Anxiety, Therapy Services

Types of Therapy For Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Anxiety: 

For years, the go-to treatment for anxiety disorders was medication. But what if there was a way to train your brain to think differently about anxiety. That’s where cognitive behavioral therapy comes in. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that focuses on changing the way you think about anxiety. This, in turn, can change the way you feel and behave. CBT is different from other types of therapies because it is usually shorter-term and more focused on problem-solving. 

Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

There are different types of CBT, but they all share the same goal: to change the way you think about anxiety. Some of the most common types of CBT are: 

Exposure therapy: This type of therapy helps you face your fears head-on. With exposure therapy, you’ll gradually work up to facing your fear in real life. For example, if you’re afraid of flying, exposure therapy might involve watching videos about flying, looking at pictures of airplanes, or even going to the airport and watching planes take off and land. 

Cognitive restructuring: This type of therapy helps you identify and challenge negative thinking patterns. Once you’re able to identify these patterns, you can start to change them.

Relaxation and stress management: This type of therapy teaches you how to relax your mind and body when you’re feeling anxious. Relaxation techniques might include deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). 

Biofeedback Therapy For Anxiety: 

Biofeedback therapy is a form of treatment that uses sensors to monitor your body’s physiological response to stressors. 

The aim of biofeedback therapy is to help you become more aware of your body’s natural stress response so that you can learn to control it. Biofeedback therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Biofeedback therapy usually involves two different types of sensors: one to measure your heart rate and one to measure your skin conductance. The sensors are connected to a machine that displays your physiological data in real time. As you relax, you’ll see your heart rate slow down and your skin conductance decrease.

During the session, the therapist will guide you through a series of relaxation exercises. As you practice relaxing, you’ll begin to associate the physical sensations of relaxation with the exercises themselves. Over time, this will help you learn to control your body’s stress response so that you can manage your anxiety outside of the therapy sessions.

Female hand trying to connect a missing jigsaw puzzle of human brain on gray background. Creative idea for solving problem, memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease concept. Mental health care.

Rapid Resolution Therapy For Anxiety:

Rapid resolution therapy (RRT) is a newer type of therapy that is designed to help you resolve the underlying issues that are causing your anxiety. While RRT is a brief treatment, usually lasting only 3-5 sessions, it has been shown to be very effective in treating anxiety disorders. 

The first step in RRT is to identify the core beliefs that are causing your anxiety. Once these beliefs have been identified, the therapist will work with you to challenge and reframe them. 

One of the key features of RRT is that it uses a number of techniques to help you resolve your anxiety. These techniques include cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). 

Occupational Therapy For Anxiety Disorders: 

Occupational therapy (OT) is a type of therapy that helps you learn new skills and find new ways to cope with your anxiety symptoms. OT can help you manage your anxiety by teaching you how to better handle stressful situations, how to relax, and how to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. 

For people with anxiety disorders, occupational therapy can help them learn how to manage their symptoms and participate in the activities they love without letting their anxiety take over. 

Here are a few ways that occupational therapy can help people with anxiety disorders:

1. Identifying Triggers

One of the first things an occupational therapist will do is help you identify what triggers your anxiety. Once you know what your triggers are, you can start to develop a plan for how to deal with them.

2. Developing Coping Skills

Another way that occupational therapists can help people with anxiety disorders is by teaching them coping skills. Coping skills are techniques that can help you manage your anxiety at the moment. Some common coping skills include deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery. 

3. Practicing Relaxation Techniques

In addition to teaching you coping skills, your occupational therapist can also teach you relaxation techniques that can help reduce your overall anxiety levels. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation can all be helpful in managing anxiety disorders. 

4. Improving Sleep Habits: If you have an anxiety disorder, chances are good that you also have trouble sleeping. This is because anxiety can cause racing thoughts and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. An occupational therapist can work with you on developing better sleep habits and teach you relaxation techniques that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Anxiety: The Most Common Mental Illness In America

If you’re struggling with anxiety that feels out of your control, know that you’re not alone—anxiety disorders are very common. Thankfully there are many effective treatments available that can help you manage your symptoms and live a healthy, happy life. 

If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor, a mental health professional, or give us a call at 301-363-1063 to get started on your road to recovery today.

Sources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9536-anxiety-disorders

https://psychcentral.com/anxiety/managing-anxiety-with-biofeedback#:~:text=Biofeedback%20is%20a%20type%20of,few%20reported%20negative%20side%20effects.

https://www.inspiredbyhopecounselingllc.com/blog/2018/4/23/rapid-resolution-therapy-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-help-with-trauma

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Depression, Therapy Services

Group Therapy for Depression: How it Works

Do you ever feel like you’re the only one struggling? Depression tends to have that effect. Many people struggling with depression feel that they must suffer alone, but this isn’t true Group therapy for depression has helped thousands of people get much needed support and reduces the effects of isolation that often plague those with depression. 

How Does Therapy Help Treat Depression?

Someone seeks therapy for their depression typically because they feel stuck and don’t know the way forward. With therapy, you have a place to explore and discover the underlying issues that keep you stuck and find healthy ways to cope. Therapy helps you move from a place of hopelessness to a place of confidence and purpose. Therapy comes in every shape and size from individual, to group, to family or couple’s therapy. 

A group therapy group for depression

What To Expect in Group Therapy

In a group of roughly 5-15 people, you will work with a psychologist who leads and guides the group. In group therapy for depression, the psychologist of the group will work with the group to build coping skills that help with depression and provide other tools and insights that work to improve the debilitating symptoms of depression. There are a wide range of topics that can be covered in a group therapy session. 

  • Coping skills
  • Relationship and Social skills
  • Setting boundaries
  • Building self-esteem and confidence
  • Overcoming fears

Why Choose Group Therapy?

Social support and interaction are important for people struggling with depression. Depression is isolating and stigmatizing, leaving people with depression feeling even worse. There are tons of ways you can benefit from group therapy.

Fight Isolation

Depression can make it difficult to socialize, and the effects of isolation irritate symptoms of depression and make things worse. When you self-isolate, you start to feel like you’re the only one fighting this painful battle. Through group support, you will find that your group members feel similarly, and helps to normalize suffering. 

Therapy in a group can be a great option if you struggle with feeling connected to the outside world. Group therapy is a healthy container for creating social connections and ultimately helps you feel less alone in your struggles. 

Accountability

Sometimes it takes a village. If you’re someone who performs better with social pressure, group therapy could be the right environment for you. In group therapy, you are surrounded by people who are also there to achieve their goals. You have a whole room of people that you will feel accountable to. If you struggle to hold yourself accountable, which is normal with depression, being accountable to a group will help you stay focused on recovery.

Improve Confidence

Group therapy doesn’t just provide a support system, it’s also an enriching experience for those who have issues with self-esteem. It’s especially helpful to experience someone with depression getting better. When someone in the group is able to share a personal success, it helps prove to you what is possible for your health. This encouraging environment leaves you more confident in your own abilities to heal and cope with depression.

Supportive Environment

Everyone in a support group is there for the same reason – to get better and beat depression. In group therapy for depression, you have a group of people willing to be honest and open with you as you sort out your emotions.

You will also learn a lot through the stories you hear from other group members and what they struggle with. Exposure to struggles from other people helps you understand your own struggles better. All of these factors make group therapy a supportive environment for your recovery.

