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Stress, Anxiety
and Depression

What is Stress?

 

It's a system, also called a fight or flight response, in your body that alerts you when you are for example in acute danger. It is meant to help your body adjust to new situations, stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand.  

Everyone feels under pressure from time to time. Anytime something comes up in your life that you don't like your brain triggers a stressor and that leads to a stress response. It can happen once or a couple of times. For example, when you receive homework, have to perform, go to a dentist appointment as well as when in immediate danger like suddenly a car speeding in your direction or a (wild) animal rushing towards you. Sometimes it can be used productively and an event doesn't completely overtake you, in that way pressure can have a positive effect. It can motivate people to do the things they need to do every day and also go beyond their comfort zone when they feel the resources are available to do so.  

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How does stress affect my wellbeing? 

 

When the stressors get triggered repeatedly over a long period it will wear your body and mind out. If stress has reached a level where it interferes with your daily life it can cause serious problems with your routines, health, relationships and job/career. You feel an emotional, mental or physical tension that sometimes can be unbearable because an area of your life is demanding more than you can take on at that moment. This can happen from memories/thoughts, facing a challenge or (new) experience. The other danger of feeling stressed over a long period is having your body becoming used to the release of the main stress hormone called cortisol, which can eventually lead to your body demanding to feel stress because that becomes your new normal. Your brain will then register that as having something wrong or missing and make you seek out stressful events to control your mood, motivation, and fear.

What causes stress? 

 

In the brain, there is something called the Amygdala that is a part of a system that processes threats and sends a signal to other non-conscious processes that trigger the fight or flight response. The more one is exposed to stressful events, whether they're in actual danger or not, the Amygdala becomes oversensitive and perceives something as a threat even when it is not necessary.  
 

What do you experience when you are stressed? 

 

Down below you'll find some of the common ways of how stress manifests itself. 

 

PHYSICAL: 

  • Fatigue 

  • Tensed muscles 

  • Heart palpitations  

  • Chest pain 

  • Heart disease 

  • Teeth grinding and clenching of the jaw 

  • Weak immune system 

  • Rashes and irritations of the skin 

  • Flaring up of allergies  

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 

  • Cravings certain foods 

  • Diabetes 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Burnout 

 
EMOTIONAL & MENTAL: 

  • Emotional eating 

  • Feeling overwhelmed 

  • Easily irritated  

  • Depression 

  • Anxiety  

  • Bursts of sudden anger 

  • Lack of motivation 

  • Easily panicked 

  • Indecisiveness 

  • Overthinking or negative thinking 

  • Constant worrying 

  • Inability to concentrate 

  • Mood swings  

  • Intolerant  

  • Insomnia 

  • Memory issues 

  • Busy mind  

 
WHAT CAN I DO WHEN I FEEL STRESSED? 
 

  • Reflect and observe yourself, what situations trigger stress? Recognize what they are and try to avoid it as much as possible for the time being. It can be for example a person, a place, certain foods, alcoholic beverages, tasks, activity etc.  

  • Exercise regularly, take 30-minute walks every day in nature or near the beach. 

  • Take the time to relax, your body and mind. Meditate daily for just 15 minutes, take some Mindfulness or Yoga classes. 

  • Speak with your doctor and let them check if there is any health issue affecting you. Stress over time eventually manifests itself physically.  

  • Take a break, go to a spa or have a spa experience at home, make use of relaxing essential oils for example. Even if you don't have all the things available that a spa has, it's the intention that matters the most. 

  • Prioritize what is necessary to do and leave out what isn't for another time. Take every accomplishment as a win, however small it may seem.  

  • Sometimes stress can be overwhelming and cloud your thinking, making you feel like it is impossible to get out of the current situation. Consider reaching out to a professional to help you gain clarity and teach you how to manage stress, change the triggers to respond more healthily through highly effective methods. 

WHAT IS ANXIETY? 

 

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that we all feel at one point or another in our lives. We may feel fearful, worried and even be slightly panicked about something, especially when we aren't prepared for unexpected changes.

