Is there anything I can do about my depression and anxiety?

I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for a number of years. I have been on medication, but lately my depression has felt worse. Can counseling help?

Tanairy Fernandez, LMHC
Tanairy Fernandez, LMHC
Balancing your life one step at a time.

Thank you for asking this important question. I find that there are three steps to getting ready for treatment. 

Step one is expressing interest in wanting to receiving treatment for the outcome of positive behavioral change. Congratulations you did the first step! You are showing your readiness to start counseling by asking this question. 

Now the second step is to find a counselor who specializes in treating clients with Anxiety and Depression. The therapeutic orientations I have found to be helpful in treating clients with  Anxiety and Depression are a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Mindfulness, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Receiving meditation for your symptoms if part of the treatment, and the other part is receiving counseling to increase your resilience for future events. Research has found that medication and psychotherapy treatments together shows the most effective outcome for Depression.  

The third step is to increase your positive self-talk to motivate yourself to attend treatment. As counselors, we are aware of the anxieties and fears that are associated with talking to a new professional for the first time. However, remind yourself that you are doing this to improve your well being.

I hope this was helpful, and good luck with your treatment journey.

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.
Dr. Avraham Cohen
Dr. Avraham Cohen
Depth work with individuals and relationships

Certainly counselling can help. however, there is a caveat, namely, you will need the right counsellor with the right approach. This leads to two questions: 1) What are the identifiers for the right counsellor, and 2) What is the right approach?

1) What are the identifiers for the right counsellor? The right counsellor will almost certainly have a lot of experience. He or she will have done a lot personal work and have an ongoing practice of inner work both on their own and with the support of an experienced therapist. This person will be viewing you as a human being with challenges, not as a diagnostic category. He or she will be willing to work with you over an extended period of time and have experience doing such work. Further they will be well versed in approaches that are responsive to you in the moment and overall. The in-depth work will be collaborativel designed in an ongoing way that is responsive to you, the moment, your overall life experience, and their in-the-moment experience. It goes without saying that you will subjectively evaluate the felt sense of connection with this person and the feeling that they are invested in their work with you, value you as a human being, and value the connection. As well, it is crucial that you feel this connection and that your therapist 'gets you.'

2) What is the right approach?  As Carl Jung stated, "When the doctor sits down with the patient he (or she) must drop all theories and learn the theory of this person." The approach must include a bond between you and your therapist that is in a continuous process of development, attention to pre-verbal imprinting, development of awareness ability, ongoing development of the ability to attend to and stay with inner experience, development of a process orientation, attention to egoic structures that were seeded from the earliest days in the service of perceptions of threats to needs being met, identification of current egoic states and work with these inner selves and their relationship with each other to facilitate movement from developmental points of arrest, increased ability to access and contain non-ordinary states of consciousness, attending to what is, and working with this in the service of moving towards optimal human development.

depression is generally experienced as the system shutting down. anxiety is a signal that something is wrong. anxiety is not the problem. it is a sign that there is a problem. the core of these issues is a lack of inner security that is the outcome of insufficient bonding. the work of psychotherapy is to establish an environment and relationship that will facilitate work with the bonding ruptures and re-initiation of the developmental process that stopped at an early stage.

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.

My initial response:  consider a more comprehensive MH assessment to determine other factors. A medical evaluation is warranted to rule out poor health issues. Blood work is helpful. Review what hadn't helped. 

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

From whom do you get anti-depressants?

This person should be talking with you to know whether the pills are helping or not.

Trust your own instinct that the pills aren't helping you.

Pills work differently for everyone and not all people feel better from them.

It is also possible the particular pills have lost their effectiveness because after around six to eight months, this usually happens.

Try to understand what is depressing you.  This is slow work since you may have many theories.

Just by addressing your own emotional needs and life structure in a caring and respectful way, may improve your mood so that you'll feel less depressed.

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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