Anxiety is one of the most uncomfortable emotions. Most of us have felt it at some time – whether it be upon hearing bad news, or preparing for a test or presentation. For some individuals, anxiety is experienced, as a constant feeling of dread like something bad is about to happen. Worry can pervade a person’s thoughts making it difficult to think, work or relate to others. Anxiety can become very focused around a certain aspect of life – for example a fear of crowds, socializing with others, heights, doctors etc. Individuals may go to extremes to avoid that which they fear. It can disrupt sleep and appetite, and can lead to physical illness. In other cases anxiety can come on suddenly with an overwhelming sense of panic that may even feel like a heart attack. No matter how it is experienced, overwhelming anxiety robs individuals of being able to live fully and enjoy life.
When someone is suffering from ongoing anxiety, worry and fear it is important to provide help and support. Anxiety, in most cases, is very treatable. Obtaining help from a professional is often a critical step in reducing anxiety. Assessments and treatment anxiety disorders are available at DSSC for individuals of all ages.
Depression can affect individuals of any age, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status. While some individuals can trace feelings of depression back to a specific event, trauma, or cause, others may not know why they feel depressed. In adults, depression is most often expressed as feelings of sadness, and hopelessness and can include lack of energy, decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities, changes in appetite and sleep (either too much or too little), lethargy, and isolation from friends and family. In children, depression is sometimes expressed differently. Children may look sad and cry or may look more irritable and angry. Temper tantrums, and mood swings may increase and concentration and social interaction may decline. Because depression in children can sometimes mimic other disorders such as attentional difficulties or behavioral difficulties it is important to have an evaluation completed by a professional who can determine what is causing the changes in mood and behavior. DSSC offers evaluations that differentiate the causes, and provides appropriate therapeutic and medical treatment.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is much more prevalent than once thought. It is primarily characterized by obsessive thoughts, fears and worries as well as repetitive rituals (such as cleaning things or checking things) that serve to reduce feelings of anxiety. While the worries, fears, and need for rituals may have a grain of truth in them, they are most often irrational, and excessive. Individuals who suffer from OCD can experience extreme levels of anxiety. In severe cases, the worries and rituals can take over a person’s life. Sometimes individuals try to keep the worries hidden, and make excuses for the rituals they perform. In other cases, the individual may insist that family members comply with the rituals as well. OCD is a very treatable disorder – up to 80% of individuals treated with a combination of therapy (and sometimes medication) get significantly better.
When seeking treatment for OCD it is important to see a professional who is specifically experienced with OCD and the treatments that are effective. DSSC therapist, Briana Evans, MSW, specializes in the evaluation and treatment of OCD for individuals of all ages and provides assessment and treatment.