Gain Multiple Perspectives

Not only will you get to work with a psychologist, but you get to work with people who are struggling just like you. The stories you hear in group therapy will help you on your own journey and get validation in how you feel. Members of your group will also get to help you with your issues by offering their own unique perspective. This is often an eye opening experience for those new to group therapy. The collaborative aspect of group therapy will help you think clearer and offers a new way of seeing things. 

What Makes Group Therapy Successful? 

 With the right leader and a group of people who are dedicated to healing, group therapy can be an effective way to fight depression. A successful group is aware of the ground rules, understands the objectives, and is on the same page about what therapy will look like within group sessions. There are a few key qualities of group therapy that will bring the best results. 

  • Everyone is as honest as possible
  • Topics discussed in session remain confidential
  • Concerns and questions are immediately addressed
  • Group members engage with each other in a respectful manner
  • Fun and vulnerability are encouraged but not forced

When To Seek Group Therapy

If you have experienced symptoms of depression for a prolonged period of time and haven’t seen improvement, it’s time to seek support. Someone people who have tried individual therapy may also benefit from trying group therapy. If you struggle most with the effects of isolation, group therapy can be beneficial to your mental health and fight feelings of loneliness that often come with depression. 

Possible Disadvantages of Group Therapy

While many people find success with group therapy, it’s not for everyone. If you have severe social phobia, working within a group may hold you back from experiencing the full benefits that group therapy has to offer. Some patients may find it intimidating and have a hard time being vulnerable. 

Group therapy can also be difficult for those with severe depression, because it requires being able to engage with an entire room of people. If these are not concerns for you, group therapy can still be an option with many benefits. 

Group Therapy Alternatives

Some people don’t find success through group therapy but still need help. There are complementary and alternative therapies that provide relief to the many people who suffer from depression. Always talk with your doctor about your issues and concerns so they can provide you with the most optimized treatment plan.

Individual Therapy

If group therapy is too overwhelming for you, individual therapy with a psychologist is a better option. Individual therapy will provide an environment that feels safer to be vulnerable and open with your therapist about your fears and issues. Some people use individual and group therapy to get the unique benefits that both therapies provide. 

TMS Therapy

If you don’t like the idea of medication and fail to find what you need with talk therapy, TMS is an alternative therapy for depression that is effective and safe. Through the use of magnetic pulses, TMS stimulates the areas of the brain responsible for depression. This alternative therapy is FDA approved to treat depression 

Creative Therapy

Using creative therapies like art and music have been shown to increase feelings of wellbeing and decrease symptoms of depression for many. You can talk with your therapist about the types of creative therapy that will work for you. Creative therapy is an individual experience, so what works well for one person may induce anxiety for another. There are many creative outlets to choose from that can provide therapeutic benefits to the depressed mind.

  • Poetry
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Yoga
  • Meditation

We Have Therapy Options!

Everyone has different needs for their mental health. We are an anxiety and depression therapy center with a mission to provide patients with medical services for every aspect of their health. Whether you’re seeking individual or group therapy, or need help with pain management, we strive to provide you with a personalized care experience. Reach out to us at (301) 363-1063 if you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation!

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A group therapy group for depression
Depression

Is There an Alternative to Antidepressants?

Depression continues to rise each year, affecting approximately 1 in 4 Americans. As one of the most common mental health disorders worldwide, the options for treatment have come a long way. Antidepressants are the leading drug used to treat and minimize symptoms of depression. 

While antidepressants help thousands of people cope with depression and improve their life, those with co-occurring disorders like addiction can run into problems with this type of therapy. Some people seek treatments for depression with similar effects of antidepressants, without the negative side effects and risk of dependence. 

There are other reasons that people seek alternatives to antidepressants, like treatment-resistant depression. Some patients may look for something in addition to medication. Either way – if you’re seeking safe alternatives to antidepressants for depression, there are many options to choose from. 

What do Antidepressants do for Depression?

Antidepressants are one of the most common ways that clinical depression is treated and are commonly used to treat other mental health disorders like anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. Depression is characterized by decreased activity in certain areas of the brain that affect mood, hormone regulation, and dealing with stress. These areas include the hippocampus, amygdala, and the prefrontal cortex.

Antidepressant medication is used to increase activity in these previously mentioned regions of the brain. This increased activity is known to improve symptoms of depression like low mood and suppressed appetite. As good as this sounds, antidepressants can sometimes come with many side effects that are unpleasant like apathy, weight gain, and fatigue. 

Lifestyle Factors That Affect Risk of Depression

First and foremost, there are numerous lifestyle factors that can affect symptoms of depression. Leading a healthy lifestyle and taking preventative measures for your health will increase your chances of avoiding or minimizing the plague of depression. Many studies point to the fact that poor lifestyle factors have strong links to mental illness, and healthy factors provide antidepressant qualities. Below are a few ways your lifestyle can support better mental health. 

Regular Exercise

If physical inactivity leads to depression, then the opposite is true. Exercise is a natural antidepressant. Physical activity releases natural happy chemicals that support mood regulation. For best results, it’s important to get regular exercise of at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 days a week.

Consistent Sleep Schedule

Chronic sleep deprivation and poor sleep habits can lead to mental health problems like depression and makes existing problems worse. Your sleep is an imperative part of your wellness and most areas of health require quality sleep. Keeping a regular sleep schedule helps to avoid sleep problems and helps regulate your sleep cycles for optimal results. 

Balanced Diet

Food is another pillar of wellness that contributes to your mental health. Sugar and processed foods increase inflammation in the body and worsen symptoms of depression. Lacking a diet in essential nutrients also contributes to poor mental health. Ensuring that your diet is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin D, and other important nutrients will help increase your chances of avoiding depression. 

Exposure to Sunlight 

Lack of vitamin D not only affects your physical health but your mental health too. Sunlight helps naturally produce vitamin D and increases the release of serotonin, known for regulating mood and increasing focus.

Mindfulness and Relaxation

Depressive thoughts and rumination contribute to the negative feelings that come with depression. Mindfulness is a safe and healthy alternative to antidepressants. Practicing mindfulness can be used to reduce brain fog, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. You can use techniques like breathwork, meditation, and body-scanning to increase mindfulness. 

Limit Daily Screen Time

While technology is fairly new, there are definite links to screen time and depression. Those who spend more time on screens are more likely to be depressed. Excessive screen time also leads to other problems that contribute to depression, like sleep dysregulation and brain fog. Regulating your screen time can help stave off symptoms of depression. 

Complementary and Alternative Options to Antidepressants

If you’ve had a negative experience with antidepressants or simply desire an alternative, there are a number of safe and effective treatment options to choose from. The options presented below can be taken ahead of choosing antidepressant medication as well. Some patients with more severe depression may need more than one treatment. These therapies and treatments are sometimes combined with antidepressants to maximize treatment. 

TMS Therapy

If you have treatment resistant depression, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could be an effective option for you. TMS is a drug free and safe alternative to antidepressants that is considered effective with minimal side effects. TMS therapy provides relief from severe symptoms of depression using short pulses of magnetic energy to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. 

