some social anxiety at the thought of heading back out into the world. Due to COVID-19, most of us were indoors for the greater part of 2020 and 2021. But as vaccination rates continue to increase, governments are relaxing restrictions and businesses are beginning to reopen to the public. Though we are still being cautious, many people are now able to visit restaurants, bars, gyms and sports venues after more than a year of lockdowns.

While some are excited at the prospect of life going “back to normal” and being able to visit friends, attend events and socialize, others may feel reluctant about heading back out into the world after so much time at home. This reluctance may be because of concerns about the pandemic itself, or you may have gotten so accustomed to life at home that going out now feels strange.

For others, the prospect of being invited to gatherings and events brings on a feeling of anxiety due to the social expectations. If these feelings of fear and anxiety start to affect your ability to function in your daily life, you may be dealing with social anxiety disorder.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is a common mental health condition that affects more than 15 million Americans. Though many people develop it in adolescence, it can easily continue to affect you in adulthood if not properly addressed.

Social anxiety disorder is an intense and often debilitating fear of being judged or rejected in a social setting or a performance-based scenario. People dealing with social phobia may feel anxious about being seen in public or having to socialize with others. Common thoughts include a fear of being perceived as awkward, boring or stupid to peers or even strangers. As a result of these fears, you may avoid social settings such as dates, parties or dinners with friends or colleagues. For some people, social anxiety extends into work-related settings and can affect your ability to perform in job interviews, performance evaluations, presentations or meetings. For others, social anxiety can affect their ability to go to the gym or go for a run outside, for fear of being watched or judged by others.

When symptoms persist for at least six months and affect your daily life and activities, it may be time to speak to a mental health professional to address the symptoms.

Is social anxiety the same as shyness?

Most people will experience shyness at some point in their lives and it’s easy to conflate this with social anxiety because they can be quite similar. Shyness is very common in childhood and adolescence as we develop social skills and become more comfortable with our bodies and ourselves. By adulthood, most people would have outgrown this shyness or developed coping strategies to enable them to push through the shyness and form meaningful relationships with the people around them.

Social anxiety is characterized by intense and extreme symptoms that can impair your ability to function in your daily life. People with social anxiety often go as far as avoiding social situations altogether, causing them to miss out on important opportunities for personal or professional growth. Those with social anxiety disorder may lose sleep due to their intense feelings about an upcoming social situation and often experience physical symptoms such as a racing heart, shortness of breath or sweating.

If you are isolating yourself on a consistent basis due to fear or anxiety, or if the anxiety is preventing you from living the life you want, you may be dealing with a disorder, as opposed to just shyness.

What are the signs/symptoms of social anxiety disorder?

Social anxiety disorder often manifests in both physical and psychological symptoms. When placed in a social setting, you may begin blushing, sweating or may experience an increased heart rate. Other common physical symptoms include clammy palms, nausea and an inability to project your voice.

Your mind may begin racing, or it may go completely blank. Social anxiety can also result in feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness or insecurity. You may be overly critical of the things you say and do and how these things will be perceived by others. When your fears and feelings of anxiety cause you to avoid social activities on a regular basis, this is one of the clearest signs of social anxiety disorder.

During a screening for social phobia, your clinician may ask questions such as:

  • Do you have an extreme fear of looking silly or awkward to others?
  • Do you avoid activities where you might be the center of attention?
  • Is it difficult for you to relax in social settings?
  • Do you avoid situations that require you to be sociable?

Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder

The good news is that treatment for social anxiety disorder is available and effective. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular treatment options due to its short treatment time and effectiveness. CBT teaches you to challenge the racing thoughts that cause you to become anxious in social settings. For example, you can learn to realize that at the gym, people are too focused on their own workout and body to be judging you. As you learn to reframe your thinking, you can slowly become more comfortable in these settings.

Exposure therapy is another effective treatment option for social anxiety. This is when you gradually work yourself up to the situations you fear the most by starting out with less challenging situations. For example, you can start by eating alone in public to teach yourself that nobody is watching or judging you as you eat. As you become more comfortable, you can work your way up to being able to go out with a friend to eat and then a small group.

Based on your unique challenges, a mental health professional will be able to work with you to find the best treatment plan. The clinicians at Flourish Psychology are trained to help treat a variety of mental health challenges, including social anxiety disorder. Schedule your first session with a therapist who can help you to live your best social life.

