It is common for each of us to have moments when we feel down or overwhelmed. For many of us, these feelings pass in a short time. When symptoms such as no sleeping, persistent worry, loss of interests, disruption in eating, panic attacks etc. persist beyond two weeks, we need to address depression and/or anxiety as a diagnosis and treat accordingly.
What brings about depression and/or anxiety? The answer; many things. Phases of life such as transitioning from college to professional life, retirement, having children, loss, and post pregnancy can all invite depression/anxiety. A change in health status, change of the seasons, hormonal shifts, medication changes, conflict within the home or at work, loss of purpose etc. can all usher in depression/anxiety as well.
So how do we treat it? Again the answer is in many ways. Sometimes any combination of medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, exercise, meditation, behavioral changes etc. can lend towards curbing depression/anxiety. The first step is assessing what is going on and what interventions might be most appropriate for the individual. In some instances, suicidal thoughts or actions may be a part of the mix. Our number one priority is to make sure folks are safe and properly supported. As a practice, we do not accept new clients who are actively suicidal but instead refer out to partners who are well equipped to provide the necessary safety and structure for that person. Lastly, there is no shame in acknowledging and treating depression and/or anxiety. More and more we see elevated levels of depression and anxiety due to increased demands on us. Seeking support early on is effective and an act of self-care.