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Depression and anxiety are mood disorders that are becoming more and more common. With the stress of today’s work demands, increasing rifts in the political landscape, and the worries related to student loans and credit card debt, it’s no wonder that people are finding themselves in need of mental healthcare. In fact, about 46.6 million people experience mental illness every year. Unfortunately, only about half of all people who are living with mental health problems seek help. The good news is, both depression and anxiety are becoming less stigmatized and awareness efforts are being made. It’s not uncommon for celebrities to discuss their mental health on social media and to be transparent about their struggles with anxiety and depression. If you find yourself in need of help, it’s important to know what your options are and to make an informed decision about treatments and solutions.
Choosing a therapist
The first step in any treatment process is finding a therapist that is right for you. Whether you’re looking for a therapist in Washington DC or in New York, the first place to start is by doing a quick internet search. Consider looking through online directories such as your insurance company’s provider page. Alternatively, ask your family and friends if they have any recommendations. If they’ve had a good experience with a therapist, there’s a good chance you will, too. Also important to consider is whether or not you would prefer working with a female or male therapist. If you’d feel most comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with a male therapist, that will focus your search.
Additionally, you should figure out what your potential therapist’s theoretical orientation is. For example, if you’re dealing with depression and anxiety, it might be best to work with a cognitive-behavioral therapist. Once you’ve decided on the therapist you want to see, just give them a call or send them an email to set up a first session. This phone call, and your first session, are great opportunities to ask questions and to figure out if the therapist is the best fit for you. Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable with the therapist, that’s completely fine. You can always ask for a referral. It’s very important to have a good, trusting relationship with your therapist in order for you to thrive.
While therapy is always the best place to start when seeking relief from your depression and anxiety, sometimes medication is necessary. There are many kinds of medications that can be used to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, some antidepressants can also be used to treat anxiety. Many people find relief by taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SRRIs, such as Celexa or Zoloft. Another kind of serotonin-related medication, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), is also frequently effective. Examples include Cymbalta or Pristiq. Less frequently, doctors may prescribe a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI) to treat depression. Whichever medication you and your doctor decide to try, it’s key to remember that everyone’s brain is different. If your medication doesn’t work for you, there are many other options out there. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time to find the right medication for your specific presentation of depression and anxiety. Just make sure to stay in touch and be communicative with your doctor and your therapist.
While it’s best to trust your therapist and doctors to help you find the best treatment plan, there are some natural remedies to consider adding to your regime. Herbal supplements such as St. John’s wort are frequently recommended, and cutting down on your alcohol consumption can also be very helpful. Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil is also helpful for anxiety and depression. Derived from hemp plants, CBD doesn’t contain THC, so it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling that marijuana does. CBD oil can be taken orally or in CBD patches and can help relieve mild feelings of anxiety and depression. If you are considering such a route, just be sure to check with your doctor first before adding anything new to your routine, as it may conflict with your medication.
Anxiety and depression are both difficult to live with, but relief is right around the corner. All you have to do is take the first step towards finding the best solution for you.