I will never forget the day my psychologist diagnosed me of depression and anxiety (panic episodes or panic attacks when the situation or trigger arises).
There are many things that you have to consider when it comes to handling matters involving your mental health. “One in four people will suffer a mental health condition in their lifetime,” says Simon Pestell, clinical psychologist, and it can be disheartening to find out that you have a mental illness that you have to deal with. It will be challenging on your part to handle the situation, especially if you have no one to help you in this difficult moment of your life. Do not worry because everything is only temporary, which means that things will get better soon. Below are some of the tips and tricks to keep in mind if you want to overcome your mental health problems smartly:
The first thing that you must do is to educate yourself more about your current condition. The best way to do this is to ask your doctor for an explanation. Listen to what he has to say so that you can have an idea about your sickness. “People often don’t realize that depression isn’t just one thing. It can have different causes and presentations. Some people look sad, others are more irritable, some withdraw, and others seem restless,” according to Lisa Moses, PsyD.At the same time, you can also check resources from the Internet. Fortunately, many journals and publications are now available online, which means that it is not possible to get easy access. However, it is crucial for you to be careful in verifying the sources of your research to ensure that you will not get wrong information.
Find Someone To Talk To
Things are going to change in your life the moment you start to suffer from a mental health problem. Your days will be darker because you will find it hard to accept your situation. Because of this, it would be convenient on your part to be a loner. You would rather be alone than to talk or bond with someone else. Take note that this option is not ideal because the right thing to do is to be with a person whom you can trust. Make sure that you discuss the problems that you experience in your life. By opening up about these issues, you start to free yourself from some burdens.
Seek Professional Help
The next thing that you must also take into consideration is to start looking for the right therapist or psychiatrist who can help you with your case. Keep in mind that you cannot do the treatment on your own. There is a necessity to get in touch with a professional who has proven expertise and experience in the field of mental health. Remember that you cannot entrust your safety and mental condition to someone who is not licensed to cure or treat patients like you. As such, it is imperative or crucial on your part to connect only with trusted and reliable mental health experts. Do not be careless in choosing the professional who will take good care of you. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing more complications instead of proper assistance or supervision.
The stigma is such a challenge, according to licensed clinical psychologist Monnica T. Williams, Ph.D., ABPP, “Talking about problems with an outsider (i.e., therapist) may be viewed as airing one’s “dirty laundry,” and even more telling is the fact that over a quarter of those consumers felt that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate even among family.”
But you’ll have to make that choice.
Always Choose To Cooperate
Take note that treatments to mental health problems take time before you can fully recover. Hence, there may be a need to keep on coming back to the office of the mental health expert. At the same time, you may also be required to participate in different activities. What you need to do is to make yourself available for all the requirements that the therapist or psychiatrist may order you to do. Aside from this, you must find a way to maintain an open and honest relationship with the said professional. Keep in mind that your cooperation in professional engagement is the key that will help you get over your mental health problem.
Above all else, do not forget to care for yourself no matter what happens. Take note that you are a fantastic person who deserves all the love and care in this world. Just because you are mentally sick or ill does not mean that there is no more hope left in your life. Do not forget that there is always a solution to your problem. As long as you follow the tips and tricks mentioned above, everything is going to be okay in your life. Be brave enough to ask for help from the right people. Most importantly, you have to start putting yourself as a top priority so that you can become better.
“No doubt about it, Sarah. You are clinically depressed. And those tremors and flashes that you’ve been experiencing, those are brought about by your anxiety. Yes, you have panic anxiety, as well. I’d call my psychiatrist partner right now to come here, with your consent of course, so that she could prescribe you an antidepressant. I think you need it.” That’s what my psychologist said to me eight months ago when my sister brought me for an assessment. It was all a blur. I may have heard them saying words like online therapy, counseling, depression, panic, and all those medical terms. When she said antidepressant, I just went blank.
I often talk about depression to other people, and most of them would enumerate the signs and symptoms that they all feel – loneliness, sadness, low self-confidence, lack of enthusiasm to live, erratic sleep patterns, no or too much appetite, and suicidal thoughts. Their family members would attest to seeing these symptoms inside and outside of their homes. “When you find yourself spending more than you can afford, drinking or using drugs often, making knee-jerk relationship choices, or having overblown reactions to others, it could be a sign of deeper problems,” says Ryan Howes, PhD. These are some of the most common manifestations of depression.
However, there are some individuals diagnosed with depression who are very irritable and have sudden bursts of anger or deep-seated feeling of rage within them. It seems that they are angry with anything and everything about their life. Their co-workers trigger their mood swings, their children piss them off quicker than usual, and even their friends provoke a temper.