5 Ways to Decrease Ongoing COVID Stress

5 Ways to Decrease Ongoing COVID Stress

We have been living with COVID-19 now for nearly 16 months and there has been an immense amount of progress when it comes to the number of infections across the states decreasing. Through social distancing, mask-wearing, and the high availability of receiving the vaccine, we are beginning to see the world open up again across the country. People are able to see their loved ones after a year of isolation, enjoy restaurants and museums, and even walk outside without the need for a mask (if vaccinated). 

While life seems to be increasingly getting back to the pre-COVID days, the psychological effects that the pandemic has had on the population are still very relevant. According to the Center for Disease Control (2020), a staggering 40% of U.S. adults have reported mental health issues and an increase in substance use since the beginning of quarantine back in March 2020. 

The leading mental illness that people have reported experiencing is anxiety, and it appears that people are struggling with getting back to “normal” life. If this sounds familiar, there are various coping skills and tips to try to ease the anxiety of our new way of life to be able to enjoy it to the fullest  Below are just a few ways to cope with COVID anxiety:

1. GET MOVING

Has anyone ever told you how exercising can help ease anxiety? Being active and finding an enjoyable way to move our bodies has various benefits that directly help in building resilience against anxious thoughts and feelings. Increasing your heart rate raises levels of important anti-anxiety neurotransmitters such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid. Serotonin is often referred to as the “happy hormone” due to its natural mood-stabilizing components; since getting your heart rate up naturally increases serotonin levels in the brain, regular exercise can aid in reducing stress and anxious thoughts, especially during the pandemic (Ratey, 2019).

2. Get enough sleep

One of the most prevalent symptoms of anxiety is excessive worrying, and now more than ever there is no shortage of worry amongst the population. People who experience intense worrying often ruminate about their concerns while trying to fall asleep; the unease and anxiety that comes with worrying thoughts makes it very difficult to fall and stay asleep (Suni, 2020). When we don’t get enough sleep, we feel even more anxious during the day and often we are too exhausted to engage in anxiety-reducing activities, such as exercise, and then the cycle continues. 

If this sounds familiar, you are certainly not alone and there are various things you can do to lessen those worrying thoughts and get a good night’s sleep:

  • Turn off your electronics at least 30 minutes before bed 
  • Write all of your worrying thoughts in a journal at the end of the day 
  • Sip on some calming tea, such as chamomile or ginger to help you feel sleepy
  • Read a couple chapters in a book to get your mind off of your worries 
  • Listen to calming music or a podcast 
  • Start a meditation practice – even 5 minutes every night before getting into bed can ease tension and help you let go of your worries  

3. Stay connected

While we are finally able to safely be around our loved ones again, many people have become so used to staying home that just the thought of socializing causes major anxiety. On the other hand, socialization increases the hormone oxytocin which decreases anxiety levels and helps us feel more confident and resilient! If going to a public place is too difficult right now, then make sure to schedule in calls and video chats with your friends and family on a regular basis. Try setting a reminder on your phone to get in touch with your friends and family at least once or twice a week. Even a simple “thinking of you” text can make us feel more connected and less stressed! Reaching out to others helps us reroute our focus from our own anxieties to caring for the important people in our lives (Socialization and altruistic acts as stress relief, n.d.).

4. Stay informed, but limit news input

We all need to stay informed on the latest news regarding COVID-19 in order to ensure the safety of ourselves and others. With that being said, looking at the news 24/7 can be harmful to our mental health and cause unneeded stress and anxiety. In fact, people have shown an increase in anxiety and negative emotions after watching only 14 minutes of the news on TV (Johnston & Davey, 1997).

In order to combat news anxiety, there are a few tips and tricks that can really help ease the strain that the news can take on your mental health:

  • Set time limits and only look at the news once or twice a day, and not before bedtime!
  • Manage your news notifications so that you are only receiving important updates regarding COVID-19 that are important for ensuring your safety
  • Subscribe to positive news outlets such as Upworthy or Some Good News. Reminding ourselves that there is good in the world can aid in relieving anxiety and focusing on the positives instead of the negatives.
  • Practice lots of self care! Take yourself on a long walk while listening to your favorite podcast, watch a silly TV show, or draw yourself a bubble bath. Self care is more important now than ever before.

5. Ask for help

The therapists at Flourish Psychology can work with you to identify your triggers and find freedom from your anxiety. Schedule a free consult to get matched with a therapist who best meets your needs.

