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We all feel sad or down from time to time. Depression is not sadness or simply feeling down after an upsetting event takes place. Clinical depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest that interferes with daily functioning. Many people experience feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, and low self-worth. There may be changes in energy level, sleep, appetite, and social engagement. Some lose the desire to live. Anyone can experience depression. Many people with depression feel better with psychotherapy, medication, or both. (Mayo Clinic, 1998 – 2022)
Naturally we all experience every day worries or fears. Occasional anxiety is typical from our every day demanding life. People that suffer from anxiety disorders experience intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear that are difficult to control about everyday situations that affect their ability to function on a daily basis. Some experience intense, distressful, and repeated episodes of sudden feelings of fear or terror that peak within minutes.
These distressful symptoms can present in a more generalized sense, intense episodes, or be situational. Many people come to avoid triggers of anxiety for relief but the anxiety remains overall. There may be changes in energy level, sleep, appetite, and social engagement. Anyone can experience anxiety. Many people with anxiety feel better with psychotherapy, medication, or both. (Mayo Clinic, 1998 – 2022)
Trauma is an emotional and behavioral response to a distressful event like war, rape, abuse, an accident, or natural disaster. Many experience shock, denial, an out of body experience, flashbacks, unpredictable emotions, and physical symptoms. There may be changes in energy level, sleep, appetite, and social engagement. Many experience strained relationships or difficulty functioning past the experience. Anyone can experience trauma. Many people with trauma feel better with psychotherapy, medication, or both. (American Psychological Association, 2022)
Grief refers to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors connected to the loss of something important. It could be the loss of a relationship, a loved one, a job, an object, or anything else a person values. However, when grief is discussed, it’s usually in the context of bereavement.
Bereavement refers specifically to the period of mourning after the death of a loved one. Shortly following the loss of something important it is natural to experience acute grief symptoms such as shock, distress, sadness, poor appetite, difficulty sleeping and poor concentration. When symptoms of acute grief persist beyond a few months following the loss experience one may experience complicated grief. Many people with complicated grief feel better with psychotherapy. (The Grieving Process, Therapist Aid, 2012 – 2022)
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Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
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