Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable.
Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can impair a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.
Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes.
Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life.
Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve excessive fear or anxiety.
Anxiety refers to anticipation of a future concern and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior.
Fear is an emotional response to an immediate threat and is more associated with a fight or flight reaction – either staying to fight or leaving to escape danger.
Anxiety disorders can cause people to try to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, school work and personal relationships can be affected.
Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30 percent of adults at some point in their lives. But anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective treatments are available. Treatment helps most people lead normal productive lives.
In general, for a person to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the fear or anxiety must:
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder.
An adjustment disorder is an emotional or behavioral reaction to a stressful event or change in a person's life. The reaction is considered an unhealthy or excessive response to the event or change within three months of it happening.
All of Choices clinicians can provide a variety of interventions for adjustment disorders.
These problems can result from temporary stressors in the child's life or they might represent more enduring disorders. The most common disruptive behavior disorders include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Choices clinicians can help with all of these disorders providing a range of treatment options for these difficulties.
Choices counselors will use a variety of different interventions to achieve lasting change and healing for all of the above mentioned challenges.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors.
The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person.
Select Choices clinicians have extensive experience in successfully providing help and insight into Autism.
Grief counseling is a form of psychotherapy that aims to help people cope with the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive responses to loss.
All Choices clinicians provide treatment and help for dealing with the loss of a loved one. Death of a loved one is one of the top reasons that individuals seek counseling. Choices interventions such as EMDR can help to process and resolve feelings of guilt, resentment and move you towards acceptance of the loss.
If you are still experiencing the same level of depression and anxiety 6 months to a year after the person has passed away you may need some extra help.
A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people.
This enduring pattern of relating to other individuals causes distress or impairment in relationships and can cause difficulty with careers, marriages and overall satisfaction with life. Borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and avoidant personality disorders are difficult to treat as a result of their rigid approach to life.
One of the primary characteristics of a personality disorder is the lack of reflective capacity and the inability to adjust. Counselors at choices can help work through these various issues through developing new coping capacities in dealing with the underlying issues that contribute to the personality disorder.
Often times individuals with a personality disorder struggles with depression, anxiety and a variety of other comorbid mental health issues. With effective clinical treatment the frequency, duration and pattern of negative behaviors can be adjusted to achieve a healthy outcome.
All Choices clinicians provide treatment for marital issues involving trust, infidelity and communication struggles. Marital counseling can help to increase the level of happiness and connectedness in marriages and prevent divorce.
Select Choices counselors can help with change of life issues in 65 and older age groups. Whether you are struggling with a chronic health condition or some transitional anxiety after retirement, Choices counselors can help. A variety of interventions can be adapted and adjusted to successfully target depression, anxiety and adjustment issues in older populations.
Research also suggests that for older adults, psychotherapy is just as likely to be an effective first treatment option for depression as taking an antidepressant. Some older adults prefer to get counseling or psychotherapy for depression rather than add more medications to those they are already taking for other conditions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as:
It can also occur in any situation where the person feels that their life is in danger. PTSD is treatable with a variety of interventions utilized at Choices.
Choices counselors are able to help you stand up for yourself and build your confidence. This involves education and application of interventions to protect you from the so called "Dark Triad" of personality traits.
Often times therapists and counselors miss this angle. We all know that some individuals do NOT have your best interests in mind. Knowing how to protect yourself when you need to is paramount.
You have likely experienced "gaslighting" in your life. Originating from the 1944 film "Gaslight", gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment. Choices clinicians can help you identify and prevent this from happening to you.
In psychology, the dark triad comprises of personality traits such as Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy. They are called "dark" because of their malevolent qualities.
Narcissism is characterized by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.
Machiavellianism is a personality trait that denotes cunningness, the ability to be manipulative, and a drive to use whatever means necessary to gain power.
These traits can lead to considerable harm to those who are on the receiving end of these individuals. Whether you are the person inflicting the harm or receiving it we can help.
“The older I get the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do.”
The ACE Score (Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale).
Many times Trauma is the root cause of depression and anxiety.
Choices provides top of the line trauma work to reprocess trauma and move on with your life.
The main ideas is not to reopen old wounds, but to heal them so you can start new patterns in your life.
Once core issues are dealt with your thinking will adjust around these new patterns of thought.
All of these mental health challenges are treated in a calm and safe environment in the Geistown area of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Call with any questions or concerns and I look forward to talking to you.
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