So how are irritability and anger associated with depression? Are they connected in some way?
Depression And Anger
Some psychologists would say that depression is ‘anger turned inward.’ But when that deep-seated anger manages to lurk outward, it is highly likely that a more heightened kind of reaction is seen, especially when depression is accompanied with rage. “Uncontrollable sadness, anger, or hopelessness may be signs of a mental health issue that can improve with treatment,” according to David Sack, M.D.
Perhaps it would be more helpful if we do not think of depression as a mental illness or a complex mood disorder, but to look at it as a loss of reasonable control of one’s emotions. A group of researchers summarized their findings on the relationship between depression and anger:
“Evidence has shown that there is a close connection between depression and anger for both the normal and the patient groups. The normal person showed less anger and irritability than the patient diagnosed with depression. The patient also presented with less suppression and control of his anger. This outcome indicates that depression theories are explaining that arrested defenses of the fight (anger) and flight (feeling of being trapped) may be vital components of depression.
“On the other hand, it is also recognized that people who are depressed also show more anger, although residual symptoms of frustration and anger seen in the treatment phase might be associated with poor therapeutic results. Depressed individuals also show more hostility than normal individuals.”
Therefore, depressed people are more likely to go through irritability and anger issues in ways that others would not understand. Also, some signs and symptoms of depression may be due to other factors, including environment, culture, and upbringing.
Depression And Negative Emotions
As researchers continue to explore the link between depression and anger. They did a study on 90 depressed individuals (60 men and 30 women) and gave them a test to evaluate their negative emotions (depression, anger, irritability) and how efficiently they can handle them.
The results of the study revealed that feelings of rage and depression are connected through the role of controlling or regulating emotions and anger rumination. According to John M. Grohol, PsyD, “Some people with depression become more irritable and angry with virtually everyone and everything in their life.” This means that people have the likelihood to manifest irritable or angry signs in depression if they are the type who contemplate on past situations when they were angry, or if they have trouble handling their emotions. Those who are quick-tempered, for example, would be more prone to express their depression through their anger.
Treatment For Depression Through Anger
Since this type of depressive disorder is centered on two components – rumination and emotion regulation – the said components should primarily be treated. Rumination somehow triggers the depression to come back. This makes psychotherapy the appropriate choice of treatment.
One form of psychotherapy that can be utilized is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, a customized form of psychotherapy that integrates mindfulness techniques like meditation and breathing. MBCT practitioners teach patients how to free themselves from negative behavioral patterns that cause them to spiral downward into a more severe depressed state. They also use these on people who are on the brink of relapsing.
Emotion regulation can be helpful in decreasing feelings of irritability and rage in depression. The fundamental strategies used in emotional regulation include:
- Reappraising the situation. The person is allowed to think about the feeling or circumstance that is causing him to be angry or more depressed.
- The person is taught and encouraged to prevent expressing his emotions outwardly but to control them and experience them in the inside.
- He then attempts to accept the emotions as they feel them internally and being conscious and making sure not to act on those emotions.
Anger does isolate and damage a person’s relationships, more so if he is already depressed and frustrated. More effort must be made on increasing awareness on how these negative emotions play in depression.
Ultimately, the key to fully comprehending the concept of depression is to acknowledge that it is an intricate illness that presents itself in varying ways. Some people may hide their depression, and some may be so blunt and emotional to show them irritability and anger. This is why any form of depression – whether it is simple or complicated – needs our attention and help.
Some people I know discouraged me when I told them I wanted to try hypnotherapy to see if it could help with my depression. “The overall goal of hypnotherapy is to create a relaxed but conscious state where individuals feel comfortable enough to discuss their circumstances without becoming overly anxious or emotional,” according to Wendi Friesen, CHT, a certified clinical hypnotherapist – I read about it online. Each has different opinions about the process. I searched online for reviews and found out that some find it effective, but others not. Out of curiosity, I looked for a hypnotherapist and tried it to see what it can do for me.
I found myself sitting in that room, waiting for the secretary at the office of the hypnotherapist to call my name. I was clutching onto my bag when I overheard the woman beside me talked about how she had tried hypnotherapy once right at her home. She really felt good and relaxed after that, so she decided to come over. Hearing her story gave me hope.
Like Any Treatment, There’s A Danger Too
I actually have no idea what hypnotherapy was aside from what I read on google. Before the session starts, the therapist talked to me about possible dangers, like the conception of false memories and a feeling of distress. “Hypnotherapy appears to work best when used with other forms of treatment,” says Steve G. Kopp, a licensed mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist.