This noninvasive procedure requires a round of 30-36 treatment sessions but the treatment has a high success rate for depression. TMS involves magnetic pulses that stimulate nerve cells in areas of the brain that affects depression. We partner with Gemini TMS to provide you with the most effective treatment for your needs using an individualized treatment plan. Many patients say they feel like a different person after finishing TMS therapy.

Stellate Ganglion Block Injections

SGB injections can be a great option if you have depression along with anxiety and PTSD. SGB injections are the use of local anesthesia to disrupt the nerves that are hyperactive during a major depressive episode. These hyperactive nerves keep the body in a perpetual state of stress. 

Blocking the nerve signals responsible for depression allows the brain to reset. Many people report feeling an immediate sense of calm after an SGB injection. The good news is that SGB is low risk aside from initial bruising and discomfort. The better news is that SGB injections have lasting effects and patients often feel relief for a few months and even up to a few years. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

With the help of a therapist, cognitive behavior therapy is a highly successful talk therapy that aims to change the way you think. Often combined with medication, CBT is used to identify unhelpful thought processes and challenge them.

CBT may require “homework” that is to be completed outside of sessions. While this requires a lot of effort, it is considered very effective if you are willing to put in the work. CBT is popular amongst therapists and known for treating various mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

IV Ketamine

Ketamine is becoming a revolutionary treatment for mental health conditions like depression. Intravenous Ketamine infusions consist of administering ketamine through an IV. Ketamine is an anesthetic that activates the neurotransmitter in the brain that is responsible for mood regulation. Ketamine works to repair synapses and effectively rewires the brain. 

Popularly used to treat conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD, ketamine is a great option in alternative to antidepressants. . 

Lithium

Often taken in tandem with antidepressants, lithium has long been used to help with symptoms of depression. Lithium is a naturally occurring organic element that acts as a mood stabilizer by increasing certain chemicals in the brain. Lithium also helps reduce the frequency and severity of depressive episodes and reduces risk of suicide.

Neurofeedback 

Also known as EEG biofeedback, neurofeedback is a medication-free approach to treating mental health conditions. Neurofeedback works by using sensors to record brainwave activity. A program then analyzes your brain activity and provides positive reinforcement when the brain meets certain goals. 

Through the use of positive reinforcement, this process teaches the brain to form healthier habits and more balanced thoughts. You can think of this training like exercise for the brain. Neurofeedback may be an option for treatment resistant depression, and the risk factors are significantly low, making it a safe alternative to antidepressants. 

Acupuncture

A thousand-year-old practice, acupuncture is a holistic procedure that uses needles that are placed into specific parts of the skin to release chemicals and neurotransmitters. These chemicals and neurotransmitters are known to help with levels of stress and anxiety by helping with mood regulation and boosting feelings of wellbeing. 

Looking for options?

Gemini Health offers therapy services for depression and anxiety and can provide you with the alternatives you’re looking for. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals offering individual and group therapy and TMS therapy. Avoid the negative side effects of antidepressants by reaching out to Gemini Health today. Reach out to us at (301) 363-1063 and speak with our amazing staff about scheduling an appointment!

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A group therapy group for depression
Therapy Services

What is the difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy?

52.9 million people suffer from a variety of mental health issues, and seeking an outpatient therapist would help to improve their mental health. The issue lies within determining whether outpatient therapy in Elkridge, Maryland, or inpatient therapy will work the best for your personal needs.

Read on now and find out the main differences between inpatient and outpatient therapy.

What is Outpatient Care?

Outpatient therapy in Mt. Airy, Maryland, is when you receive a variety of services from a treatment facility without having to stay in the facility around the clock. While you might spend a significant amount of time in group therapy in Elkridge, Maryland, you'll still go home at the end of the night.

It's best to speak in-depth with your care coordinator to find out if outpatient group therapy is going to work well for you.

What is Inpatient Care?

You should think of inpatient care as a more intensified version of outpatient care. Instead of spending time at home, you dedicate 100% of your focus and time to improving your mental health status.

Another thing to remember when you're entering inpatient care is that it will be on the more extensive end as far as costs go. While we've taken the time to detail inpatient and outpatient care for you, there are some differences you should know about.

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Structure of Treatment

One of the main differences between inpatient and outpatient group therapy in Mt. Airy, Maryland is the structure of the treatment. When you're in inpatient therapy, the structure of your treatment plan is going to be more rigid.

You'll receive care around the clock, including sticking to specific meal times and rehabilitation services. When you opt for an outpatient group therapy near me, you'll find that the structure you adhere to is much more flexible in terms of what you can and can't do.

Although the structure of the therapy services is different, you can guarantee that the outline of the therapy groups you participate in remains the same.

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Services Offered by the Facility

Another key difference between inpatient and outpatient services is the type of services offered. Before you begin participating in any form of therapy, you're going to have to submit to an assessment.

During the assessment, the care coordinator will collect information about you, including:

  • Past medical history
  • Current medical status
  • Medical condition needs

It's essential to be as honest as possible during the medical assessment because it will ensure you receive a care plan that is personalized for your needs. Another service that could be offered by the facility you seek treatment from is medication management help.

Part of improving your health and wellness is to ensure you're taking your medication as it's prescribed, even if you start to feel better. Your care coordinator will teach you about taking your medication and why it's important.

You will also tap into education sources. Sometimes the reason people don't take advantage of mental health resources is that they don't know as much as they should about mental health and how to improve theirs.

The more educated you are about mental health, the better off you'll be.

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Length of Time Spent in Treatment

Different people will spend different lengths of time in treatment depending on their personal needs. It's important to consider how much help you need and discuss this with your care coordinator.

They will provide a recommendation, and from there, you can decide the length of time that works for you. It might prove even more beneficial if you don't make a decision about how much time you spend in treatment because it's about mental health progression.

If you're in a better place when the time of your stay is up, you can leave, but if you feel you need more work and time in your program, you can extend the time you'll be in treatment.

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Treatment Success Rate

Why would you seek treatment if the place offering the treatment has a low success rate? Take time to review the comments left by former clients.

Past client testimonials will give you insight into what the facility does well and other areas where they'll need to make improvements. It will help you determine if the facility you're reviewing is the one for you.

Sometimes the facility will provide you with their own list of references; all you've got to do is ask for them. A facility that is being transparent and only wants to provide quality care will always be forthcoming about what they can do for their clients.

They only seek to offer the best to their clients and assist them in turning over a new leaf while taking back more control.

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Medical Professionals in the Facility

When you're deciding between inpatient and outpatient therapy, one thing that may be different is the providers. In an inpatient facility, there might be a higher number and variety of providers. This is because they offer different things to the clients.

For example, you'll have access to therapists, nurses, medical doctors, and counselors that provide different services.

Difference Between an Inpatient and Outpatient Therapist

When you decide between having an inpatient and outpatient therapist, there are several key differences you need to know about. Some of the differences between the two are the services they offer and the structure of the therapy provided.

Are you ready to enter a facility that will offer you the mental health services you need? Schedule a consultation with Gemini Health today.

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Anxiety

How Does Anxiety Affect The Brain?

Did you know that more than 40% of people in the United States alone suffer from some form of anxiety? As today's modern world only gets faster and faster, more people are starting to develop an anxiety disorder. No matter what type of anxiety one has, the condition can be debilitating in severe cases and it can make one's life thoroughly unenjoyable. 

