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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
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, childhood abuse and neglect, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault. It can also occur in any situation where the person feels that their life is in danger. PTSD is treatable with a variety of inerventions utilized at Choices.
Addiction is any repeated behavior, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his life or the lives of others. Choices is a fully licensed Drug and Alcohol Facility for the State of Pennsylvania.
The ACE Score (Adverse Childhood Experiences Scale). Trauma is oftentimes the core issue with many of my clients and this video explains why. Many times Trauma is the root cause of depression and anxiety. Choices Clinical Counseling in Johnstown provides counseling services for Trauma Based Disorders.
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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