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What is a therapist for?
Therapy is a great tool to help you track your emotions, reduce stress, work on goals like quitting smoking, guide you through major life decisions, hone skills like communication, or address problem areas in your life. Talk therapy has been widely received as an effective health care treatment for many different mental health conditions including:
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Self-esteem issues
- Relationship problems
- Behavior issues
What types of therapists are there?
Therapists specialize in treating a wide range of conditions. Some of the most common therapy specializations include:
Psychotherapists: Psychotherapists help people deal with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, and insomnia.
Marriage and family therapists: Marriage and family therapists practice solution-based approaches to working through patterns of behavior within a family unit.
Social workers: Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) work in many different settings including schools, hospitals, human service agencies, private practices, and mental health clinics to help you cope with everyday problems.
Licensed professional counselors (LPC): Licensed professional counselors hold a master’s degree in mental health services and provide treatment options for a wide variety of mental health issues within local communities including services for veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families.
Licensed mental health counselors (LMHC): Also known as licensed professional counselors, LHMCs provide talk therapy to families, couples, and individuals.
Couples therapists: Couples therapists provide counsel to couples seeking to improve their relationship and gain the tools needed to recognize and resolve conflicts.
Marriage and family therapists: Licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT) provide therapy to some or all members of a family unit to help with relationship issues. Family therapy is often short-term therapy with a finite amount of visits. Marriage counselors can also assist couples looking to end their relationship affably.
What is the difference between a therapist and a psychologist?
While there is a lot of cross-over when it comes to licensed psychologists and therapists, the main difference to keep in mind is education. Most clinical psychologists have received a doctorate (Ph.D. or PsyD) from an accredited institution and all must possess a state license to practice. Certain therapists like marriage and family therapists usually require at least a master’s degree, while other therapists like mental health counselors require at least a bachelor’s degree. Neither a therapist nor a doctor of psychology is considered a medical doctor, but rather, a mental health professional.
No matter the difference, a mental health clinician whether it be a clinical psychologist or a clinical social worker, can work to create treatment plans for mental health disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or personality disorders, though these plans do not include medication as a part of treatment.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depressive episodes can sometimes be one-time events but are more often recurring experiences. If you have depression, you may experience one of the following:
- Emotions like sadness, worthlessness, anguish, frustration, emptiness, anger, anxiety, restlessness, hopelessness, self-blame, guilt, irritability, anger, or low self-esteem.
- Brain Fog, or fuzzy thinking, difficulty thinking, focusing, remembering, or making decisions.
- Lethargy, sleeping too much, or insomnia.
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.
- A lack of interest in performing normal tasks, including things you may normally enjoy doing like physical activities or hobbies.
- Weight gain, weight loss, increased appetite, reduced or a loss of appetite.
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicide attempts.
If you are worried about your safety or the safety of others, please dial 911.
What are the major types of depression?
There are many types of depression caused by a variety of triggers, sometimes chemical and sometimes the result of traumatic life events.
Major depression: People with major depression have depressed moods most of the day for most days of the week.
Persistent Depressive Disorder: If a person has depression for 2 or more years, this is known as persistent depressive disorder. This type of depression has two subgroups called chronic major depression and dysthymia, or low-grade persistent depression.
Bipolar Disorder: Also known as manic depression, a person with bipolar disorder has extremes, ranging from states of low energy and/or mood to periods of high energy and/or mood. Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder can be treated with mood stabilizer medication, such as Latuda, Seroquel, and Olanzapine-fluoxetine combo.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): A person who has seasonal affective disorder will often feel periods of major depression during winter. Because winter days are shorter than the rest of the year, a person receives less and less sunlight which can cause seasonal affective disorder. Antidepressants may be a great option for someone who has SAD.
Psychotic Depression: If a person has paranoia, hallucinations, and/or delusions during periods of major depression, they may be suffering from psychotic depression. This type of depression can be treated with antipsychotic drugs along with antidepressants.
Peripartum (Postpartum) Disorder: Postpartum depression affects new mothers, typically in the weeks and months post-childbirth.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): This type of depression affects people at the onset of their monthly period. Along with depression, you may feel tired, irritable, unfocused, anxious, overwhelmed, or have changes in your sleep patterns. PMDD can be treated with some birth controls and antidepressants.
‘Situational’ Depression (Stress response syndrome): This is caused by a traumatic or stressful event like moving, divorce, losing your job, or a death in the family, and can likely be treated with psychotherapy.
Atypical Depression: Unlike typical depression, this depression follows more unusual patterns such as feeling overly sensitive to critique, finding you have increased your appetite, sleeping more than usual, or your arms and/or legs feeling heavy.
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What are some effective treatments for depression?
There are many effective treatments for depression, including medication, talk therapy, and more. Your doctor - whether a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist - will craft a treatment plan that works for your needs. Treatment options for depression include:
Psychotherapy: In-depth talk therapy that is used to examine unconscious or repressed thoughts and feelings and learn tools to address them. If you have experienced trauma, speaking with a mental health professional can be helpful. They can help you learn coping techniques, identify major triggers, and adjust to stressful situations.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): This is a therapy in which small electric pulses course through the brain causing an intentional seizure. This may be an option for someone who has found other therapies unsuccessful.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Behavioral health issues like eating disorders and drug or alcohol abuse can be treated with the use of CBT. This treatment helps change thinking and behavioral patterns. CBT is used to treat a wide variety of conditions including depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It can even help with marital problems. CBT offers self-help as it trains you to be your own therapist, teaching you coping skills and how to shift your thinking or behaviors.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT): A common treatment for depression among children, teens, and young adults, IPT is a short-term treatment focused on addressing interpersonal issues.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): Often used when other treatments prove ineffective, TMS is brain stimulation that uses magnetic fields to prompt nerve cells to improve depression symptoms. This is a noninvasive procedure.