5 Important Self Care Tips For Social Media Users

5 Important Self Care Tips For Social Media Users

Though social media is a relatively new advancement in technology, it has very quickly become an unavoidable aspect of our everyday lives. For most teens and millennials, constant access to social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitter is facilitated through use of a smartphone that is always connected to the internet. For older populations, Facebook and YouTube are far more popular. For younger generations, exposure to screens starts in early infancy, with many parents using tablets and smartphones to keep young children entertained with games, videos and educational content. Regardless of your age group or lifestyle, chances are that you have some form of a relationship with social media, due to its accessibility, ease of use and various benefits. 

Of course, there are many positive aspects to social media use. These revolutionary platforms allow us to have easy access to important information, which can be crucial during an ever-changing world. The latest information about the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, elections and other crucial world events are available at the tap of a screen. With travel restrictions and lockdowns, social media allows us to keep in contact with loved ones we otherwise would not be able to reach. 

Limited research on effects of social media use

Given the relative recency of these technologies, there is limited research on its effects on our mental health and wellbeing. The most accurate research studies take place over many years and measure long-term impact. With social media, there simply hasn’t enough time for such a comprehensive study. While we may not yet have information on the long-term effects of constant social media use, we do have quite a bit of research on the shorter-term impacts. This is crucial information that we can use to surmise what the impact will be if we continue using social media in a particular way over a longer period of time. 

Many studies focus on the psychological impact of increased exposure to these platforms and how this exposure contributes to depression, anxiety, self-harm and disordered eating

FOMO and the comparison game

By nature, humans are wired to compare themselves to each other. Long before these technologies existed, we have been “keeping up with the Joneses” by comparing our careers, possessions, children and bank accounts to our peers, neighbors and colleagues. For decades, research has indicated that we make upward comparisons, i.e. we measure the mundane or unpleasant aspects of our lives to the grandiose and glamorous aspects of other people’s lives.

Social media ups the ante of the comparison game by giving us constant access to the highlight reels of others. A few decades ago, we may be notified of a colleague’s new car if we happened to notice it in their parking spot at work or a chance encounter at the grocery store. Now, you can see how #grateful your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend is for her new car before she even drives it off the lot. Seeing this while you’re dealing with a tough financial time can easily bring on feelings of inadequacy and comparison. 

These feelings of comparison can lead to FOMO, or the fear of missing out. Have you ever watched an Instagram story of a group of friends at a restaurant or party while you’re at home in your PJs? It’s easy to feel like life is passing you by while scrolling through the seemingly exciting lives of others.

In some ways, comparison can be a healthy and useful tool for self-development. By seeking inspiration from the achievements of others, we can find motivation to make improvements to our own lives. By using your peers as a benchmark, you can also find reassurance in the fact that you are on the right track or may even be doing better than you expected. But the comparison game can quickly take a very dark turn, leaving you feeling inferior, anxious or depressed. 

Social Media & The 24-hour news cycle 

The 24-hour news cycle came about in the mid-1990s when television networks began doing fast-paced investigative journalism in an effort to compete with each other. There is a constant race for the juiciest scoop, the exclusive interview and to be the first to break the latest news. This was a revolutionary concept in comparison to printed newspapers, which were only able to provide delayed information once per day. In the age of social media, the news cycle is even more constant because it’s in your pocket. 

Back in the nineties, it was easy to turn off your TV to head to work or otherwise go about your day. Today, it’s more of a challenge to avoid the news than it is to stay informed. Information overload can lead to stress, anxiety and a whole host of mental health issues. 

Steps you can take to minimize effects

If you’ve noticed that your social media use leaves you feeling depressed or that every notification brings a feeling of dread or anxiety, it may be time to make some changes. 

