Anxiety & Depression: The Use Of EMDR II In Managing The Symptoms
It is normal to have mood changes and to feel anxious or low. These are normal emotions and can be caused by different situations that you face in your life. But, anxiety and depression is a lot different than just being anxious or feeling low. Unlike situational emotional rollercoaster, anxiety and depression can affect you again and again in life, disturbing the daily activities and the quality of life. They also affect your social and mental health and that is why it is important to recognize these conditions as early as possible, so that you may overcome them, before it gets complicated.
In my clinical practice, I have met many patients with depression and anxiety disorder. While most of these patients have physical signs and symptoms that are undetected, it is possible that you also may have hidden health problems caused due to anxiety or depression you might be suffering from. Although the two conditions differ from each other, it is very common for both the conditions to have a negative impact on the physical health of the affected.
Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term, which is used to describe a group of signs and symptoms. There are five types of anxiety disorder and according to the manifestations individuals who suffer from anxiety can fall into one of these groups.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A person with anxiety disorder suffers from chronic anxiety, worry and tension and this might be provoked by small triggers or even by nothing at all.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
A person with OCD experiences recurrent unwanted thoughts (obsession) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These repetitive behaviors are mostly performed to prevent the obsessive thoughts or to get over them. Repetitive hand washing, cleaning, counting and checking are few common compulsive actions recognized in most of the individuals with OCD. These actions are named as ‘rituals’ by them and performing them might provide only a short term relief.
- Panic disorder
This is characterized by sudden episodes of intense fear that is supported by chest pains, palpitations, abdominal pain and distress, dizziness and shortness of breath.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
In this type of anxiety disorder, an individual experiences chronic anxiety after being exposed to a terrifying or a tragic event. They can be physically traumatic or mentally traumatic experiences. Violent assaults, natural disasters, accidents and military combat are a few examples.
- Social Anxiety Disorder or Social phobia
In this condition, a person experiences overwhelming anxiety and excessive self consciousness in social situations. While this might generally keep a person away from social gatherings, crowded public areas and team work, some people might not show such general features and may limit to only a single type of situation such as fear of speaking, fear of performing or fear of eating or drinking in front of the others.
Although the causes of anxiety disorder are not yet recognized, certain factors such as genetics, environmental stresses and changes in brain can risk these conditions. Many individuals take time to recognize these changes that occur in their personality and behavior and similarly, you might also hesitate to admit and refuse to accept the behavioral changes at the beginning. Seeking help, even if you are not sure if you suffer from these conditions, is the best way of helping yourself and preventing any complications.
The symptoms of depression can vary among individuals. That is why each individual is assisted independently. There are several types of depression and let me elaborate the most commonly found types;
- Major Depressive disorder
If you suffer from this condition, you might have a sense of despair which will make it difficult for you to carry out daily activities such as eating, sleeping, working and even enjoying time with friends. While some people isolate themselves or cry continuously for no reason, the others may seek the help of alcohol and drugs to overcome these feelings. This is a periodic disorder and a period of symptoms can lasts for months to years in its severe forms.
The most common symptoms are weight loss or weight gain, sleep disturbances, loss of interest in activities that was enjoyable before, restlessness and agitation, fatigue without a reason, feeling guilty for nothing, trouble concentrating and in the most severe cases suicidal thoughts and possibly suicide attempts.
If depressive emotions and behaviors persist for more than two years or longer, it is called a persistent depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder or manic depression
In this condition, a person feels a huge shift of mood. At one time you might feel really energetic with an “up” mood and then change into a depressive “low” mood. It is only when you are in the “low” mood you will have symptoms of depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder
This is associated with the season or the time of the year and most commonly occur during winter or autumn. When the day gets shorter and you get less sunlight, the symptoms may worsen. But, as the spring and summer arrives, these symptoms slowly go away.
- Psychotic depression
People with this type of depression have psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not real), delusions (false beliefs) and false feeling that others might harm you, along with the symptoms of depression.
- Postpartum depression
Post partum depression is defined by its own terms. This condition occurs after childbirth and sometimes, it is a result of hormonal changes. While the mothers who suffer from major depressive disorder before child birth are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition, in some cases healthy young women might also experience this after childbirth.
As for anxiety, depression is also not recognized to be caused due to a certain reason. Many risk factors can trigger this condition. Due to the risks of getting addicted to alcohol and drugs in order to get out of the symptoms and also due to the risks of complicating into suicidal thoughts, depression must be recognized early and managed effectively.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR II) Therapy
According to WHO, depression is recognized as one of the most common and frequently disabling conditions in the world. It affects 350 million people worldwide and takes the lives of 1 million people by suicide each year. The statistics for anxiety do not show much different either. While medications are given to manage these conditions, it is also accompanied by psychotherapeutic interventions most of the time.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR II) Therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach, which has been able to successfully help people who suffer from depression and anxiety symptoms. Due to its simplicity and the efficacy, EMDR II is recognized as a breakthrough therapy in medicine.
It works by stimulating the movements of both the eyes that activates both sides of the brain. It helps you to release any emotional experiences that are trapped in the mind. By involving the brain/body connection, it helps to free you and reconnect with a healthy mind. While eye movement patterns are involved in processing the feelings and experiences in the brain, EMDR II uses different patterns of eye movements to help you relieve your emotional congestion and to make your mind peaceful and your body relaxed.
EMDR II is only performed by a well trained and experienced psychotherapist. Once you are in therapy, I will ask you to revisit the disturbing incident or experience you had gone through or to remind yourself about those annoying feelings, emotions and thoughts that was disturbing your day to day activities. Then I will hold my fingers in front of you and move them back and forth, asking you to follow the motions with your eyes. The more you focus on the disturbing memories trapped within your mind, the more it will become easier for you to get it out of your mind. Once these disturbing emotions leave your mind, good and peaceful memories, ideas and thoughts will fill their place, improving your days and quality of life.
EMDR II can help certain symptoms such as;
- Lack of motivation
- Traumatic memories and experiences
- Fear, guilt and shame
- Inability to believe someone
- Inability to build relationships
- Unrealistic feelings
Before you get into EMDR II therapy, it is necessary to get to know if you are a right candidate. These areas will be covered in your intake session. After collecting all information about your medical history and also after examining your signs and symptoms, I will let you know if it is possible for you to receive EMDR II.