Globally, around 5% of adults suffer from depression. In the U.S. alone, about 16 million adults succumb to this mental health condition every year. If you happen to experience it, you’d want to know how to get the correct treatment. (1)
Research indicates that one of the most effective treatments for anxiety and depression is psychological therapy, otherwise referred to as counselling or psychotherapy. Suppose you reside in a city like Vancouver, BC – in that case, you’d want to reach out to Vancouver counsellors near your neighborhood and seek help. (2) (3).
Before getting into the details of how counselling sessions can help you out of anxiety and depression, it pays to know a few things about these states of mental health.
Understanding anxiety and depression
Anxiety refers to the manner in which your mind and body react when confronted with stressful, unfamiliar, and perilous situations. You usually become uneasy and terrified of what might befall you. While it’s critical in helping you stay aware and alert, anxiety can considerably incapacitate you when it grows to an abnormal level.
Anxiety can lead to depression if left untreated. Depression refers to the persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in life. It leads to several physical and emotional problems, meaning your optimum functionality at work, home, or school suffers a blow.
How can you tell whether you have anxiety and depression?
The following are some of the most common tell-tale signs of anxiety and depression:
- Unending sadness
- Getting disinterested in once gratifying activities
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feeling unimportant
- Poor concentration and memory
- Consistent head and stomach aches that don’t respond to medication
- Excessive eating or feeble appetite
- Exaggerated sleeping duration or sleeping too little
- Finding it a challenge falling asleep
- Being easily irritable
If you experience any of the above, make a point of consulting your doctor before sliding further into depression. Even if your schedule is tight, you can take advantage of telehealth services, such as online counselling Vancouver.
While many say that depression arises from a chemical imbalance in the brain, studies reveal that it’s a complex mental condition with many possible causes, such as erroneous mood regulation in the brain, nerve-racking life events, inherited susceptibility, medical conditions, and medications. A combination of these factors triggers millions of chemical reactions, which end up affecting your state of mind and perception of life. (4)
Having said that, here are some of the most common events that may lead to anxiety and depression:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Death of a loved one
- Chronic pain
- Terminal illnesses, such as pancreatic cancer and Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
- Being part of a family that has members suffering from depression
- Divorce and other marital conflicts
- Drinking too much alcohol and abusing other drugs
- Taking certain medications, such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and the acne drug isotretinoin
- Having a perfectionist personality
- Living alone with no social support
- Job loss
In the face of such stressful events, you wouldn’t want to wait until you slide into anxiety and depression so that you seek professional help. It’s best to see a counsellor as soon as you can so that they can help you overcome the grief and sadness.
How counselling helps
Almost all literature and research conclude that counselling is effective in warding off depression. So, you can put your trust in it as an evidence-based treatment. (5)
Oftentimes, you’ll find that you have depression and anxiety but don’t know the root cause of the problem. So, when you consult a counsellor, together you can better understand what is underlying your distress, the core issues, and determine ways to overcome these issues.
Also, counsellors help you regain autonomy in your life. When depressed, you may try and self-medicate, like drinking heavily, which might make things even harder. With the help of counselors, you can learn more adaptive coping strategies that’ll positively impact your life. In this same sense, they’ll help you set healthy boundaries, such as setting aside enough time to work on yourself, eating healthy, exercising adequately, and more.
- “Depression,” https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
- “Treatment of anxiety disorders,” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573566/
- “Vancouver Island more depressed than rest of B.C according to medical records,” https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-island-more-depressed-than-rest-of-b-c-according-to-medical-records-1.3671610
- “What causes depression?” https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression#:~:text=Depression%20has%20many%20possible%20causes%2C%20including%20faulty%20mood,of%20these%20forces%20interact%20to%20bring%20on%20depression.
- “Counseling Effectiveness,” http://www.healthsurvey.com/counselingeffectiveness.htm