  1. Remind yourself that you don’t need to be constantly connected to stay informed. Do you really need to hear every breaking news update? Checking a summary of your favorite news sites once or twice per day is enough to keep you informed of important local and world events. There are many services that offer personalized, condensed news reports based on your interests and location. Consider turning off the CNN notifications in favour of one of these options. 
  2. It’s also important to remember that people are only putting the very best version of themselves on social media. It’s unfair to compare yourself in a low moment to a retouched, made-up, and hyper-positive social media post. Remember that we all face setbacks and challenges, but these are rarely shared on Instagram. 
  3. Social media can easily cause us to feel like the star of our very own reality show. This can create a feeling of obligation in relation to updating your followers about your daily life and major life developments. Remind yourself that there is no such obligation. Release the pressure that comes with taking the perfect shot, writing the wittiest caption and getting the most likes or comments. It’s okay to take a break from posting. If you’re feeling up for it, why not take a social media detox? Disconnecting from the constant rat race can bring you unexpected peace and clarity. If your livelihood depends on social media, consider scheduling posts ahead of time to keep your feed updated.
  4. Another simple, yet important step to take is to unfollow or unsubscribe from accounts that negatively affect your wellbeing. Does a certain news site use anxiety-inducing headlines as clickbait? Unfollow! How about an email marketing newsletter that always leads to you making a purchase you’ll later regret? Unsubscribe! And the girl with the seemingly perfect life with the self-righteous captions that cause you to feel inferior? It’s okay to mute her, too. 
  5. If you’re having issues detaching from social media and are concerned about its impact on your mental health, you may wish to discuss these concerns with a therapist. The clinicians at Flourish Psychology understand that social media is interwoven into our lives and are trained to address the mental health issues that may arise from constant use of these platforms. Schedule a free consult to get matched with a therapist who best meets your needs.
5 Proven Techniques For Calming Your Anxiety Right Now

5 Proven Techniques For Calming Your Anxiety Right Now

Do you struggle with anxious thoughts? You’re certainly not alone. Anxiety is the most common mental disorder and will affect most people at some point. It’s the body’s natural reaction to stress and can be useful for keeping us alert during dangerous situations. Sometimes, anxious thoughts can occur in situations that aren’t necessarily dangerous, but are of great importance such as a job interview or first date.

Other times, anxious thoughts seem to creep in for no apparent reason. You may not even be able to identify the cause of the anxiety and this can make you even more anxious. When these thoughts begin to hinder your ability to function in your daily life, you may want to consider working with a therapist. There are many practices and habits that can reduce anxiety in the long term. Ensuring that you are eating healthily, staying hydrated and getting proper sleep are foundational when coping with an anxiety disorder.

But what about tackling anxiety in the moment? What can you do when you have a presentation at work in an hour, but you can’t stop ruminating on your credit card bill? Or when you feel overwhelmed at the grocery store, but need to finish your shopping? These are the little moments in life where coping skills are essential. While you can’t control or predict when anxiety will arise, be prepared by learning these five simple strategies that can be used at any time.

Mindfulness for anxiety

Mindfulness is a simple, yet effective method of calming down your anxious thoughts in the moment. When anxious thoughts arise, we are usually ruminating on the past or speculating about the future. Mindfulness keeps you in the present moment and helps to counteract anxiety. You can practice mindfulness at any time by simply focusing on your breathing. Take deep, deliberate breaths and make a note of all the sensations in your body. Can you feel the air tickling your nose? Can you see the rise and fall of your chest? When you feel your mind wandering, bring your attention back to your breath and the present moment.

Mindfulness is a popular technique used in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) that you can practice at any time. By taking the time to pause and remain present, you can appreciate all the little things about the current moment that you otherwise may not have noticed. This can have a surprisingly soothing effect on the mind and body.

Radical acceptance

Radical acceptance is another DBT technique that can be used to calm anxious thoughts. It is the ability to accept situations that are outside of your control without judgment. It is based on the premise that anxiety stems from our thoughts about a situation, and not the situation itself. Radical acceptance encourages you to accept and be at peace with reality, which can help to minimize your anxious thoughts. By embracing your reality instead of fighting it, you are less likely to experience resentment, shame or guilt about your past. This can be very effective in reducing ruminating thoughts.

Whenever you find yourself fighting reality (for example “my life shouldn’t be this way”), use the opportunity to practice this technique. You can easily incorporate radical acceptance into your life by repeating coping statements to yourself. Examples of radical acceptance coping statements include:

  • The present is the only moment I have control of
  • This moment is the result of a million other decisions
  • I cannot change the past, I can only live in the present
  • I don’t like what’s happening but I can cope with my reality
  • Everything that happened in the past has led up to now
  • The past is in the past, but now I can move forward

Self-soothe with Senses

This is a simple and popular exercise that can be used to calm anxious thoughts. The best part is that it can be done at any time and in any location. You’ll be using your senses to take note of your surroundings. This is an example of a mindfulness technique because it helps to keep you in the present moment. It also has the additional benefit of distracting your mind from your anxious thoughts.

