When you’re feeling inexplicably sad or chronically worried, life may seem too dark to see a bright side. Are anxiety and depression treatable? The answer is a reassuring ‘yes.’
The part of that ‘yes’ you may not want to hear is that treatment isn’t accomplished with a bandaid or a week in bed. It’s a process — a journey into what can sometimes feel like foreign territory.
It’s a journey into you.
And unlike treatments for illness, disease or injury, treatment for anxiety and depression requires your full attention and participation. You are, in essence, the most important part of your treatment team.
That may sound like a lot of work, especially if you don’t know what lies ahead. Even more so if depression has you feeling too tired and disinterested to brush your teeth, let alone help yourself feel better.
And God knows anxiety can be a killjoy to anything and everything, and at any given moment.
The Journey Starts With Recognizing You Want To Begin To Change
Consider that over 40 million adult Americans are affected by some form of anxiety, and almost 15% of those also have major depressive disorder. Sadly, only 30% of those 40 million actually seek help, despite the multitude of treatment options available.
Perhaps the follow-up question to “Are anxiety and depression treatable?” should be, “Are you ready to take your life to a higher level of happiness and health?”
If you are, then treatment is available. And knowledgeable, compassionate people are ready to meet you where you are, and to accompany you on a life-changing journey.
So where do you start? Are Anxiety and Depression Treatable?
Awareness of your need for help is obviously the first step. Would you know how to recognize depression or anxiety if they were disrupting your life?
Consider some of the surprising signs of depression:
risky sexual behavior
It’s important that treatment be tailored to each individual person. We work together to decide what is the best course of action.
While anxiety and depression are like flip sides of the same coin, they actually fuel one another. And for that reason, they are often treated similarly.
If, however, one disorder is causing more distress than the other, the plan may be to treat that one first.
How, then, are anxiety and depression treatable?
These the primary methods I use to treat anxiety and depression.
There are several forms of therapy, and even more types of therapists. Give yourself permission to talk with several therapists before deciding on one to work with. A therapist can guide you in finding the root cause of your depression or anxiety. As a team, you explore what might be going on. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy are two methods that can help.
In answering the question “Are anxiety and depression treatable?” the treatment options available to you aren’t limited to talk therapy. There are many other therapeutic modalities, as well as initiatives you can take on your own to mitigate your anxiety and/or depression.
If you have experienced a significant trauma that continues to negatively affect your life and functioning, for example, you may be a good candidate for EMDR.
EMDR: Are Anxiety and Depression Treatable? Yes.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing originated in the late 1980’s as a means of treating PTSD.
When trauma happens, it becomes “stuck” in the memory with all its original sensory and emotional context. When that trauma is triggered later in life, all of those original sensations are re-lived.
In EMDR sessions, you focus on the traumatic event while also focusing on the therapist’s moving fingers.
The dual attention processing ”unsticks” the event so the brain can re-process and integrate it.
EMDR is just one example of a therapeutic modality that can be used in isolation or in combination with other treatments.
Neurofeedback is a method that rewires the brain and helps you feel calm and more regulated using brain training. It brings the brain into a healthier way of being and helps you feel resilient, focused and able to more easily handle what happens in life. Neurofeedback is an important tool if you’re wondering: are anxiety and depression treatable.
Just as important as the treatment plan you create with a professional are the lifestyle changes you implement to nourish your mental health.
Life Style Changes
Some may sound simple and even routine. But when you are exhausted from the anxiety-depression tug-of-war, even the simple expressions of self-care can seem like a huge effort.
Nevertheless, these are vitally important steps to take, whether or not you have already sought professional help.
This proven mood-booster will get your brain bathing in feel-good endorphins and a rush of cleansing oxygen. Mental clarity will help you see yourself in a more positive light, and will increase your self-esteem and confidence.
While high-intensity exercise 3-5 times a week is best, even a brisk walk can unleash those endorphins.
Anxiety and depression can be like a lazy babysitter when it comes to nutrition. They are notorious for triggering carb cravings under the guise of providing comfort. Don’t fall for it.
Build your dietary regimen around lean proteins, good fats like omega-3’s, leafy greens, and fruits and vegetables.
Keeping your blood sugars on an even keel will go a long way toward keeping your emotions level, too.
De-cluttering your surroundings will automatically help to de-clutter your mind. This can be especially helpful if you suffer from anxiety.
Not having to look at piles of things that trigger panic and worry will liberate your mind. Then it can rest, enjoy the present…and dream for the future.
Do something meaningful
There really is truth in the saying that one of the best ways to feel better is to “get outside yourself.” Get involved with a charity or project…or join a group that serves and celebrates together.
Having a sense of purpose will get your feet on the floor in the morning and make you grateful to be alive. After all, not feeling a sense of purpose is one of the most common symptoms of depression.
Reach out for support amongst those who already love and care about you.
Even if you work with a therapist, having healthy personal relationships will keep you connected to life.
Strong relationships help you feel better. They build your confidence and remind you that you are important to the world.
If you suffer with anxiety and/or depression, the last thing you should be wondering is “Are anxiety and depression treatable?”
Remind yourself that these disorders are treatable. And even though there is work involved, your life will become richly authentic, and you will realize that you are the one in control, not the anxiety and depression.
If you are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, please reach out to me by leaving a message on my confidential voice mail at 310-314-6933 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.