After a consultation, your doctor of psychiatry may determine that your treatment plan should include medication. All prescriptions are at the sole discretion of your doctor. Common medications treating depression include:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs: Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil or Pexeva, Prozac, Viibryd, and Zoloft are some examples of SSRIs. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs: Some examples include Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Fetzima, and Khedezla or Pristiq.
Atypical antidepressants: These types of medicine don’t fall into either SSRI or SNRI categories. Atypical antidepressants include Aplenzin, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin SR, and Wellbutrin XL which are all brands of bupropion, as well as Remeron, and Trintellix.
Tricyclic antidepressants: If SSRIs aren’t as effective for your care, a doctor may prescribe tricyclic antidepressant medications, which can be very effective but can also have more side effects. Common medications include Norpramin, Pamelor, Surmontil, and Vivactil.
There are many risk factors linked with taking these types of medicine. Speak with your doctor about which option is best for you. Connect directly with quality doctors through Sesame on your schedule. With Sesame, you get fair, clear prices on all kinds of care. See who you want, not who your insurance company lets you. Book an in-person or virtual visit near you today.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a condition described as the excessive feeling of worry, unease, or dread. Anxiety can be treated by a primary care physician, therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist. Having anxiety about a situation or an impending event without a clear-cut outcome is a normal part of life. You may feel anxious before a major deadline at work while studying for a looming test, or while facing a big decision at home. Though most people feel anxious at some point in their daily life, when it becomes intense, episodic, and unmanageable, it may be due to an underlying anxiety disorder.
Not all those who have anxiety disorders are triggered by the same thing. There are many types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and many types of phobias.
What causes anxiety?
Though the causes of anxiety aren’t yet fully understood, anxiety does have a host of triggers including social situations, trauma, life events, specific phobias, medicine, and medical conditions. There are a lot of risk factors that make a person more likely to have an anxiety disorder.
Personality: Research has shown that some personality types may be more prone to bouts of anxiety.
Mental health disorders: Some mental health disorders such as depression are often linked to anxiety.
Traumatic experiences: Individuals who are exposed to traumatic events as children are at higher risk for developing anxiety as an adult.
Stress: Stress from an illness, work deadlines, divorces, or deaths in the family can make one more likely to have anxiety.
Genetics: Anxiety can be passed down through the family genes. If a person has a blood relative who suffers from an anxiety disorder there is a chance that person will also have an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.
Drugs or Alcohol: The withdrawal, use, or misuse of a drug can put a person at a higher risk for anxiety.
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Are there different types of anxiety disorders?
Yes. The most common anxiety disorders include:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Generalized anxiety disorder is described as a chronic feeling of exaggerated worry or anxiety, though there may be no obvious source of what's causing it. These anxiety attacks are often episodic. People who have GAD may also have other anxiety disorders, as well as depression.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): A person with OCD may have frequent manic thoughts (obsessive) and/or behavior (compulsive). Behaviors such as washing your hands many times, checking light switches, alarms, or the oven repeatedly, and/or the need to have something in a particular order to clear obsessive thoughts from the mind are some examples linked to OCD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This type of anxiety is brought about by a traumatic event in which a person was or could have been harmed, such as a natural disaster, a car accident, military combat, or domestic violence. Symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, severe anxiety, or obsessive thoughts regarding the event(s).
Panic disorder: People suffering from a panic disorder may feel sudden bouts of intense fear, or panic attacks, that are often paired with physical symptoms including but not limited to a fast heart rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, or the general feeling of being out of control.
Selective mutism: This is a complex anxiety disorder that affects children. A child who has selective mutism may have the ability to speak in safe, relaxed situations but may find themselves unable to talk in social situations. Though many kids will grow out of this type of disorder, in some cases if left untreated other anxiety disorders may develop and persist.
Separation Anxiety Disorder: A childhood anxiety disorder in which a child has excessive anxiety from a parent or guardian leaving the child, even for a short amount of time.
Substance-induced anxiety disorder: A person with a substance-induced anxiety disorder may have intense anxiety from overuse, use, exposure, or withdrawal from a particular substance or toxin.
Anxiety disorder caused by a medical condition: This is caused by a physical health problem. Conditions such as heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease or COPD, thyroid issues such as hyperthyroidism, and chronic pain can be linked to anxiety. Many phobias also fall under the umbrella of anxiety. These include:
Agoraphobia: People with agoraphobia have a fear of being in situations in which they cannot, or may not be able to escape. Places like shopping malls, subways, and crowded or open areas may cause those with agoraphobia to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Some people with agoraphobia may even find it hard to leave their homes.
Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder: A person with social phobia may find themselves unable to be in social interactions. Anxiety and extreme self-consciousness are symptoms that are linked to this disorder. This anxiety can be triggered by acute circumstances like having to deliver a public presentation, for example. Social phobia can also be felt more chronically, applying to a wide range of social scenarios.
Specific phobia: This is a phobia that is caused by a trigger that often poses little or no threat. This irrational fear can be of a specific object, situation, or activity. This category is wide-ranging and covers a host of topics such as acrophobia (fear of heights), agoraphobia (fear of crowded spaces), claustrophobia (fear of small or enclosed spaces), and ailurophobia (fear of cats).