  • Acknowledge 5 things you can see around you. Perhaps the polish on your toenails or someone walking by outside your window.
  • Acknowledge 4 things you can touch around you. This can be your hair on your neck, the ground under your feet or your clothes on your skin.
  • Acknowledge 3 things you can hear. Maybe a dog is barking in the distance or maybe you’ll notice a sound your own body is making.
  • Acknowledge 2 things you can smell. Take a deep breath and make a note of the things you can smell. Do your hands smell like soap or sanitizer? Can you sniff your collar?
  • Acknowledge 1 thing you can taste. Maybe you’re chewing bubble gum or maybe you can still taste some of your last meal.

Walking for Anxiety

Movement is an excellent way to calm anxiety. If you’re able, go for a short (5 or 10 minute) walk before returning to your present situation. Research indicates that walking is powerful enough to “turn off” the part of the brain that is responsible for your anxiety. The physical activity of walking can have a clearing and calming effect on the mind, enabling you to see your situation with fresh eyes. Incorporate mindfulness into your walk by taking a note of the things around you. Make a game of it by counting all the red items you see on your walk. While walking outside has the added benefit of fresh air, an indoor walk is incredibly effective at calming an anxious mind.

By learning these strategies, you’ll be better equipped to handle anxious thoughts when they arise. The best part is that the more you practice, the better you will become at these skills. While they are incredibly useful in the moment, it’s also important to consider long-term strategies for managing chronic anxiety. The therapists at Flourish Psychology can work with you to identify your triggers and find freedom from your anxiety. Schedule a free consult to get matched with a therapist who best meets your needs.

Infertility, family planning and mental health

Infertility, family planning and mental health

Family Planning, Infertility and Mental Health 

Planning for a baby can be an exciting, yet daunting time. While planning for one of the biggest changes of your life, you may be thinking about your finances, relationships, career and health. It’s common to face increased anxiety during this experience, especially if you’re having challenges with conception. Several studies show that people dealing with infertility have higher rates of anxiety and depression compared to their fertile counterparts. Though it’s important to take care of your physical health as you prepare for pregnancy, be sure to prioritize your mental health as well. 

Diversion from Your Life Plan

Infertility often represents a major diversion from the plans and goals you have made for yourself and your life. Maybe you planned to be a parent by a certain age, or maybe you feel like a baby is what you need to make your life complete. An unexpected challenge to your plans can be disorienting and distressing. Working with a therapist during this time can equip you with the skills needed to cope. 

Infertility and Mental Health

Trying to conceive and struggling with infertility can be an isolating and emotionally painful experience. A lot of focus is placed on ensuring your body is physically ready for pregnancy. It’s important not to neglect your mental health while dealing with infertility and trying to conceive. As you navigate this challenging time, you are more prone to depression and anxiety than at other times in your life. Infertility is also linked to lowered self-esteem and confidence. Pay attention to your levels of stress and anxiety and take breaks when things get overwhelming. 

Planning a Pregnancy with an Existing Mental Health Condition

If you have or have ever had a mental illness, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor before planning to have a baby. Most people with mental health conditions have healthy pregnancies and babies, but it’s still helpful to speak to your doctor. Some medications used to treat mental illnesses can also impact your ability to conceive or should not be taken while pregnant. Do not stop taking any medications without first speaking with your doctor. Talking to your doctor can also give you insight on how pregnancy may affect your mental health, so you can feel prepared and informed. 

Impact on Your Relationships 

Deciding to have a baby can be a mutually fulfilling experience that creates a stronger bond between you and your partner. In other cases, trying to conceive can be stressful and may have a negative impact on your relationship with your partner. If both people aren’t on the same page, this can cause tension and uncertainty about the future of the relationship. For some couples, sex can become boring or routine while trying to conceive, causing issues with intimacy. If planning your family is causing stress in your relationship, it may be worth looking into couple’s counseling. 

Deciding to become a parent can impact other relationships, too. Friendships may be affected since you may be less able to dedicate time and energy to those interactions. If your friends are not becoming parents, you may find yourself drifting apart as your interests and lifestyles change. 

Professional Support at Every Step of the Way

At Flourish Psychology, our clinicians can help you process concerns about pregnancy and building a family. We can also support you through the process of fertility treatments or healing after a miscarriage. If you are considering surrogacy and need emotional support in making this life-changing decision, our clinicians offer a safe and welcoming therapeutic environment. 

