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 be present for at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.
Also, medical conditions like thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies can mimic symptoms of depression, so it is important to rule out general medical causes. This can be identified with simple blood work at your doctor's office.
Depression affects an estimated one in fifteen 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-twenties. 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, schoolwork and personal relationships can be affected.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders and affect 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.
Why is it hard to maintain success?
The thinking style associated with maintaining success is different than the thinking skills that got you there. If you do not question your assumptions, mental models, success habits, principles, and actions daily, your success can nosedive. The social and economic terrain is constantly changing and as you gain more power and status it leads to more risk. Manage this through strong character, morals, and values. To quote the late great Steven Covey, "Private victory precedes public victory."
Being successful can be the biggest impediment to maintaining that success because the more successful you are at something, the more convinced you become that you are doing it right. If you do not question your assumptions, mental models, success habits, principles, and actions daily, your success can be your downfall.
What is imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills. Many highly successful people feel that they "didn't earn it" or " will be found to be a fraud". This occurs from guilt about being wealthy and successful. Identifying this core distorted thought process will be the reason you keep and continue your success.
Elevated levels of stress, status and visibility not only create the need for more advanced problem-solving skills, but new methods for managing an ever changing work and social environment. In the public eye your image matters and Choices provides leadership to professionals in navigating these situations. Select Choices therapists offer an objective and balanced perspective for working professionals.
Examples of familiar challenges include office politics, public relations advice, management techniques and effective methods to build relationships. Professions that benefit from this service are doctors, lawyers, business leaders, celebrities in the public eye, professional athletes, and entrepreneurs. Many of these individuals, as a result of their high-status positions, feel isolated and unable to communicate their needs. These high-level positions can cause stress within relationships, personal friendships, and social situations.
What is self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is any action or behavior where an individual consciously or unconsciously engages in a behavior to destroy their success.
If you truly do not feel like you deserve something you will act in a manner that brings this into reality. Common examples of this are musicians, celebrities and entertainers using drugs excessively and ruining their image and lives. Affairs, legal struggles, overspending, drug and alcohol use, procrastination, arrogance, and inflated egos will lead to disaster. While many non-celebrities engage in these behaviors when one is in the public eye it is exponentially worse. Your reputation is intimately tied to your success and when it is damaged your ability to earn a living secure work is affected. Working through underlying issues to prevent this will make all the difference.
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).
Choice’s 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 capabilities in dealing with the underlying issues that contribute to the personality disorder.
Often times individuals with a personality disorder struggle with depression, anxiety, and a variety of other comorbid mental health issues. With effective clinical treatment new and healthy ways of living will be achieved.
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.
Stoker Wieczorek interviews Adam Kleinman about treatment and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Adam Kleinman, LCSW
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 be is paramount.
You may have 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 will 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 idea 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. While our virtual services primarily focus on Greensburg, PA. If you are receiving help via online/virtual counseling services you can be from anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania. Call with any questions or concerns and we look forward to talking to you!
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