Written by Marissa Raglin, LPC.
When we hear the word depression we may traditionally think about sadness or having the blues. Depression literally means to “press down” and/ or a feeling of being “pressed down” (Kanter, Busch, Weeks, Landes, 2008). Depression can be a mood or an emotional state and is the most common clinical diagnosis in the United States. Depression affects more than 21 million adults and almost 4 million youth (ages 12-17) every year (Mental Health America, 2022). That means that over 1 in 10 of our youth are experiencing symptoms of depression that include feeling empty, restless, irritable, difficulty concentration or making decisions, lack of energy or pleasure in activities they once enjoyed, hopeless, worthless and even thoughts of death or suicide. Without interventions, depression can impact one's ability to function at school, work, at home or in social settings.
Written by Dr. Kati Guada & Marissa Raglin, LPC.
Anxiety is seen more regularly today in the news and on social media. I was watching the news yesterday and a poll was shared about whether or not general doctors should screen for anxiety during visits. But what is anxiety really and how do you know when to see a provider for assistance? Anxiety is a medical diagnosis related to a heightened intensity of one's experienced internal state. It is normal for people to feel worried at times; mental health professionals are available to help you distinguish between normal and abnormal levels of anxiety. If you are asking yourself if you need help, go find out by asking a professional. Anxiety is often experienced as excessive worry and fear associated with feeling restless, tired, irritable, and tense. Anxiety can also impact your ability to concentrate and sleep (APA, 2013). Anxiety can be due to a variety of reasons such as separation, social settings, and situational experiences. Anxiety can be experienced throughout the year but research suggests spikes in anxiety symptoms in the fall #autumnanxiety.
A main purpose of this blog is to help spread knowledge about mental health and related topics in hopes it can be helpful to someone out there. I was given the advice to start out writing something on different categories of mental health difficulties, and the first one that came up was trauma.
One of my observations (as a clinical psychologist) is that we, the public, tend to think of trauma as something in the realm of a wartime experience or physical/sexual abuse. This idea is personified in the hilarious octopus from Disney’s Finding Dory who alleges to have undergone “terrible experiences” in the open ocean. Of course, certain experiences are obviously traumatic due to their extreme and difficult nature. However, there are other forms of highly distressing emotional experiences that can, over time, lead to mental health difficulties. Without a broader understanding of the clinical meaning of the word trauma, people may be unable to identify their own experiences and symptoms as needing clinical attention. As a result, people might deprive themselves of mental health treatment, perhaps leading to adverse outcomes for themselves, their loved ones, and societies at large.