More than 50% of times, anxiety is also seen in people who have depression.
Since anxiety is connected to our primal being (survival instinct), it is common to see people who have suffered an “event” in life, that provoked symptoms of anxiety, such as:
- Stomach “butterflies”/churned
- Heart palpitation, racing heartbeat
- Queasiness, nausea, “wobbly on your knees”, vertigo
- Shortness of Breath, chest pain, choking, hyperventilation, tingling, numbness
- Urgent urination, diarrhea
- Sweaty palms, cold sweats/chills, excessive perspiration, dry mouth, hot flashes
These are also the common “symptoms” of the fight/flight/faint/freeze response, when a huge amount of adrenaline is pumped to your body, making you a “super human” so you can deal with the event ahead of you.
When feeling anxious, you also may present with:
- “Nervous habits”: scratching, picking your skin, nail biting, muscle tension, can’t sit still, leg fidgeting, hands restricted (in pockets), shuffling feet, avoiding eye contact, hair twirling/pulling, or coughing
- You may get to a level of panic that you may rush out, vomit, or faint
- Anxiety makes your voice cracks, provoke tremors, do not let you complete you sentences, or make you develop “nervous” laughing, or giggles.
- Anxiety also makes you vigilant: you may scan for “dangerous” or triggers, feels easily startled, jumpy, or over reactive.
- You may have difficulties falling or staying asleep, since your mind cannot keep racing
- When you feel anxious your mind may go blank, you may find difficulties concentrating, or cannot proceed with the task at hand, being unable to function
- Your emotions vary tremendously. One moment you can be calm and collect and the next you can start feeling “nervous” (uneasy/vulnerable/edgy/tense), then fearful (frightened/alarmed/frazzled), then terrified (rigid/frozen/panicky/petrified), like you are having a panic attack (you are!).
The way you think, also increases your feelings of anxiety:
- You may worry a lot, may ruminate about things, exaggerate the “danger”, feels threatened, feels need to “escape”, fantasies with scenarios of “attack”, feels “going crazy”/rejected/or abandoned
- You may feel overwhelmed, like you cannot control your thoughts, or feel confused
- Your preoccupation with future anxiety attacks, may lead to avoidance of people, tasks, or situations
Although Anxiety is so intrusive, it is also one of the less difficult disorders to be threatened, (depending of the degree of the anxiety). Consult with a psychologist to get help with your anxiety right away. Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove use many techniques to treat anxiety. Remember, you will be anxious talking about your anxiety, but a good psychologist will know how to diminish your anxiety and have a solid treatment plan.
Depression – (A disorder of the past)
When you are going through those times when everything is gloomy, you have low energy, you don’t want to talk to anyone, or even leave the house, with sadness, crying for no apparent reason, or not eating much? It could mean you are suffering with depression.
Depression presents itself in many different ways:
- Depression changes the way you feel: joyless, miserable, suffering, in pain, despaired, sad, “down”, desperate, self-destructive, or suicidal
- Depression changes the way you behave: your sleep and eating patterns changes, you feel sluggish, tired, or you talk less
- Depression changes the way you think: feeling lost, depleted, helpless, hopeless, pessimistic, bored, having difficulties concentrating, focusing, with no plans for self, no future, feeling empty, confused, inadequate, worried, frustrated, ruminating things from the past, or being self-critical (sorry, regretful, ashamed, overwhelmed, bitter, or vulnerable)
- Depression changes the way you socialize: reclusive, isolated, avoiding people or crowds, argumentative, irritable, demanding, crabby, unassertive, suspicious, shy, or separating from life/others
- Depression changes the way your body feels: you have little, if any, interest in sex, increased urination, diarrhea/constipation, moving slower, low self-care, overuse of prescription and over-the counter medications (analgesics, sleeping pills, laxatives, vitamins), alcohol, caffeine, or stimulant drugs.
Feeling depressed is something that us humans go through every now and then, but the feeling of sadness usually goes away after 4 to 6 months. If you are dealing with depressive symptoms for more than that, set your appointment with a psychologist soon to take care of yourself.
Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove uses an integrative approach to treat depression, which may be the best solution for your case.
Relationships (A “family” disorder)
It does not matter if you are having relationship difficulties with family members, your co-workers, or your loved one, most of all relationship difficulties derives from childhood issues, family modeling, personality traits, and attachment.
During the early years, infants learn to seek refuge in their mother’s arms when they are stressed. Parents encourage their toddlers to be self-resilient, that it is OK to get hurt and not have your boo-boo kissed to get better. Middle schoolers learn to make and survive from a friendship break. High schoolers learn to love and survive from broken heart. All of that to prepare this individual how to go about living the human life: with ups and downs. To learn that when you are down, you may find a way (by yourself, or with help of others) to get out of the situation. Parents also should provide a model of what a relationship is, and how to recover from disagreements in a healthy way.
Unfortunate, not everyone has those experiences to help “surviving” adulthood. At times, it is hard to deal with bosses or coworkers who are not professional, or do not put their weight on the work; or with family members who are too needy, or too distant; or with that person you are trying to develop a meaningful relationship (friend or love).
You may have grown to be too dependent yourself, or too shy/timid, anxious. Your self-esteem may have been shattered, or confidence levels may be too low, you may not have goals for yourself, or pride. You may be too cold (or too warm), or present yourself very immature, silly, with excessive attention-seeking or self-destructive behaviors.
There are not a “quick/easy” way to treat people with relationship issues. It took many formative years for your to be who you are. It will take some years to change behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. If this is what is keeping you living a fulfilling life, you may need to invest in yourself and commit to a long term treatment. Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove uses integrative psychotherapy to help with relational issues, and any other issue risen during treatment.
Grief and Loss (Inevitable)
Have you lost something very precious to you lately (or ever), and you still suffering for it?
It could be that you lost a loved one (parent, sibling, children, friends, pets), or you lost something that you were used to (job, school, neighborhood, country). All losses need a time for grief – a time for you to reassess where you are and where you are going now that you are lacking that person, or thing. A “normal” grief will go away after one year or so.
Kubler-Ross identified 5 stages of the normal reaction to loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Mind you that people may experience all or some of the stages in this or any other order.
Normal grief might bring you distress, sorrow, heartache, pain, suffering, or will make you be preoccupied, easily tearful, feel helpless, or vulnerable. You may find yourself staring into space, being slow to respond or think, or even have a lowered self-esteem.
Although those are normal symptoms of grief, some people find support from psychologists when going through loss.
However, for some people, grief is much more intense, either because they may be partially denying the death, may not be showing any grief, or too much grief, may fall into chronic depression, bitterness, avoid any cues/triggers to the loss, or isolate themselves. These people may have their immune systems decreased, or may increase use of alcohol, pills, or drugs. In this case, it is necessary to have a psychologist to help you go through your grief, and help you process the emotional pain, which may be connected to pains of the past (and future). Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove works with people going through many types of losses:
- Of a loved one (family, friends, pets)
- Baby loss (infertility issues, miscarriage, abortion, still-birth, or early death)
- Of life transitions (parenthood, divorce, job, place, school, country, culture)
Traumatic events can happen at anyone’s life: one could have been or witnessed an accident (fall from a bike, or be bitten by a dog), or a crime; or could have suffered harassments, death threats; or have multiples traumas from childhood (neglect, abuse, sexual molestation/abuse), or adulthood (job related: military, first-responders, or rescuers).
- Trauma in children: Children are the most vulnerable for traumas, but are also the easiest to build resilience for the future. These could be neglect from parents, physical, emotional, or psychological abuse, sexual molestation (fondling) or abuse (oral, penetration) in a single or multiple events. Other traumas can come from accidents (ie.: bike, urination in public, or witnessing a pet being hurt/killed).
Children Issues – Babies to Adolescents (and beyond)
Health Issues that causes stress