Some facets of life can be stressful, such as a struggling relationship, a demanding job, and family disagreements. Stress also elicits different responses from people. For instance, some may find easy ways to cope with losing a loved one, whereas others may deny it. When the stress you get from these situations is left to fester, problems may arise such as depression and other emotional and behavioral illnesses.
Seeking the help of a psychologist may be the right solution. Psychologists can help you with the following:
- Treating Anxiety Disorders
Now and then, people can feel anxious for varying reasons. Anxiety is one of the survival mechanisms that motivate and pumps people to survive dangerous situations. For instance, anxiety can build up a feeling of vigilance when faced with threats. However, if hyperarousal becomes a regular behavior, it can negatively impact functioning. As a result, this anxiety disorder occurs.
Anxiety disorders can affect how you interact with the people around you at school, home, work, or other social functions. This disorder is common in both children and adults and can range from mild to severe. Major anxiety disorders are as follows:
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
These anxiety disorders are caused by overwhelming emotions in which people react in a negative way which will lead to unpleasant situations and feelings.
Avoiding experiences or situations that can make people anxious is the wrong coping mechanism that people often use. It’s because anxiety feeds on or can backfire with avoidance. Others are prescribed various pharmaceuticals like tranquilizers or antidepressants. This intervention is beneficial but only yields immediate but not long-lasting results.
Psychologists such as those from directfocussolutions.com.au recommend psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavior psychotherapy (CBT) to manage anxiety disorders. CBT involves teaching patients techniques to prevent unpleasant behaviors arising from an anxiety disorder. Here are two forms of CBT:
- Cognitive Therapy – Psychologists can help you divert your problematic thought patterns into pleasant thoughts. For instance, you can learn how to mentally re-approach situations that can cause panic attacks.
- Behavioral Therapy – Psychologists can help you fight undesirable behaviors that are caused by anxiety disorders. For instance, they can teach you how to breathe deeply and relax when anxiety disorders are occurring.
- Helping in Recovering from Depression
Just like anxiety, sadness is a normal feeling everyone feels, but extreme despair that lasts for days is not. Depression interferes with daily life activities and sometimes leads to physical pain. Clinical depression or depressive disorder is a common mental disorder that has different effects for various people. When untreated, clinical depression can increase your chances of becoming alcoholic or drug addicted. It can even cause coronary artery disease and weight loss or weight gain.
The cause of depression can be a combination of biological, genetic, social, psychological, and environmental factors. For instance, chronic heart disease, cancer, or a family history of depressive disorder may predispose you to depression. Significant life changes, stress, and trauma can also trigger depression. Symptoms of depression may be one or a combination of the following:
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Anger and irritability
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Prolonged sadness or feelings of emptiness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in activities
Fortunately, there are ways to treat depression. One way is to seek a psychologist’s help so you can undergo therapy. Psychologists can help you recover from depressive disorders as they’re licensed and highly trained in the mental health profession. Similar to anxiety disorders, psychotherapy is used as a treatment for people suffering from depression.
Psychotherapy can do the following to help you recover from depression:
- Identify and manage life events that are contributory to your depression. Psychologists can help you find ways to adapt, accept, or change to such situations.
- Plan your realistic goals for a better future.
- Identify and manage unhelpful behaviors or distorted thought processes that can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
- Develop techniques you can use in recovering from symptoms and problems.
- Prevent or identify future depression episodes.
- Diagnosing and Managing Autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), commonly known as autism, affects communication, behavior, and social functioning due to a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. There are different levels and severity of autism as no two individuals have the same spectrum. Some people with autism succeed in living a normal life with support. Others need extensive assistance and support throughout their lives because of significant intellectual impairments.
This condition’s common characteristics involve repetitive difficulties and behaviors with communication and social interaction. Here are some of its signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty talking about feelings
- Loss of previously acquired social skills or language usually at the age of two
- Obsessive interest in a specific topic
- Failure to make eye contact beginning in younger years
- Difficulty understanding gestures, body language, and tone of voice
- Unusual movements such as flapping arm, twirling, and rocking
- Abnormal response to sensory input
Psychologists, especially neuropsychologists, play a vital role in helping people cope with ASD and managing the challenges resulting from the disorder. Psychologists use the following sources of information to make a diagnosis of autism:
- Interviews with teachers, parents, and other adults who can give information about the patient’s behavioral, emotional, and social development
- Tests of language and cognitive abilities
- Interviews with the patient
- Medical tests that can negate other conditions
- Observations of the behavior of the patient
After a diagnosis, psychologists can recommend what treatment programs are appropriate depending on the severity of the ASD. They also support the benchmarking, assessment, and evaluation process of the patient. Here are ways psychologists can be helpful with autism:
- Child and developmental psychologists help children to engage with others by teaching them skills like joint attention. This skill allows the patient to work with others instead of doing things near someone else.
- School psychologists, together with teachers and parents, come up with strategies for the success of the school. They also help students with autism to handle difficult situations such as teasing or bullying, manage their stress, and engage with their peers.
- Behavioral psychologists evaluate patients’ behaviors and help them identify their purpose and meaning. They also teach families methods and skills on how to handle problematic behaviors in their home or manage a patient’s aggression.
When it’s a struggle to go on with your daily life, you may find yourself resorting to different survival mechanisms so you can live a normal life. However, when you can’t take it anymore, let professionals interfere to provide you with some help. It’s okay to seek a psychologist’s help especially when your problems or behaviors are already affecting how you interact with other people. Sometimes, a third-party opinion and view of your life can prevent the risk of developing mental or behavioral disorders.