– a common mental disorder
Depression is a mental disorder that can affect people of all ages. A study by the World Health Organization estimated that over 320 million people are living with depression. The condition is cited as a major contributor to the overall global burden caused by the disease. Approximately one in five of us will experience at some point in our lives. This means that it is worth knowing as much as possible about this disease and responding early.
Many people experience low moods for short periods of time, but when this becomes a debilitating factor on a regular basis it may be an indicator of something far more serious. Symptoms may persist for many months or even years, and depression can affect the way a person thinks and behaves. Feelings of dread, sadness or worthlessness can be very debilitating and can severely limit an individual’s ability to function normally at home or work.
Depression can develop from a combination of factors that are physical, psychological, biochemical or genetic. It can also be triggered by social factors and adverse life events such as bereavement, sexual or physical abuse, and severe stress. Depression is treated using evidence based treatments based on one’s presenting problem.
– when unease becomes debilitating
Anxiety disorders are associated with severe or long-lasting feelings of uneasiness, which may prevent a person from leading a normal life. Sufferers can develop a range of physical and psychological symptoms that can be highly debilitating. There are various types of anxiety disorder, which include Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and phobias. Anxiety disorders can occur alongside other conditions, such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and in severe cases can lead to self-harm or suicide.
Mild anxiety can be a positive defence mechanism in these circumstances. However, when anxiety is severe and endures for months or years, it can interfere with an individual’s ability to lead a healthy life. Physical symptoms of anxiety disorders can include stomach pains, diarrhoea, heart palpitations, dry mouth, chest pains, shaking, dizziness, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath. Psychological symptoms can include insomnia, constant feelings of worry or unease, tiredness, lack of concentration, feeling irritable or angry, and a general feeling of detachment or loss of control.
It is thought that around 10% of people will experience problems with anxiety at some point in their life. With professional help and support from qualified clinical experts, it is possible to overcome anxiety disorders. Working with a professional can help you manage your anxiety and reduce your symptoms as quickly and safely as possible.
– helping to free you from pain
Trauma can be either ‘big T’ trauma (such as physical, sexual or experiential), or ‘small T’ trauma, which is usually associated with childhood developmental experiences. These are not typically related to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) but instead can be almost educational in effect. However, they can impact negatively on a person’s life over many years and can create a lack of self-worth and coping strategies, which are injurious to health and wellbeing.
When we experience trauma, either in childhood or adult life, it can have a lasting impact on our wellbeing. Symptoms may remain hidden but can surface later through addiction or emotional issues. It often manifests physically as well as emotionally. The physical signs can be as substantial and alarming as those of physical injury or illness, and care should be taken to control stress levels.
When an individual has experienced trauma it needs to be processed in a safe and healthy manner in order to lay to rest the emotional issues that are associated with past events. a range of techniques are used in order to strive to achieve this goal. These techniques may include trauma reduction sessions, during which we help the client to explore and understand the nature of the trauma.
– anxiety and exhaustion
A study by WHO estimated that 264 million people globally were living with an anxiety disorder. We all react to stress in different ways. Some individuals may experience an enormous amount of stress and process it in a healthy manner. Others may not. Burnout is an anxiety disorder that locks people in a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. The condition is commonly encountered in a work environment, but it can be experienced by anyone in any stressful situation. It exists when a person is no longer able to function adequately.
Most of us have days when we temporarily feel overloaded, but when the pressure of constant stress becomes intolerable it can take a massive toll on our wellbeing. Burnout reduces a person’s productivity and saps their energy, and can leave them feeling hopeless, angry and resentful. It can also lead to physical problems such as heart palpitations, chest pains, and recurrent sickness. It can also be associated with the increased use of alcohol or other substances.
Stressful experiences that can contribute to burnout can include a heavy workload, financial or legal difficulties, family arguments, relationship problems, health issues or the loss of a loved one. However, with professional help and support from qualified clinical experts, it is possible to overcome burnout by learning to process stress in a healthy way.