But how does anxiety affect the brain exactly? Is an anxious person's brain all that different from a brain that doesn't suffer from anxiety? More than that, how does anxiety impact one's life as a result of changes in the brain and is there any way to treat this condition?

Outpatient anxiety therapy, Elkridge, Maryland, might be able to help. Keep reading and learn more about how anxiety affects the brain and how the condition can affect your way of life.

What Is Anxiety Exactly?

Anxiety comes in many different forms and each of those forms can vary in severity. For example, social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety. It involves being afraid of people, talking to people, and otherwise interacting with people in any way. 

Since living a normal life requires interacting with people on a daily basis, you can imagine that this form of anxiety can be crippling, especially when the anxiety is severe. People with social anxiety not only have difficulty forming close relationships but some even have difficulty going outside and going out to public environments. 

Even going to the store to buy groceries can be a hard task for those with social anxiety. In some cases, a panic attack may result if a person with anxiety tries to go beyond his zone of comfort. A panic attack can include symptoms such as heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, sweating, chills, nausea, and chest pain. 

Some people who have panic attacks may mistake the symptoms for a heart attack.

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Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety is another type of anxiety that permeates a person's entire life, not just the person's social life. A person with generalized anxiety may be nervous about things even if there is no reason to be nervous. 

Being anxious without any reason to be anxious can be especially detrimental to a person's life. Every decision that a person tries to make is full of fear and uncertainty. As you can imagine, being in a constant state of fear is not healthy for the body or mind. 

That's because when you're anxious, your brain will release stress hormones. Normally, these hormones aim to help you get out of the occasional stressful situation. When someone is anxious for no reason, these stress hormones do more harm than good. 

Your Brain Is Overflowing with Stress Hormones

How can anxiety affect your brain? Stress hormones play a big part in the answer to that question. As mentioned before, stress hormones help us escape stressful and potentially dangerous situations. 

For example, thousands of years ago, humans had to defend themselves against wild animals such as bears. When you see a bear, you become anxious because you know that the bear could harm you.

As a natural response, your brain will produce stress hormones that will activate your fight or flight response. 

This response will help you to escape the danger in front of you one way or another. Specifically, these stress hormones (which are produced by the sympathetic nervous system) are called adrenaline and cortisol. They will fill you with energy that will increase the speed of your reflexes and increase your ability to sense certain things. 

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The Details

In this scenario, once you escape danger (the bear), your stress hormones will dissipate and you will no longer feel fear or anxiety. Then, the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for resting and digesting will kick in so you can relax again. However, for some people, this fine balance of stress hormones isn't so easily controlled.

If you suffer from anxiety, something might trigger your anxiety and fear response but even after the trigger is gone, your brain will continue to produce stress hormones. Your brain will continue to get more and more stressed until you are overwhelmed with anxiety. This usually concludes with a panic attack, although some people can maintain high stress levels for weeks or months at a time. 

This can also turn cases of mild anxiety into moderate or severe anxiety in a short time. But that isn't the only way anxiety affects the brain.

Difficulty Forming Rational Thoughts

People with anxiety often have a hard time forming rational thoughts. That's one of the many reasons why anxiety therapy, Elkridge, Maryland, is so important. When your brain is overwhelmed with stress hormones, you won't be able to think clearly. 

That's because the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, two very important regions in the brain, won't be as strongly connected as they usually are. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for allowing us to come up with rational thoughts and make good decisions. On the other hand, the amygdala is responsible for telling the rest of the brain that there is danger afoot. 

In the case of anxiety, the amygdala will tell the brain that there is danger present even if there isn't any real danger to think of. Normally, the prefrontal cortex would come up with a rational decision for how to avoid the danger. However, in anxious brains, this process doesn't work as well.

The Anxious Brain

Instead, an anxious brain will not be able to activate the prefrontal cortex as usual. As a result, the brain will not be able to come up with rational decisions when it comes to reacting to the perceived threat. That's why people with anxiety may have thoughts that are not rational and may sometimes behave in irrational ways. 

For example, a person with social anxiety may be terrified to go to the grocery store. There is no real reason to be afraid of going to the store, but the anxious brain creates irrational thoughts. The socially anxious person may be afraid to talk to the cashier upon checking out or afraid to say hello to anyone. 

Even though there is no danger present, the person may be so anxious that he may refuse to go to the store. 

Anxiety Causes You to Remember More Negative Memories

Many people with anxiety find that they are able to mostly remember negative memories rather than positive ones. This is no coincidence and therapy for anxiety, Elkridge, MD, will be able to teach you more about it. Anxiety can strongly affect the hippocampus. 

The hippocampus is a structure in the brain responsible for forming, recalling, and consolidating memories. It is especially important for long-term and contextual memory. Without it, you wouldn't be able to process memories and store them in your brain to remember for years to come.

When you are often stressed, this stress will actually start to shrink the hippocampus. As this brain structure shrinks, it will become less effective at processing memories and storing them for later as it usually does. But that still doesn't explain why anxious people remember more negative rather than positive memories. 

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The Hippocampus and Anxiety

Shouldn't anxious people have fewer negative and positive memories as the hippocampus shrinks? Not necessarily. Anxiety affects the hippocampus so that this brain structure stores only memories that are linked to anxiety. 

Anxious memories are regarded as "safe" to store and therefore make it to your brain's long-term memory. In contrast, positive memories are those that are not linked to anxiety. For that reason, your anxiety will tell the hippocampus that these memories are not safe for storage. 

The result is that you will be able to recall more negative memories than positive memories. This does not necessarily mean that you didn't remember those positive memories. However, it is harder to recall them. 

Of course, forgetting your positive memories in favor of negative memories is no fun. That's why having your anxiety treated is important. That way, you will be on your way to having a happier and healthier brain.

How Does Anxiety Affect the Brain?

How does anxiety affect the brain? This mental disorder changes the brain in a variety of ways including how the brain processes memory and forms rational thoughts. Anxiety causes the brain to flood with stress hormones. 

As a result, a person with anxiety is unable to relax even if there isn't anything to be anxious about. Constant anxiety can actually cause structural changes to the brain such as shrinkage of the hippocampus. To learn more about outpatient treatment, don't hesitate to contact us here.

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Anxiety, Depression, PTSD

Benefits Of Ketamine For Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Nearly one in five adults in the US live with a mental illness. But not everyone benefits from the same treatment options. The good news is that there are different treatments to try, including ketamine. 

Ketamine can draw a mixture of reactions. Some people have never heard of it before, whereas others will remember its history as a wartime anesthetic or think of it as a party drug. However, using ketamine for anxiety, depression, complex PTSD, and other psychological disorders is a breakthrough treatment option.

Are you interested in learning more about ketamine therapy for anxiety and other disorders? Read on for everything you need to know. 

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine was first discovered in the 1960s and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anesthetic in the 1970s. It was used during the Vietnam War for injured soldiers as it is an anesthetic that does not require a ventilator.

It is now used in different ways, including in veterinary medicine and as a common sedative in pediatric emergency care. Some people use it recreationally, which is why it is only legal by prescription only. 

