Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a blanket term that covers a range of mental disorders. Common examples of anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

 

For many people, anxiety is experienced as a feeling of worry, dread, or apprehension about something in the future; and is experienced by nearly all of us at some point in our lives. When severe, anxiety can hold us back from accomplishing what matters in life, as the feelings of worry become blown out of proportion.

 

Fortunately, there is a lot that can be done to reduce these unwanted feelings, so that you can get back to living life more fully.

 
 

Depression

Depression, also known as Clinical Depression or, Major Depressive Disorder, is more than just feeling a bit down. Depression is characterised by extreme or persistent sadness, and/or sense of hopelessness that lasts for 2 weeks or more. Depression can also involve a loss of pleasure, or interest in most activities.

 

Many of us will become depressed at some point in our lives. Often we become depressed when we’ve experienced big changes in our lives, that create feelings of loss, and a sense that things aren't the same as they once were.

There are many different symptoms of depression, and although an all-encompassing sense of low mood is the main constituent of the disorder, people do experience aspects of depression differently. Depression has a range of psychological, physiological, and social / behavioural symptoms such as:

  • Felling down or upset 

  • Regularly feeling tearful

  • Feeling agitated or irritable

  • No longer feeling pleasure from the activities that you would usually enjoy

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Feeling a sense of despair

  • Experiencing an overbearing sense of guilt

  • Feeling a sense of worthlessness, or helplessness

  • Feeling lonely, isolated or as though you are unable to relate to others

  • Feeling that you have lost your confidence

  • Having low self-esteem

  • Having recurring thoughts of death or suicide

  • Moving or speaking more slowly than usual 

  • Changes in appetite, or weight

  • Changes in bowel movements

  • Unexplained aches and pains

  • Lack of energy

  • Loss of libido

  • Changes in menstrual cycle

  • Disturbed sleep

  • Struggling to concentrate

  • Avoiding social interactions

  • Being less interested in life, and things that would usually bring joy

  • Neglecting keeping up with hobbies

In some cases, depression can also be caused by some medications, and drug, or alcohol dependency.

Many of the symptoms listed above can also be experienced by people who are bereaved, but despite an overlap of symptoms, we wouldn't refer to bereavement as clinical depression. Regardless of this, it can often be useful for people who are experiencing grief, and bereavement to come forward for therapy.
 

Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe, but it is always best to seek help sooner rather than later; if you think you are depressed.

 

OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD is a serious anxiety disorder, that should not be overlooked. OCD has a wide range of presentations, where many of the associated behaviours are concerned with checking things, fears of becoming contaminated, mental contamination, hoarding, ruminating, or experiencing unwanted, intrusive thoughts. In OCD, these behaviours, or compulsions, are driven by obsessions. An example of this might be that someone is worried that their house will be broken into, and so they feel compelled to check that the door is locked an excessive number of times.

 

If left unmanaged, the self exacerbating nature of OCD can begin to have a seriously debilitating effect on a person’s livelihood.

 

Stress

The stress response is our body’s natural response to dangerous situations, and also the general pressures of daily life. When stressed, we often feel as though we are rushing around doing a million things, but that we are not getting anything done. Being highly stressed can seriously interfere with our ability to deal with life’s responsibilities efficiently, and it is important we learn useful techniques for reducing our stress levels.

 

People often think of stress as a mental state, but really it’s an extreme physiological response, or state of arousal. This heightened state of arousal has a damaging effect on our bodies, which is why it’s important to take action if we feel stressed on a regular basis.