– when caring becomes a compulsion
Codependency is a compulsive disorder that can lead to an individual developing an unhealthy reliance on people or things for their emotional needs. Originally, the term ‘codependent’ as used to describe partners who were in a relationship with, a person suffering from addiction. Similar patterns can exist in relationships with individuals who are chronically ill. However, the term has now broadened to describe any codependent person. ‘Codependents’ always have good intentions. They may try to care for a person who is experiencing difficulties, but their care becomes self-defeating as it only enables destructive behaviour to continue.
Codependency is a learned behaviour that can be passed from one generation to the next in dysfunctional families. Suffering from fear, anger, pain or shame, which is ignored or denied is an outcome of the disorder. Underlying issues may also include physical, emotional or sexual abuse. However, with the help and support of qualified professionals and clinical experts, it is possible to overcome codependency.
Sessions will be insight oriented in nature and the effectiveness of interpersonal therapy is often strengthened by cognitive methods that allow to confront a dysfunctional dichotomous way of thinking about a dependent personality. A tailor-made therapeutic plan is designed to strengthen weakened personality structures and remodel relationships. This helps you to regain a sense of autonomy and happiness.
Loneliness, a complicated emotion that typically occurs when one’s needs for social contact are not met, may be described as a feeling of emptiness that results from isolation. A person may be lonely when alone, but the state of being alone does not necessarily indicate loneliness.
Loneliness can mean different things, depending on one’s situation and individual needs, but it is generally considered to be a negative or undesirable state. Feelings of loneliness may develop when one lacks fulfillment in one’s social relationships, but just as a person who is alone is not necessarily lonely, a person can be lonely without being alone.
A person in a romantic relationship who has few friends may feel lonely in the partner’s absence or find the relationship to be somehow lacking in other ways, and a person who has many strong friendships might still feel lonely at times. An individual who is not in a relationship and desires romantic companionship might also experience loneliness.
Experiences that might also contribute to feelings of loneliness include:
A person who feels lonely may often be physically alone, but many individuals choose to remain alone, maintaining few social connections. This state of being alone is not the same as loneliness: In most cases, a person who is alone by choice enjoys and welcomes solitude.
A sense of loneliness is often accompanied by the belief that one has no choice in the matter. For many people, loneliness is a transient state that passes eventually. But when one’s social needs and desires go consistently unfulfilled, feelings of loneliness may become chronic and debilitating and lead to a decline in mental health.
Loneliness has been linked to a variety of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and substance dependency. It may also contribute to disruptions in eating and sleeping patterns. Feelings of loneliness may sometimes develop to such an extent that they lead an individual to engage in acts of self-harm or have thoughts of suicide.
Several studies show that adolescents who are lonely may be more likely to use drugs or alcohol and become sexually active at an earlier age than peers who are not lonely. Teens experiencing loneliness have also been shown to be more likely to engage in risky and unsafe sex or exhibit aggressive behavior.
The distress associated with loneliness can be significant and may lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Pursuing a new hobby, taking up a sport, volunteering in the community, or attending social events can help reduce distress by increasing one’s opportunities to form friendships. Engaging and meaningful activities can also help a person cope with loneliness by making time spent alone more meaningful.
Those wishing to expand or rebuild their social connections may find social networking or dating sites to be useful, as these sites can help one locate people with common interests, reestablish contact with old friends, or form romantic attachments.
Individuals who are shy, experience social anxiety, or are reluctant to take social risks may be more likely to describe themselves as lonely and may have difficulty forming lasting and satisfying relationships. When a person finds it challenging to reach out to others or self-disclose in order to form closeness and trust—both of which are generally necessary for a strong relationship to develop—therapy can often help.
An individual who seeks therapy to address feelings of loneliness may find it helpful to explore potential factors that may contribute to these feelings. Often, these factors can be discussed and resolved in therapy. For example, a person who feels lonely after the death of a close family member may be able to work through these feelings in therapy, addressing grief and loneliness together. A person in therapy can also challenge and modify any thought patterns or perceptions that are associated with or contribute to loneliness, such as a perceived lack of control over life or social situations.
When a person experiences loneliness due to a difficulty making and maintaining friendships, social skills training might be used in combination with other forms of therapy in order to further develop social strengths and communication skills. As part of such training, individuals may practice beginning and ending conversations, giving and receiving compliments, and using or making sense of nonverbal forms of communication. This kind of training can often encourage people to feel more confident about making social connections, which may help them become better able to do so.