Contact us for a free consult to get started. 

5 Important Ways Depression Treatment Can Improve Your Life

5 Important Ways Depression Treatment Can Improve Your Life

Depression is a debilitating, yet common, mental illness that affects over 240 million people worldwide. Treatment for depression is very effective for most people who seek it. However, most depression is left untreated due to factors such as accessibility, affordability and the stigma surrounding mental illness. Depression is not the same as short-term sadness or the usual mood fluctuations that come with day-to-day life. It’s a significant, chronic mood disorder that interferes with daily activities. Clinical depression, also known as major depression is considered a psychiatric disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Depression, when left untreated, can have devastating effects on all aspects of life. The good news is that treatment for depression is incredibly effective, whether through talk therapy, medication or a combination of both. Here are a few ways that your life can be improved by seeking treatment for depression.

1. Sleep

A change in sleep pattern is a common sign of depression. This can mean sleeping more or less than usual. The most common sleep problem associated with depression is insomnia – the inability to fall or stay asleep. The lack of sleep then exacerbates the depression, in a seemingly never-ending cycle. In other, less common, cases, people with depression sleep more than usual. Depression can be physically draining and it’s not uncommon to feel fatigued or to be unable to get out of bed. Some people with depression also use sleep to escape “the real world” and may begin using or abusing sleeping aids. Sleep deprivation is associated with memory problems, a weakened immune system and trouble with concentration. 

By treating depression, you are likely to see improvements in your sleep.

2. WORK

Untreated depression will undoubtedly affect your work over time. If you commute to work, you may find it extremely difficult to get out of the house and get to work on time.  If you work from home, you may find that you are not getting much done. You may be unable to concentrate on your tasks or may lack the motivation to work. Perhaps you’ve lost all interest in your work, though you may have enjoyed it in the past. Or maybe, your job is a major environmental contributor to your depression. Many employees are fearful of speaking up about their depression, due to concerns about confidentiality or victimization in the workplace. 

Through treating your depression, you may be better able to cope with the challenges of your job.

3. PERSONAL HYGIENE

Depression (and other mental illnesses such as PTSD and bipolar disorder) can have a significant effect on your ability to engage in self-care. Tasks that once seemed simple, such as taking a shower, shaving or brushing your teeth, can feel overwhelming when you are severely depressed. This can also extend to taking care of your physical environment and you may avoid tasks like washing dishes or disposing of trash. Over time, many people with depression begin to feel ashamed of their appearance or environment, thus worsening the depression. 

When depression improves, you’ll be better able to take care of yourself and your surroundings.

4. RELATIONSHIPS

Untreated depression is bound to have a huge impact on your relationships. Quite often, depression causes you to be more isolated or withdrawn. You may be unwilling to engage in social activities, even remote ones like video calls, responding to texts or using social media. You may become less affectionate or disinterested in sex, which may have an impact on romantic relationships. In turn, the people around you may be unsure of how to help you, or may be unaware that you are depressed. It’s common to feel like a burden, which may cause you to further isolate yourself from loved ones. 

You are likely to see improvements in your relationships after receiving treatment for your depression.

5. PHYSICAL HEALTH

Though depression is a mental illness, it can have significant impacts on your physical health. Changes in diet or eating patterns are common, resulting in weight loss or gain. Eating problems can lead to stomachaches, constipation and other digestive symptoms. Many people use drugs or alcohol to cope with depression and these substances certainly have an impact on the body. Depression, over time, also has the ability to affect the immune, cardiovascular and central nervous systems.

When depression is treated, you’ll be more motivated to take care of your physical health through exercise and healthy foods.

Depression should not be ignored or left untreated. The majority of people who seek treatment for their depression are able to overcome or manage their symptoms. When effectively treated, you’ll begin to see major changes in your mood, your ability to manage your responsibilities and your overall wellbeing. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  (CBT) is an especially effective treatment option that allows you to see changes in a relatively short time. 

CBT helps you to overcome your depression by examining your thoughts and core beliefs. Ultimately, you will be able to form a new way of thinking that is more positive and compassionate. You will be better able to cope with whatever life throws your way, whether at work or in your personal life. 

The clinicians at Flourish Psychology have years of experience and training in treating depression and other mood disorders. Click here to schedule a free consult to start seeing changes in your life.