Hypnosis can be an assistive therapy to make other forms of treatment more effective. With hypnosis, your mind and body can be in that area of tranquility. But to be in that moment, you got to visit the past to find what causes you to be depressed and addressed that.
Depression Can Bring You In And Out Of That Place Of Chaos
Hearing what hypnosis is from the therapist made me think that negative emotions like depression could also bring the mind and body into that peaceful state. It was the world that used to be my own. Only, it was taken away, replaced by nothing but its opposite, a place of chaos.
During the session, we visited the past. It felt like there’s no way out in this world of loneliness I was trapped in. I didn’t want to move because it makes no sense to do so. Fighting hard to survive makes me feel like just burying myself more in-depth into the pit.
The depression I was in made me feel numb. That to stay still and do nothing is the best thing to do. I felt like I have no strength to escape from that moment. Being disconnected from reality is exactly how I felt at that moment.
Brings In More Agony
“Hypnosis isn’t something that can make you do something against your will,” explains certified clinical hypnotist Joanne Ferdman of Theta Healing Arts in Huntington, New York, but hypnotherapy dragged me down the memory lane of pain. It made me get in touch again with the past I’m trying to forget. It was really traumatizing. But therapist said that’s part of the process. They hope that if that repressed memory is faced and tackled, it could result in better mental health, only in a harrowing and traumatizing process.
After the session, the therapist talked me into realizing that there is nothing more I can do to change the past. And I have to move on. He hopes that I would heal and will start to make changes after the realization.
But because the process brings in more agony, it left me more depressed (worse situation) than I was before the treatment began. I can’t take my mind off the painful things that had happened. I just find it hard to focus on the perspective of what is right.
That was my experience with hypnotherapy. I found my answer, and I’m a bit discouraged about doing it again. It wasn’t able to take away my depression, even disabled me more from functioning normally. Maybe for some, they find it useful.
Now, I got to go back to doing clinical tests, medications, and CBT again. My present doctor and therapist encouraged me to go back to a healthier lifestyle, do more social and physical activities, manage my stress, and if things become unmanageable, time to visit my therapist.
I’m not saying that hypnotherapy is a hoax. It’s just that I think it’s not for everybody. Just like any form of treatment, it doesn’t fit all. It may work for some, but unfortunately, not for me. It may have been able to make me feel relaxed for a moment, but was not able to target my depression.
“PTSD comes from some type of traumatic event,” said Colleen Cira, PsyD., a psychologist who specializes in women and trauma. “It can include things like war, car accidents, rape, physical assault, or even verbal and emotional abuse. Basically, any kind of scary or disturbing event that overwhelms our ability to cope falls into the PTSD category.”
One of the common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder is the occurrence of a life-changing event that one is not prepared for. An example of this is experiencing a loss of a loved one, ending a long-term relationship or quitting a career. At the same time, trauma can also result in this kind of mental disorder. Luckily, there are some proven effective ways on how to handle this kind of disease.
Clinical depression is comparable to a thief – it can steal your happiness and sanity the moment you relax your guards. Also called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), it affected over 16 million of citizens in the United States in 2015. The fact that it accounts for 6.7% of an entire country’s populace makes it the most debilitating mental disease on land – and this is true, as Dr. Jamie Long said in his website, “Depression can feel like you’re at war with your mind and body. You can feel sluggish, overly negative, and like there is no joy in life.”
The medical society deserves much respect for being able to diagnose health conditions, especially the various types of depression. They continuously develop treatments as well in the hopes of helping patients get rid of their diseases. Despite that, scientists have a long way to go because the antidepressants may bring side effects that’ll make matters worse (i.e., drug dependency). “If the woman is taking medication for the depressive symptoms it may lose effectiveness for whatever reason at several months out, so it wouldn’t necessarily be unheard of for a relapse to occur several months after the initial PPD episode,” says Jean Kim, M.D.
In case you’d much rather fight depression holistically than medically, you may find a way from the ideas below.
Do you have depression?
“People often don’t realize that depression isn’t just one thing. It can have different causes and presentations. Some people look sad, others are more irritable, some withdraw, and others seem restless.” according to Lisa Moses, PsyD.
When you ask people that question, not many can honestly answer “yes” or “no.” Call it being naïve or just in denial, but mostly it’s because they don’t want to believe they have such a mental disorder.
A good ol’ diagnosis from the doctor can tell you if you have depression. In case you wish to break out of this ordeal without medical help, though, look for these signs in yourself.