Ketamine produces a dissociative experience, which can be described as a trance-like state. There are different types of ketamine, with two main types being used for psychological treatment. These are:

The types of ketamine interact differently with the brain, but both are effective treatment options. However, it can treat treatment-resistant depression and other psychological disorders, such as complex PTSD and anxiety. What type of ketamine you receive depends on your doctor's assessment of your needs and where you receive treatment.

 

How Does Ketamine Work?

Research is still being done to determine how ketamine precisely works. However, what is known is that it produces important and useful effects. There is evidence that it can work in different ways in the brain to relieve depression and other psychological disorders:

  • Stimulates neural activity
  • Increases neuroplasticity for new thought patterns 

When the ketamine dose is administered, the experience can last around two hours, but its benefits last after treatment finishes. The experience can include feelings of unreality, euphoria, and distortions. Ketamine therapy for anxiety and other psychological disorders is done in safe clinical settings with medical supervision.

 

How Does Ketamine Work for Depression? 

Ketamine for depression and other psychological disorders works differently than when it is used as an anesthetic. A lower dose is given, with the focus on the other effects ketamine produces. It depends if you are given the nasal spray or IV treatment, but both offer benefits for depression. 

For example, studies have found that ketamine triggers glutamate production, which helps the brain produce new neural connections, which can be lifesaving for people with depression. It helps them break negative thought patterns and behaviors, open up to new perspectives, and become more receptive to therapy.

Ketamine likely increases glutamate production because it connects to NMDA receptors in the brain. This allows it to create more glutamate between neurons. Glutamate triggers connections in AMPA receptions, which help other neurons communicate more efficiently.

The result includes changes in mood and thought patterns. There are suggestions that ketamine works for depression in different ways, such as opening communication between other parts of the brain. It may also reduce inflammation signals, which can contribute to depression.

Ketamine for Anxiety 

Ketamine for anxiety works in different ways. Depression and anxiety are often connected, so the changes to glutamate also help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Studies have found that ketamine can help with a variety of anxiety disorders, including:

Often ketamine therapy for anxiety will be done alongside other treatment forms, such as therapy. This means you have sufficient reduction in anxiety symptoms to benefit from other treatments, such as therapy, which can help you get to the root cause of anxiety.

Ketamine opens you to different perspectives, which can help you reach new realizations. It can help you move forward with your recovery journey. 

Ketamine for Complex PTSD

Ketamine for PTSD can also be beneficial. As with depression and anxiety, glutamate plays a role in stress response, traumatic memory formation, and other symptoms of PTSD.

Because ketamine targets glutamate, it can help the brain release trauma and ease symptoms of PTSD. Studies have found that PTSD severity reduces in patients who have ketamine therapy. 

Benefits of Ketamine

There is a reason why ketamine has been used for so many years. It offers a variety of benefits, which have helped patients in many ways. Here are the top benefits of ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders. 

Immediate Effect

The benefits of ketamine are almost immediate. It can rapidly reduce symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders. You do not have to wait, which can speed up the recovery process and can be lifesaving for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. 

Patients are able to see changes that motivate them to continue with their treatment. This may involve other interventions, too, such as counseling. They do not have to wait for new medications to work to engage in their treatment plan.

Although ketamine has a rapid effect, several doses are usually required for long-lasting impact. Usually, the effects of one dose last for around a week. 

Maintenance Doses Possible 

Ketamine is a safe intervention under supervision, which means medical professionals can create treatment plans for IV ketamine. Patients can receive IV ketamine for a set period of time, such as weekly for twelve weeks. This enables them to focus on overcoming their psychological disorder.

 

Safe to Use Under Medical Supervision

Medical staff used ketamine during the Vietnam war because it is an anesthetic that does not slow breathing or heart rate. Patients need to use it under medical supervision because of the risks causal use presents. There are several side effects and the risk of addiction if people chase the euphoria of the experience.

However, under medical supervision, it is safe to use to treat psychological disorders. Usually, it is for people who have treatment-resistant psychological disorders. But ketamine therapy is becoming increasingly common in the mental health field. 

Physical Health Benefits

Ketamine can help reduce pain, which is why medical professionals use it to treat neuropathic conditions and as an anesthetic. However, many people who experience psychological disorders also experience physical pain. Ketamine can relieve this burden and help patients who use opioids or other substances for pain relief. 

Allows New Thought Processes

One of the biggest benefits of ketamine for PTSD, anxiety, and other psychological disorders is that it improves synapse growth. It rewires connections between neurons, so new thought processes are easier to access. It can be difficult to break thought patterns, which is why ketamine for anxiety and other disorders can be so beneficial. 

Reduces Safety Risks

Ketamine can also reduce safety risks associated with mental health disorders. For example, it can reduce the severity of symptoms, such as:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Isolation
  • Paranoia 
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Substance abuse

Sometimes patients cannot wait for a traditional SSRI to work. Ketamine opens the gateway for more treatment possibilities that empower the patient while keeping them safe. It also provides peace of mind for loved ones who may be worrying about the severity of symptoms. 

Take Advantage of Therapy 

There are different types of therapy available for psychological disorders. Therapies include:

The type of therapy you need depends on the psychological disorder you experience and your personal needs. However often the symptoms of psychological disorders make it difficult to engage in therapeutic interventions.

Ketamine therapy can help relieve the symptoms that act as a barrier to therapy. It can allow the patient to access therapy and attend. Or it can help them get more out of their therapy sessions. 

Fewer Side Effects

Most mental health treatments involve side effects of some kind. However, the benefits of a treatment can outweigh the risks. However, most of the ketamine's possible side effects are not long-term. 

These side effects can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Dissociation 
  • Perceptual disturbances

Most side effects just last for the first IV ketamine infusion and end soon after. This is different from some other mental health treatments, which can include long-term side effects. However, more research is being done into frequent and long-term ketamine usage. 

Research Support

Research on ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders is promising. This is why it is now being used as a mental health treatment option. And research continues to grow, making it possible for ketamine to be a more common mental health treatment.

Ketamine for Depression in Maryland 

Ketamine offers many benefits as a mental health treatment. It can help people overcome psychological disorders and continue on their recovery journey. However, it is essential to pick a reputable provider who offers ketamine for anxiety and other psychological disorders.

Are you looking for ketamine for depression in Maryland? Gemini Health Elkridge Maryland offers ketamine for PTSD in Maryland, along with other conditions. Contact us today to learn more. 

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A man with depression wearing a blue shirt with his hands on his face
Depression

Types of Depression

Depression is extremely common, with it being a leading cause of disability across the world and an estimated 5% of adults suffering from it globally. Depression is actually classified into several different types, with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (currently known as the DSM-5) being the standard that is used to classify mental disorders, such as depression. The DSM-5 breaks down the definition of depression and the different types to better help mental health professionals to be able to diagnose patients, treat those patients appropriately, and conduct further research. 

 

What is Major Depression? 

Major depressive disorder is known as a serious mood disorder that causes continuous bouts of sadness that can be extremely debilitating. Major depression is characterized by a loss of interest in regular activities and a variety of physical and behavioral symptoms. Also known as clinical depression, symptoms must be present for at least two consecutive weeks and there must be a noticeable change in the person’s level of functioning in their daily life. Common symptoms include changes in sleep (either sleeping too much or sleeping too little), changes in appetite, lower energy levels, trouble focusing, accompanying irritability and/or anxiety. It is also thought that women are affected more by depression than men, although this could be because men underreport and do not seek help due to social stigmas. 