 

You may feel nervous before an important life event or during a difficult situation. It intrudes on the ability to concentrate on other tasks, on the other hand, it can help you focus fully on one task. 

 

Anxiety is not always negative it can be necessary for survival, it is a problem when it becomes overwhelming or unmanageable and it comes up unexpectedly. When it's hindering your progress in life, causing you to avoid even positive situations constantly and stopping you from living a full life.

 

HOW DOES ANXIETY AFFECT MY WELLBEING? 

 

Here are some of the signs and physical symptoms of anxiety:

 

  •     Concentration problems

  •     Increased heart rate

  •     Preoccupied with the present worry

  •     Stomach problems

  •     Feeling weak

  •     Restless 

  •     Dizziness

  •     Trembling

  •     Feeling nervous most of the time

  •     Hyperventilation or Shortness of breath

  •     Insomnia

  •     Rapid breathing 

  •     Overconcerned

  •     Irregular sleeping pattern, constantly waking up in fear 

  •     Headache

  •     Sweating

  •     Tensed muscles

  •     Fatigue, feeling tired all the time

  •     Struggling to be present 

  •     Constantly thinking about the past or the future

  •     Obsessive thoughts

 

WHEN IS IT CONSIDERED AN ANXIETY DISORDER?

 

Feeling anxious once in a while happens with everyone, but experiencing repeated episodes of intense anxiety over a long period can lead to having an anxiety disorder if left untreated. An anxiety disorder is where one experiences intense and uncontrollable feelings of worry where it disrupts daily routines, causes problems in relationships and as a result, one may suffer from low self-esteem. People may avoid everyday situations and places altogether to prevent anxiety from overwhelming them. It is difficult to control these feelings and can last a long time.

Symptoms may have started during childhood or teenage years and continue into adulthood.

 

 

WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?

 

Anybody can have an anxiety issue for different reasons. It may be a single event for example when you have a job interview or because of a dentist appointment and it may also happen frequently after experiencing some form of trauma. Anxiety may be confusing, you may not realize that you are experiencing it. It may seem like there is no valid reason for being anxious which causes frustration, irritability and agitation. If keeps happening, you may avoid that which caused you to feel anxiety and could eventually turn into an Anxiety Disorder if left untreated because the brain will make any connection to it seem dangerous. Let's say there was a task at your job where you had difficulty with and every time anything related to it comes up you experience anxiety, it could lead to you leaving the job all together so that you don't have to feel that way anymore. The longer this goes on the more it will hurt your daily life, career and relationships. 

 

 

Some causes of anxiety disorders are: 

  • Environmental stress, for example, childhood abuse or neglect, death of a loved one, (sexual) assault or witnessing violence. As well as difficulties at work, in a relationship or due to family issues.

  • Brain chemistry, due to chemical imbalance. 

  • Drug withdrawal or misuse.

  • Medical conditions, such as effects of a medicine, surgeries or a different disease. 

  • Genetics, Anxiety Disorders tend to run in families. 

 

TYPES OF ANXIETY DISORDERS

 

The following are the different types of anxiety disorders or other disorders where anxiety is present:

 

  •   Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia

  •   Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  •   Panic disorder

  •   Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  •   Agoraphobia 

  •   Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  •   Medication or Substance-induced Anxiety Disorder

  •   Separation Anxiety Disorder

  •   Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition

  •   Specific phobias

  •   Performance Anxiety Disorder

  •   Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

  •   Selective mutism

  •   Perinatal anxiety or perinatal OCD

  •   Other specified anxiety disorder and unspecified anxiety disorder 

 

(You can have more than one anxiety disorder.)

IS ANXIETY TREATABLE?

 

Yes, certainly. A physical health problem could be the main cause of experiencing anxiety it is therefore advised to always consult your primary care physician first. If you are experiencing severe anxiety then it is recommended to contact a mental health specialist as well. Whatever type of anxiety you have, if it is interfering with your daily life, treatment can help.

 

We offer our services to help you identify the main cause(s), manage it and resolve any anxiety issues.  

