Please note I only treat persons 18 and older
Everyone will have moments when one feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life. However, when these feelings last for a short period of times, we might call it a case of “the blues.” But when these feelings last for more than two weeks, they might begin to interfere with your ability to complete daily activities such as taking care of your family, going to work or school, or maybe you find yourself not enjoying things you once did.
Major depression is a treatable illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and functions. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. In 2014, around 15.7 million adults age 18 or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year, which represented 6.7 percent of all American adults. At any point in time, 3 to 5 percent of adults suffer from major depression; the lifetime risk is about 17 percent. As many as 2 out of 100 young children and 8 out of 100 teens may have serious depression.
When depression worsens one can begin experiencing thoughts of suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives. Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.
People with anxiety disorder experience excessive anxiety and worry, often about health, family, money, or work. This worrying goes on every day, possibly all day. It disrupts social activities and interferes with work, school, or family. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is diagnosed in adults when they experience at least three of the symptoms below on more days than not for at least six months; only one symptom is required in children. However anxiety disorders can manifest beyond the symptoms described above. Some experience specific phobias related to certain objects, places, or situations. Others can experience social phobia which can impact their ability to function around others. In more serious cases others can experienced Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Most adults who have OCD are aware that their obsessions and compulsions are irrational, yet they feel powerless to stop them. They may spend several hours every day focusing on obsessive thoughts and performing seemingly senseless rituals involving hand-washing, counting, or checking to ward off persistent, unwelcome thoughts, feelings, or images. These can interfere with a person’s normal routine, schoolwork, job, family, or social activities. Trying to concentrate on daily activities may be difficult. Since many of the symptoms of panic disorder mimic those of heart disease, thyroid problems, breathing disorders, and other illnesses, people with panic disorder often make many visits to emergency rooms or doctors’ offices, convinced they have a life-threatening issue.
We all experience psychological trauma in our lives. In fact, experiencing trauma is a very human experience that we all encounter, whether it be losing a loved one, being fired from a job, getting divorced. In many cases we are able to recovery from these instances and go on with our lives and experience occasional thought of the experience, or occasional sadness. However, some individuals can develop symptoms that can be distressing and impact our jobs, families, and daily living. Here are some important facts to consider about trauma:
· Psychological trauma is first and foremost treatable.
· Just because the traumatic even was in your childhood does not mean you are not being impacted by trauma
· Common traumas experienced by individuals include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse (often by a family member or someone close).
· Some people develop psychological concerns such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and/or suicidal thoughts.
· Persons who experience trauma are more likely to develop problems with alcohol and/or drugs.
· Some trauma is life threatening, some are emotionally threatening.
Others might say your trauma was “not a big deal.” I say, if it is traumatic to you, then it is traumatic! Trauma is a treatable condition that if not addressed will worsen in many instances. Common treatments for trauma are E.M.D.R. and C.B.T. In some cases, a person can experience significant improvement in 8-12 sessions. Especially if the symptoms are addressed in the early stages.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (E.M.D.R.)
EMDR is a treatment that was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro that enables people to recover from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
· Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference.
· EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.
· EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes.