How do I find out the cause of my depression and anxiety?

I have been feeling more and more down for over a month. I have started having trouble sleeping due to panic attacks, but they are almost never triggered by something that I know of.

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Answers about our inner lives are most successfully reached from a sense of feeling grounded in oneself.

First step is to accept your nervousness and restless sleep.  As often as possible, sleep during daytimes in order for your body to catch up on its need for rest.

Accept too about feeling down.  It is normal to feel down once in a while.  

From this place of self-acceptance, trust any answers which come up to your mind.  Often answers about complicated topics come in small pieces, not all at once as a whole unit.

Also, your description about panic attacks is also completely normal.   They often arise unrelated to particular conditions at a given moment.  They are a healthy symptom your body is trying to expel bad feelings and does this by having the anxiety erupt at times.

So, self-acceptance, tolerance of being on a process of clearing out worn out emotional clutter, and sleep at odd times if possible, are all ways to stabilize yourself, which will also feel calm and good!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Nicole Stone
Nicole Stone
Anxiety, relationship crisis, and the separation/divorce experience.
It could be really helpful to see a counselor/therapist about your increasing depression/panic symptoms. Finding out the cause of depression/anxiety isn't always as straightforward as it seems, since both issues tend to become patterns we engage in rather than solely related to a specific trigger/reason. For example, if I am feeling down about a particular circumstance in my life, then I start seeing life through this lens of feeling down, and typically I'll start to see a lot more that I get down about, and it can really build very quickly on itself. Same with anxiety. Obviously, this is a very simplified example and it can be very difficult to see how the pattern is maintained, but that's where working with a counselor/therapist comes in. 

I would be curious about whether you can start to notice the initial sensations of panic, and if you can (through the panic attack) continue to maintain awareness of the actual physical sensations. Even better if you can talk yourself through the sensations you're feeling - such as saying to yourself "Okay, I'm breathing really rapidly, and my heart is racing, now my palms are sweaty and my chest is feeling really tight..." Reminding yourself that it's just your body's reaction to stress, and while it might be overreacting right now, you're okay and eventually it will go away. I highly recommend the SAM for Anxiety Management app for the anxiety piece, and I wouldn't be surprised if addressing the anxiety helped to address some of the depression too. 
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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