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Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression do not have to interfere with the way you live your life. Effective treatment for both is possible. Working with an experienced psychotherapist can help bring about real change and real relief.

I’ve worked with many people who initially felt hopeless about their symptoms, then found that, with a little time and effort, psychotherapy really can help.

Below are the symptoms for commonly encountered anxiety and depressive disorders as spelled out in the DSM (courtesy of Wikipedia).  Most of these are likely to ring a bell with just about everyone.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):

  • Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
  • An unrealistic view of problems
  • Restlessness or a feeling of being “edgy”
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • The need to go to the bathroom frequently
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Trembling
  • Being easily startled

Sound familiar?  There are several types of anxiety in addition to Generalized Anxiety–Panic Disorder, OCD, Social Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD), Phobias… Take a look at WebMD’s anxiety and panic page for more information.

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD):

  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • fatigue and decreased energy
  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • irritability, restlessness
  • loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • overeating or appetite loss
  • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Everyone experiences some of these symptoms from time to time.  It’s when you have several of these symptoms for two weeks or more that you meet the criteria for a depression diagnosis.  For more info, try WebMD’s depression overview page.

To discuss what you’re going through and arrange a first appointment, please call or write: (323) 610-0112, wb@willbaum.com.

In the meantime, some helpful books:

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression, by Kirk Strosahl and Patricia Robinson

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety, by John Forsyth and Georg Eifert

Peaceful Mind: Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology to Overcome Depression, by John McQuaid and Paula Carmona

A Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction Workbook, by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein

Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach

Feeling Good, by David Burns

More recommended reading here.  For still more information–including news, studies, and coping skills–try the blog.  Here are posts tagged anxiety and depression.