Depression is not merely the occasional feeling of sadness, which everyone experiences at times, and often requires treatment in order to overcome. Depression treatment can be long-term depending on the severity of symptoms and first-line treatment typically involves psychotherapy, consisting of talk therapy, and antidepressants. 

What are the Other Types of Depression? 

Different depression types are classified and diagnosed depending on the specific set of symptoms that people experience, as there is some overlap of symptoms but also key differences, and the way people are affected by their depression. These are the forms of depression that are currently listed in the DSM-5: 
 

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Also called seasonal depression, it predominantly affects people in the colder months of fall and winter. This is when the Earth is furthest away from the Sun and people are exposed to very little sunlight on a daily basis. SAD is associated with disruptions in the circadian rhythm and imbalances in the chemicals in the brain, leading to depression. Symptoms also generally start at the end of fall or the beginning of winter when the days start to become shorter. Common symptoms include having low energy, feeling listless, sleeping too much, overeating (craving carbohydrates) and weight gain, feeling worthless, and feeling listless. For it to be diagnosed, major depressive symptoms must be present for a specific season at least two years in a row, although not everyone will experience symptoms every year. 

 

  • Peripartum Depression: Also known as postpartum depression, it is a type of depression that starts during pregnancy (peripartum) or within four weeks after a person has given birth (postpartum). This is more than just the “baby blues,” as it is an actual form of mild depression that can be diagnosed, however it generally goes away on its own around one to two weeks after it starts. Postpartum depression is most often characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, fatigue, withdrawal from family and friends, loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable, loss of interest in the baby, or even thoughts of harming the baby. People are also highly likely to experience anxiety along with the depression symptoms. Postpartum depression is a serious mental health disorder and should be treated as such and anyone experiencing severe symptoms needs to seek medical attention for the appropriate treatment.  

 

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is often thought to be PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, but they are two separate disorders. It is classified differently from PMS because it is a much more severe disorder and can be very debilitating. PMDD symptoms will begin one to two weeks before a person’s period starts and will end two to three days after their period starts. Symptoms of PMDD are mood swings, depressed mood, irritability, decreased interest in daily activities, sense of being out of control, problems with being able to sleep, lack of energy, changes in appetite, weight gain, bloating, and breast tenderness. The underlying cause of PMDD is not currently known, although it is thought that hormonal changes play a part.  

 

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia): Previously referred to as dysthymic disorder, persistent depressive disorder is a chronic form of depression that is less severe than major depression. One of the key differences between persistent depressive disorder and major depression is the length of time people usually experience it. Those with persistent depressive disorder will have symptoms of depression for more days than not for at least two years, which is significantly longer than major depression. The symptoms also can’t be absent for more than two consecutive months for it to be considered persistent depressive disorder. Symptoms include depressed mood, poor appetite or overeating, insomnia, fatigue, low energy, and a general feeling of being “down in the dumps.” Persistent depressive disorder can greatly affect a person’s daily life, such as at school, work, or with relationships.  
     
  • Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD): This is a childhood condition that usually occurs between the ages of six and eighteen. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder will appear in children as irritability, anger, and frequent temper outbursts that are significantly worse than normal child moodiness. For there to be a diagnosis of DMDD, these extreme temper outbursts must present themselves at least three times a week and symptoms must occur for at least one year, with the onset of symptoms before the age of ten. The temper tantrums will also interfere with a child's ability to function at home, in school, and interact with other children or adults.  
     
  • Bipolar Disorders: Bipolar disorders (there are three types) cause extreme mood swings and when people are experiencing low mood as part of the cycle of bipolar disorder it actually meets the criteria of major depression, which is also referred to as bipolar depression. When someone with bipolar disorder, usually either bipolar disorder I or bipolar disorder II, experiences the depression side they will display classic symptoms of depression such as feeling sad, having low energy levels, changes in sleep (either sleeping too much or too little), changes in appetite (either eating too much or too little), having difficulty with concentration, and a loss of interest in activities. Symptoms usually last about 2 weeks and episodes of depression can happen rarely or several times a year. 

How Depression is Treated 

Depression is most commonly treated with either psychotherapy or medication, known as antidepressants. The most effective treatment utilizes both. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the types of psychotherapy that is widely used to treat depression, along with others like dialectical behavior therapy and psychodynamic therapy. CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps people identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and change those patterns/behaviors.  

Antidepressants are also prescribed as a means to change a person’s mood by altering the chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters (ex. Serotonin and Dopamine). Some of the common categories of antidepressants are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), SNRIs (Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors), TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants), MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors), and NASSAs (Noradrenaline and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants). They generally will start working within 2-4 weeks but may take a few months to show whether they are actually effective or not. 

 

Those with treatment resistant depression may need to seek services, such as transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS) in order to finally overcome their depression. TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure that is usually referred to when traditional methods have failed. 

Want to See a Therapist? 

If you are interested in seeking help for a mental health disorder or any mental health issues you may be experiencing then reach out to Gemini Health for the appropriate treatment. Our healthcare professionals are highly skilled and experienced to provide you with quality health services. They offer both individual and group therapy, as well as access to psychiatrists for all patients. Plus there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!  

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Therapy Services

Therapy Goals for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, but they can also be experienced separately. Going to therapy is usually one of the best forms of treatment for both conditions, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most popular type of therapy. Research has shown CBT to be effective in treating multiple mental health conditions, such as panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, etc. 

Therapy Goals for Anxiety and Depression 

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, but they can also be experienced separately. Going to therapy is usually one of the best forms of treatment for both conditions, with cognitive behavioral therapy being the most popular type of therapy. Research has shown CBT to be effective in treating multiple mental health conditions, such as panic disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias, etc. In therapy you and your therapist will set attainable goals for your progress, and you will spend your sessions learning techniques to help you achieve these goals.  

Anxiety Disorders Treated by Therapy 

Anxiety is a complicated mental health condition that covers a broad set of symptoms. In general, anxiety itself is the body’s response to stress and fear. It is the catalyst for the human body’s fight-or-flight response. A small amount of anxiety is normal, but for some they can experience extreme bouts of anxiety for a continuous amount of time. Individuals suffering from extreme anxiety related symptoms are more likely to be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder and with this disorder, people can feel extreme levels of anxiety in a number of situations, like work, school, social outings, etc. It is termed ‘generalized’ because it does not have to be anything specific that triggers symptoms. Generalized anxiety disorder is not the only condition in terms of anxiety that people can have and there is a wide range of disorders that falls under this category. Some of the different anxiety disorders include: 
 

  • Panic Disorder: Anyone struggling with panic disorder deals with repeated panic attacks that can become very intense very quickly. When someone is having a panic attack, they can literally feel like they are dying.    
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): Social anxiety causes a fear of social situations because people may believe that the way they behave will be viewed negatively. Performance anxiety also falls under social phobia and people will be afraid of doing things like giving speeches.  
  • Specific Phobia: This is a disorder where a person has a fear of a specific object or situation. People can have fears of just about anything, such as spiders, heights, clowns, and much more. These fears are typically exaggerated in their mind, as there is no actual danger. 
  • Agoraphobia: Those with agoraphobia have a major fear of places or situations where they might feel trapped. It can be a very debilitating condition, as many people become so anxious that they cannot leave their homes.  