It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 

 

Reach out today to schedule a 30 minutes discovery session for free.

What is Depression?

Depression is a serious condition that can affect your overall well-being, relationships, and ability to feel productive. It's a state of mind where one may feel isolated and can't seem to experience enjoy even from things that used to give them joy. Millions of people all over the world are affected by depression which is a mood disorder that can either be experienced as infrequent, major episodes or as a more persistent low mood for longer periods (weeks, months or years). No two people experience it in the same way.


Some people describe it as a heavy feeling as though they’re being weighed down into a dark bottomless pit, some feel like they're constantly drowning and can't seem to stop the negative thinking. Over time they forget how it felt like before, depression becomes everyday life and more and more difficult to remember a happy or joyous memory. Many also experience apathy which is a lack of interest in life activities, motivation, emotion and social interaction. They may withdraw more within themselves away from family and friends, stay in more and go out less, ignore responsibilities, not participating at school, not doing activities they used to like.    
It is important to note that it is normal to experience some of the symptoms now and again. Not everyone who experiences some of these symptoms is depressed and not everyone who is experiencing depression will have all of the symptoms. It's more than just feeling sad because sadness is a temporary reaction that should subside, depression is more persistent.   



How does Depression affect my wellbeing? 

The impact of depression on the quality of life is related to the severity of depression. It's difficult to determine how it can affect family, friends, other relationships, health, employment, academics, routines and daily activities in general because some aspects are intangible such as pain and suffering. The ways Depression manifests itself makes it harder 
for you to do the things you need or want to do.  



What causes Depression?

Sometimes depression is triggered because of a life event or a psychological trauma, such as an assault. You can experience depression for several reasons, affects people in different ways. There are also different disorders to clarify which type of depression it is. For example, when a the person feels depressed most or all of the time it's called Major 
Depression. 

Below are some of the other disorders:

 

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • Postpartum Depression

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder or Dysthymia

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (severe mood problems before periods)

  • Situational Depression

  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (children and teens)

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Psychotic Depression

  • Substance-induced mood disorder (SIMD) 


The following are some of the risk factors that may trigger Depression:

  • Brain chemistry, certain chemicals in the brain may be partly responsible for the symptoms.

  • Hormone levels changes, due to pregnancy, postpartum issues, thyroid problems, menopause, or other reasons.

  • Environmental factors, growing up in an unhealthy environment, continuously being exposed to for example violence.

  • Genetics, depression can run in families.

  • A medical condition causing a depressive disorder.


 

How does Depression manifest itself?

People who struggle with depression may be contending with some of the symptoms below:

Physical:

  • Slow movements or speech

  • Loss of appetite or overeating

  • Restless

  • Insomnia

  • Sleep problems like having trouble sleeping or oversleeping

  • Feeling tired

  • Stomach issues like digestive problems

  • Crying more than you used to or not crying at all

  • Headaches or migraines

  • Low immune system

  • Decreased energy


Thoughts and emotions:

  • In a depressed mood for longer periods

  • loss of interest, feeling no pleasure

  • Feeling guilty, like a failure 

  • Concentration problems, lack of focus

  • Low self-esteem

  • Overwhelmed, frustrated or irritated

  • Suicidal thoughts or thinking about self-harm

  • Finding it hard to make decisions

  • Memory issues, difficulty remembering details

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Persistent negative thoughts

  • Apathy



Can Depression be treated?

Depression is considered highly treatable. Always consult your primary care physician first if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. It's okay to ask for help, it is recommended to contact a mental health specialist as well if you feel like there is no way out and that you can't handle it anymore.  


We offer our services to provide you with the tools and tips to help you manage depression. The goal of our sessions would be to bring awareness to any underlying emotions and process it all to make transformation possible, helping you to get back on your feet. 

 

It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The treatment methods we use are designed to help you connect to your mental, emotional, and spiritual self.
If traditional counselling didn't work for you or you would like an alternative method, reach out for your first discovery session of 30-minutes for free. Start your healing process today!