Depression, anxiety and stress

Depression is a mood or chronic condition characterized by hopelessness, apathy, meaninglessness, withdrawal, low self-esteem, sadness tiredness. Generally the interest for the outside world is low. The person is not interested in work, family, and has low energy and activity level.

Most of us experience depression at a certain level, during our lives. But there is a considerate difference between the depressive periods and the different levels of depression. In the modern world we are constantly exposed to high stress factors, through the complexity and business of our daily life, but we are not tought how to cope with these factors in school, nor is it easy to learn independently from the extensive information available. Many times we need professional help, in order to learn coping strategies and have ‘tools’ tailored to our personal needs, tools which take into consideration our own life path, individual experiences, abilities and innate qualities.

Anxiety – is an excessive, uncontrollable worry about everyday things which are disproportionate to the actual source of worry; anxiety is caused by increased vigilance regarding potential threats in ones own environment, as well as increased tendency to be proactive and take actions regarding such possible threats.

Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks which occur unexpectedly, when the person does not anticipate it. The person experiences intense fear and discomfort; these can be triggered by specific situations such as phobic conditions or following a trauma or can be spontaneous.

The most common symptoms of panic attacks are:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Sensation of shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying
  • Chills or hot flashes

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety and worry.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder are:

  • Restlessness
  • Getting tired easily
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance

In treatment of anxiety (in all its forms) I use mainly a cognitive-therapeutic approach, starting with psycho-education, where the client understands the principles and rational of the situation. Then, together with the client I develop a treatment plan in which a big part is played by therapeutic strategies and ‘tools’ that helps the clients to self-manage particular situations.

Stress – we develop stress under psychological pressure; a healthy amount of pressure is key to adaptation, as people learn to negotiate, anticipate, avoid or enjoy specific situations. Too little pressure can lead to boredom and depression. But too much pressure (heavy workload, trauma, divorce, financial difficulties, etc.) can test coping resources and create anxiety or psychosomatic illnesses.

Typical stress symptoms:

  • Sleeping issues
  • Focus and concentration issues
  • Irritability and indisposition
  • Anxiety
  • Binging, overeating or drink issues

In working with stress related problems I support the clients to understand the specific situation, the reason for it, and to develop skills and competences to prevent the development of similar problematic situations.