Depression and Anxiety Issues
Depression and anxiety issues are common mental health conditions which affect many individuals in the world as well as in Singapore. At In Focus, we understand how debilitating these mental health conditions can be and we hope to help individuals who are experiencing anxiety issues or depressive symptoms to cope better and live more engaging lives.
Feeling sad or down from time to time is a normal part of life. While it may be unpleasant to experience these emotions, they usually do not last long for most people. Depression is more than feeling unhappy or disappointed in response to life’s challenges. Persistent feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and despair associated with depression can cause one to spiral downwards and to feel like there is no way out. Depression affects the way you think and feel and can interfere with your daily functioning. It can also negatively affect your work or school, family, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Symptoms of depression vary from person to person. Some describe it as “living in a black hole” or being followed around by a “suffocating grey cloud.” Others feel lifeless, apathetic, or empty and might find it difficult to engage socially, or lose interest in their work or in activities they used to enjoy. Depressive symptoms can also include fatigue, difficulty experiencing pleasure or joy, sleeping difficulties, changes in appetite, anger or irritability, self-loathing, reckless behaviours and difficulty concentrating. However, depressive symptoms can be managed and treated. If you are concerned that you might be experiencing depressive symptoms or depression, please know that you do not have to go through it alone. Speaking with a therapist can provide you with additional resources and skills to better cope with depressive symptoms. Contact us to find out how we can support you through these difficult times.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress or a threat of danger. It is a feeling of fear or apprehension about what is to come. It is common for us to feel anxious from time to time, especially in a fast-paced society like Singapore. It is also normal, for example, to feel anxious or nervous in challenging or new situations – like going for a job interview, the first day of school, taking a test or giving a speech. Feeling anxious can be uncomfortable, but it is not necessarily a bad thing. Feelings of anxiety can help us stay focused and alert and can push us to work harder and be better prepared. Feelings of anxiety normally come and go and do not interfere much with our everyday life.
Feelings of anxiety can manifest in these following ways:
• Feelings of dread or apprehension
• Watching for signs of danger
• Anticipating the worst
• Trouble concentrating
• Feeling tense/jumpy
• Mind going blank
Anxiety can also be experienced in terms of these physical sensations:
• Heart palpitations
• Shortness of breath
• Upset stomach
• Frequent urination/diarrhoea
• Muscle tension/ twitches
• Difficulties with sleep
However, if your feelings of anxiety are constant or overwhelming and are causing impairment to your daily functioning, you may be experiencing an anxiety issue.
Anxiety issues can create a lot of disruption and can make it quite difficult for you to function effectively in many aspects of your life. Some individuals might even feel ashamed about having these struggles. However, you do not need to experience these difficulties alone. Our therapists at In Focus seek to provide you with a supportive and safe space where you can discuss your concerns, better understand these difficulties and equip yourself with helpful coping skills so that you can continue to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life in spite of the challenges arising from anxiety issues.
While anxiety issues and depression can occur separately, it is not unusual for individuals to struggle with both conditions at the same time. Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in improving both anxiety and depressive symptoms for many people. These include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, staying active and exercising frequently, avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine, meditating and spending time with loved ones. In addition to making these lifestyle changes, reaching out for counselling support can be extremely helpful. With the appropriate help, anxiety issues and depression can be treated.
Understanding that everyone comes with their own unique needs and challenges, our therapists at In Focus believe in customizing our approaches to suit our clients and the issues they bring to us. Drawing on our training and experience in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy (CTRT), Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT), Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), we seek to help each and every one of our clients work through their difficulty and pain, facilitate healing and growth as well as support our clients in pursuing lives that are meaningful and satisfying. Contact In Focus today to find out how we can help you manage these mental health conditions so that you can lead a more satisfying life.