Problems with anxiety and depression are much more common than most people realise: Up to 30 percent of people will experience anxiety in their life time to such an extent that they could be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Similarly up to 17 percent of people will experience a depressed state in their life time to such an extent that they could be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. The figures mentioned above does not even include people who experience less severe periods of anxiety or depression. It is no wonder then that quite a large component of my practice is devoted to helping people with anxiety and depression problems. It is for this reason that I devote an entire page of my website to anxiety and depression.
Over and above the run of the mill problems with anxiety and depression that people may need help for, the following are some common anxiety and depressive disorders that I often see and treat at my practice:
- Adjustment Disorder (with Depressed Mood and / or Anxiety)
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Dysthymia (or Persistent Depressive Disorder)
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Specific Phobias
- Panic Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(Ps. A common myth about depression is that people who suffer from depression are persistently sad. Although this is true in many cases, some people with depression present with an irritable and agitated mood as part of their depression.)
The good news is that, due to their high prevalence, anxiety and depression is probably the most researched problems in the fields of clinical psychology and psychiatry. As a result these conditions are well understood nowadays and in most cases they can be treated effectively. Whether you suffer from a mild spell of depression or anxiety, or are worried that you might suffer from an anxiety or depressive disorder, it will be worth your while to seek assistance from a mental health professional.
When people consult with me regarding problems with anxiety or depression, I make use of the various international treatment guidelines that delineates the treatment approaches that are effective for anxiety and depression. Although there are other treatment approaches that are also effective depending on the nature of the problem, I personally tend to lean towards the use of cognitive behaviour therapy for the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (or CBT in short) is an approach in which the therapist and the patient work collaboratively to solve problems. It is an active approach, and amongst others entails the use of practical procedures aimed at addressing the problem. Particular attention is given to how cognitions (or thought processes) and behaviour contribute to, or perpetuate anxiety and depression. The therapist and the client form a team that works together to achieve the goals of therapy. Whether you thus suffer from a spell of mild anxiety or depression, or whether you need help with a depressive mood disorder or anxiety disorder, chances are that you would benefit from a couple of sessions of CBT. Although I practice a lot of CBT, CBT does not work for everybody. In some cases depression and anxiety may be deeply rooted in early life experiences or developmental traumas. In such cases therapy is still a good option but I might need to take a different, evidence based approach in accordance with international treatment guidelines.
The causes of anxiety and depression are also multi-factorial – meaning that it has a biological component as well as a psychological component. It some cases, especially in the case of disorders of anxiety and depression, I might need to liaise with your GP to ensure that you do not have a medical condition that is a causal factor in your anxiety or depression (e.g. thyroid dysfunction or low iron levels). In severe cases, and depending on the preference of the patient, medicine could also be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
For more information or if you would like to book an appointment please contact me on (021) 919 3666 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org