The classification of anxiety disorders matters in relation to therapy. How your therapist goes about designing a treatment plan for you and setting goals for anxiety therapy will be different based on what disorder you have. Although there are many forms of therapy to treat anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are typically the most effect approaches 

What is a Treatment Plan 

For a therapist or counselor to provide effective coping skills when managing anxiety symptoms, they will develop a uniquely tailored treatment plan.  Treatment plans are a good way to track progress and ensure that clients are receiving the appropriate care. When a therapist creates a client’s treatment plan they will include the goals that you have both discussed and agreed on. Having concrete goals set out at the beginning of your therapy is an important way to help you overcome your mental health conditions and get the most out of your treatment. They give you the chance to actively engage with what you are taught in therapy. Whether you are seeking treatment for anxiety or depression or both, a solid treatment plan will have set goals, measurable objectives, and a reasonable timeline for your progress. The treatment plan will also be tailored to your specific needs and what you are hoping to get out of therapy.  

General Structure of Goals 

A popular approach for patient goal setting is SMART goals. The SMART approach is frequently utilized in cognitive behavioral therapy .The SMART approach incorporates a set of 5 criteria to develop effective goal setting. SMART stands for: 

 

  • Specific: Clearly defined objectives that include actions you will need to take or skills you need to learn to be able to hit your goals. By setting a goal that is specific, rather than vague, and incorporating how you will accomplish it will make it more attainable. Also keep in mind that it is okay to be flexible when you need to be (ex. Having to change the time of day you actively work on your goal) and give yourself grace to make sure you can meet your goals.  
  • Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable and measurable so you know how far you’ve come. This includes the standards that will be used to measure your progress towards those goals. Being able to clearly see your progress will help keep you motivated to meet your goals and also give you an idea of whether a goal and your actions are actually working to improve the symptoms of your mental health condition.  
  • Achievable: You need to set goals that challenge you to grow. They should also be realistic for you to meet in a certain time frame, so that when you meet these goals you see that you are fully capable of achieving things for yourself and grow your confidence levels. If you set unrealistic goals and can’t meet them then this can cause you to give up entirely and possibly even set you back in your treatment. 
  • Relevant: Goals should directly relate to the mental health conditions and symptoms you are experiencing. They should also be inspiring to you specifically to keep you motivated to continue trying. If you're uninterested in that goal then you are less likely to stick with it and might give up when obstacles present themselves, as they naturally do. This also means that the goal should have significance to you and not to your therapist. 
  • Time-Bound: Having a clear time-line for you to meet your goals will help you stay on track and not want to give up as easily. Being able to conceptualize a time frame will also help you to prioritize your goals and work them into a potentially busy lifestyle. You can set either long-term or short-term goals, as long as there is a tangible deadline in place. 

Individuals can also take the concept and create SMART goals on their own to change any lifestyle behaviors they wish, which may lead to healthier and happier lives.  

Therapy Goals for Anxiety 

As stated above, the specific goals that you have will depend on the type of anxiety you experience and will be established between you and your therapist. Some general example goals for anxiety could be: 
 

-A client wants to be less isolated and will initiate at least one social contact per week for the month. 

-A client wants to better manage anxiety during the week and will reduce panic attacks from the current 7 times a week to 4 times or fewer in the next three months and will track the number of panic attacks they have in this time period. 

-Client wants to correct distorted, spiraling thoughts that trigger anxiety and will practice challenging those thoughts with realistic thoughts and breathing techniques when they occur over the next two weeks and will journal about their thoughts.   

Therapy Goals for Depression 

Depression treatment goals can address a range of symptoms. If you do not know what goals you want to set then your therapist can help you decide what is important to work on for you.

Some general example goals for depression could be: 

-Client wants to have less negative thoughts about themselves and will practice positive self-talk when negative thoughts start to encroach for the next two months and will complete a scored questionnaire to determine if negative thoughts decrease. 

-Client has trouble with sleeping and will keep a sleep journal over the next two weeks to identify any unhealthy habits that should be changed. 

-Client wants to be more active in order to boost their mood and will engage in at least one physical activity, such as going for a walk, three times a week for the next three weeks and will track how many times they complete an activity. 

 

Need Help for Anxiety and Depression? 

If you are looking for therapy services for mental health concerns, or if you have any questions regarding our services, call Gemini Health today! Our highly skilled mental health professionals are experienced in treating various mental and behavioral health concerns. They offer both individual and group therapy. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!  

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Depression

Thyroid and Depression

Can thyroid problems lead to the development of depression? Unfortunately, there is a known link between thyroid, depression, and anxiety. Thyroid disorders can contribute to mental health conditions and mood problems. There are two majorly recognized thyroid conditions, which are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause anxiety, and an underperforming thyroid (hypothyroidism) can trigger depression. According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated twenty million Americans have some form of thyroid disease and up to sixty percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. They also show that women are five times to eight times more likely than men to develop thyroid problems and one in eight women will have a thyroid disorder at some point in her life. 

What Is the Thyroid and What Does It Do?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that produces hormones that help to regulate many of the body’s functions. The thyroid is a vital part of the endocrine system, which is made up of a network of glands that create and release hormones. Located at the front of the neck, under the voice box, the thyroid gland releases a steady flow of thyroid hormones throughout the body, impacting the body’s metabolism and development. As part of the endocrine system, it plays an important role in the way the body breaks down food and converts it to energy. This affects processes in the body, such as temperature regulation, heart rate, the effectiveness of burning calories, menstrual cycles, cholesterol levels, breathing, and many other functions. The thyroid utilizes iodine, which is found in food and makes three hormones. These hormones are triiodothyronine, also called T3, tetraiodothyronine also called thyroxine or T4, and calcitonin. Too much or too little of these hormones can seriously mess with the body’s systems. Some of the most common thyroid disorders are goiters, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, solitary thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, and thyroiditis.  

Hypothyroidism

Your thyroid plays a critical role when regulating mood and emotion. In addition, if your thyroid is not producing enough of the hormones your body needs then bodily functions can be affected, which can leave you feeling rundown. Physical symptoms of an underperforming thyroid can include:
 

  • Fatigue 
  • Sluggishness 
  • Trouble Concentrating 
  • Slow Heart Rate 
  • Sensitivity to Cold 
  • Joint or Muscle Pain 
  • Tingling in Hands and Feet 
  • Weight Gain 
  • Constipation 
  • Dryness of Skin 
  • Brittle or Thick Nails 
  • Hair Thinning or Loss 
  • Menstrual Period Changes 

Depression is associated with hypothyroidism, as the thyroid condition creates an imbalance of hormones in the body that can lead to depression symptoms. Thankfully hypothyroidism and depression can be improved with proper treatment. This particular thyroid disease can easily be diagnosed through a simple blood test that checks your thyroid hormone levels. However, keep in mind that your doctor may not instantly make the connection that your depression is due to low thyroid levels. So, it may be worth mentioning in an appointment if you have any of these symptoms and suspect that you may have a problem with your thyroid.  

