Life is full of events that must be endured and overcome whether we like it or not but you’re never alone. For example, a friend or family member dies unexpectedly; you are laid off at work; you lose your home in a tornado or flood; your teenage son is using drugs; your marriage is headed for divorce; you can’t pay your bills on time; and on and on and on. At times it may seem like nothing good is happening in your life.
When Anxiety Rules Your Life Remember You’re Never Alone.
Everyone feels anxiety at certain times. It’s natural to worry or grieve when certain events occur. In fact, you may feel anxiety when specific events occur that are truly brief but seem very important. Typical examples include an important job interview, taking a test or giving a speech. However, once the event is over the anxiety should subside.
In cases where anxiety becomes more intense and endures for 6 months or more, the emotional and mental distress is abnormal. Anxiety is not just “being worried.” When it’s intense, anxiety actually interferes with your ability to enjoy your relationships, family, social events, work and life in general. You may experience sudden panic attacks or feel dread when there’s nothing to fear. When an event occurs that justifies a normal anxiety attack, you experience fear that is out of proportion to the event.
You can have ongoing anxiety about only certain things too. For example, health anxiety syndrome refers to a condition in which people over-react to any health symptom, no matter how small, and blow it up into a major issue. A headache may be interpreted as a brain tumor. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic mental disorder in which daily functioning is impaired. It can cause muscle tension, insomnia, fatigue, irritability and a host of other problems. Unfortunately, most people who have GAD have been going through the mental distress for 15 years before getting therapeutic help.1
Their are Many Forms of Depression but You’re Never Alone
Anxiety is not depression, but it can cross the line into depression. Depression is a state of despondency in which you feel inadequate, hopeless and fatigued. People experiencing depression may manage to go through the motions of living their lives, but there is no interest or joy. In many cases, these people simply quit trying and begin to mentally and then physically withdraw. Left untreated, depression can raise your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, dementia and bone disease. Some of those risks are associated with poor nutrition because you simply don’t care what you eat or when you eat it and may be experiencing digestive problems.
Clearly there are different forms of anxiety and different forms of depression. Depression may be a major depressive order that interferes with a person’s ability to function. It may take the form of a dysthymic disorder meaning it doesn’t disable you in terms of functioning but episodes of major depression do occur.
Listen to Your Body and Feelings, You’re Never Alone
Anxiety and depression can result from feelings that life is out of balance. When coping skills fail us or when events become overwhelming, like the death of a spouse, anyone can find themselves focusing on the event at the exclusion of everything else. An anxiety attack or depressive episode is your body, mind and spirit telling you that you need help.
Psychotherapy has been very successful helping people overcome anxiety or depression by using a variety of treatment options. The therapist can use cognitive-behavioral strategies, psychodynamic methods or interpersonal approaches to work with individuals and break the cycle.
You don’t have to wait until experiencing a panic attack or falling deeper into depression. According to the American Psychological Association, 14 psychotherapy treatment hours after major heart surgery reduces rates of re-entry into the hospital. In addition, seeking therapy before a medical event can result in a short stay in the hospital. Therapy is instrumental in reducing anxiety.
How much therapy you will need depends on the type and intensity of the disorder. For example, one study reported that women experiencing recurring depression could maintain remission with one psychotherapy session per month. The question people have is this: Will I have to traipse back and forth to the therapist’s office to meet face-to-face s that you’re never alone?
A Phone Call Makes an Ideal Therapy Delivery System because You’re Never Alone
The answer is “no” thanks to the phone. You can access a phone therapist by simply calling. In fact, most psychotherapists include phone therapy in their treatment programs because the phone makes it easier to maintain regular contact which is important. People experiencing anxiety and depression often fail to keep face-to-face appointments due to barriers like work schedules or anxiety about talking to a medical professional.
Telephone administered cognitive-behavioral therapy strategies have actually proven to be much more effective than therapy appointments. This is true for the simple reason that clients can easily access the treatments and don’t drop out like they do when it’s necessary to keep appointments. The gains made were also maintained as long as follow-up therapy was accessed.
The nine-to-five appointment-only therapy delivery model requiring face-to-face meetings does not reach enough people who could benefit from psychotherapy. In fact, traditional therapy setting are failing to provide the help people with anxiety or depression need because it’s too difficult to connect. Evidence is showing that short intense therapy sessions on a regular basis are most effective and make sure you’re never alone from therapy for long.5 Phone therapy or internet based therapy for that matter, are ideal delivery systems.
In other words, there is no reason why you should not get the help you need. You don’t have to cope alone with anxiety or depression no matter what form it has taken because in reality you’re never alone.