Your Thyroid and Depression

Even though depression has been linked to thyroid problems and hypothyroidism, the exact mechanisms underlying the interactions between this organ and mental health have not been fully discovered. The research suggests that in hypothyroidism, TSH levels are not as responsive to TRH, or thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which stimulates the TSH to do its job. TSH, or thyroid-stimulating hormone, is a pituitary hormone that triggers the thyroid gland to produce the hormones thyroxine (T4 or tetraiodothyronine) and triiodothyronine (T3) that regulate bodily functions.   

Since these hormones regulate the way your body uses energy, a lack of these hormones can reduce the amount of energy the body has to work properly. Thyroid problems can also affect you physically and make you feel poorly overall.  Energy levels and physical strength plays a major role in depression and the state of people’s overall mental health. Having lower energy levels can affect your cognition and brain functioning, which can contribute to feelings of depression. When you feel physically run down, you are less likely to be able to take care of yourself in the way you need, such as cooking healthy food and exercising. You may also struggle with everyday activities, like work and school and socialization, and may find yourself staying at home more, which can lead to feelings of isolation. All of these factors can cause depression or exacerbate your existing depression.  

 

Treatment of Thyroid Problems and Depression

After testing your thyroid levels and detecting an imbalance, your doctor will review the results with you and the impacts on your mental health. If you feel you are experiencing depression directly related to an improperly functioning thyroid, your doctor will be able to determine the best course of treatment moving forward. Thyroid medication is the usual course for those with some type of thyroid disease, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

 

If you have hypothyroidism, thyroid medication can either boost the hormones produced or replace those hormones entirely. The intention of prescribing thyroid medication is to regulate these hormones and get them back to a normal level to restore healthy bodily functions. If you are struggling with depression then it may also reduce or completely stop your depression by regulating thyroid hormones that can cause depression. However, if thyroid medicine alone is not enough and your symptoms of depression do not go away then your doctor may consider antidepressants, such as SSRIs. SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the typical class of antidepressants that are used to treat depression. Talk therapy may also be added into the course of treatment for the maximum benefits.  

Can Thyroid Medicine Cause Depression?

The short and simple answer is no, there is no research that supports thyroid medicine causing thyroid depression. Those who are being treated for hypothyroidism with thyroid medicine can develop depression, but this stems from the hypothyroidism and not the medication itself. However, research does suggest that medication that treats depression can lower the hormone levels that the thyroid produces and trigger symptoms of hypothyroidism.  

Need Help for Depression?

If you are looking for therapy services for mental health concerns, or if you have any questions regarding our services, call Gemini Health today! Our highly skilled mental health professionals are experienced in treating various mental and behavioral health concerns. They offer both individual and group therapy. Plus, there are no wait times to join groups. Call (301) 363-1063 and speak to our staff to schedule your appointment today!  

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PTSD

How do you treat PTSD

As society has grown to improve its understanding of trauma, and traumatic experiences, PTSD treatment options have changed. Modern understanding of this mental health condition has broadened the therapeutic options available to individuals suffering. PTSD treatment therapy includes cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR), and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. 

For many years, PTSD was referred to as “shell shock.” While PTSD has likely existed for hundreds of years, it began to be widely acknowledged with the conclusion of World War I. The returning soldiers were exhibiting signs of being emotionally damaged from the ravages of the Great War. While PTSD has been referred to in many ways, it differs from other psychiatric disorders. But what is PTSD?  

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that is directly correlated to a terrifying event. The individual may have witnessed or experienced the terrifying event, but this psychiatric disorder is directly triggered by this moment. The traumatic moment triggers the human body’s “fight or flight” symptoms. In less terrifying moments, the “fight or flight” symptoms eventually subside. But with a traumatic experience, those symptoms can reoccur long after the event has ended.   

Some common catalysts for developing PTSD are war/combat, terrorist acts, serious accidents, rape, violence, near-death experiences, and natural disasters. These events may cause terrifying nightmares, severe anxiety, flashbacks, and hyper focused thoughts revolving around the experience. If you find yourself having difficulty coping with the event and adjusting to life afterward, you may be experiencing PTSD. The symptoms will get worse and impact the quality of your life.  

When you are suffering from PTSD, it is critical to begin receiving PTSD treatment. For individuals experiencing these symptoms, the best treatment for PTSD is to begin working with a skilled mental health professional. But, how do you treat PTSD?  

How Is PTSD Treated Today?  

After World War I, thousands of soldiers returned from a devastating war with emotional symptoms that were not linked to any physical damage they may have incurred during combat. Doctors at the time began referring to these symptoms as “Shell Shock” due to soldiers being exposed to exploding shells during the brutal fighting.  

Early treatment for these traumas were not sensitive to the emotional component of these symptoms. Due to societal norms at the time, “Shell Shock” was seen as a sign of weakness or failure. These treatments may have been just as damaging, if not cruel, to those suffering. These approaches included: 

  • Electroconvulsive shock treatment  
  • Disciplinary treatment (physical or militarily) 
  • Solitary confinement  
  • Emotional deprivation 
  • Forced movement of limbs with machines 
  • Electric heat baths 
  • Hypnotism  

As society has grown to improve its understanding of trauma, and traumatic experiences, PTSD treatment options have changed. The best way to treat PTSD is through therapy. Modern understanding of this mental health condition has broadened the therapeutic options available to individuals suffering. 


PTSD Therapy 

Forms of therapy for PTSD now include trauma-focused psychotherapy and medication. PTSD treatment therapy includes cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR), and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. With these various psychotherapy (or talk therapy) approaches, it may leave you wondering how do therapists treat PTSD with these options.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For PTSD:

 A type of talk therapy that supports the individual to recognize how their patterns of thinking may emotionally paralyze them, and keep them in a constant state of trauma. This therapy is usually coupled with exposure therapy when treating PTSD. 

 

Exposure Therapy For PTSD: 

This is a type of behavioral therapy which helps suffering individuals safely acknowledge and face situations and memories revolving around the traumatic event.  

EDMR Therapy For PTSD: 

A series of guided eye movements that encourage the individuals to focus on the trauma while experiencing eye movement stimulation. This allows the individual to experience a reduction or even relief from the magnitude of the trauma experience.  

 

Prolonged Exposure Therapy For PTSD:

A therapy that assists and teaches individuals how to gently approach trauma related memories and environments. This therapy supports patients to focus on not avoiding their trauma or its associated memories, and allowing them to confront the symptoms of the event itself. This allows for long-term recovery from their PTSD.  

 

Medication Therapy For PTSD: 

Typically used to support talk therapy, certain prescription medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are used to help individuals overcome their trauma symptoms. SSRIs are antidepressants used to alleviate the depression symptoms triggered by the traumatic experience.  
 

While there is no “catch-all” sure proof way to treat PTSD, there are many types of treatment that can help support an individual function and cope with the traumatic event. The important thing for individuals suffering from PTSD is to reach out for mental health therapy. The best therapy for PTSD is to be under the guidance of a mental health professional who can help establish a treatment plan for them to overcome their symptoms. Patients can learn techniques to help them manage and cope with their emotional triggers to better function in their day to day life.  
 

If you are struggling with PTSD, and need help to begin treatment for your symptoms, Call Gemini Health (301) 363-1063. We are a team of skilled mental health professionals who are trained in various treatment approaches. Gemini Health can help treat and manage your mental and behavioral health concerns. Call today to schedule an appointment today. 

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