As a psychotherapist, the most common reason people seek therapy is anxiety and/or depression.
Recent studies have identified that anxiety and depression are more prevalent than all other illnesses combined. Most current statistics report that 40 million people in the United States suffer from anxiety that needs treatment, which is approximately 18% of the population. Further, 10% of Americans suffer from depression.
Therefore one out of four Americans suffers from anxiety or depression. Worldwide, the statistics are staggering and unimaginable, that 1 million people in developing countries commit suicide.
Stepping back from these numbers, one must ask what is going on in the world, both in developing and stable countries…. why are anxiety and depression so prevalent?
We must examine this question with a big lens… one that looks at multiple complex factors because as we look deeper we see that any attempt to deal with anxiety and depression as singular disorders miss the sociological-cultural-economic impacts.
What we must first acknowledge is that anxiety and depression are symptoms and without effective understanding of underlying causes treatment fails, and this is a well-known fact. Our current treatment for anxiety and depression are at minimal are temporarily effective in reducing symptoms. And this is one of the major dilemmas… than we look at mental health as mental illness from a narrow undertaking of the complexities of being human.
All of us at some point in life have had experience with anxiety and depression, some for short period of times, and for others, it became a major impact on life… so let’s unwrap these mental health disorders, which I would like to rename symptoms of the soul….
As a therapist, when I meet someone seeking help for anxiety and depression, I assess body, mind, emotions, and soul.
I take a holistic view of what causes symptoms…
We all want relief and when a person goes to a psychotherapist, they immediately believe that at the root of the issue is symptom relief and and often they are met with a referral to a doctor for medical support in the form of psychiatric medication. Current research has been clear, treatment of anxiety and depression with medicine alone, has a 50% chance of reducing symptoms with a 80% relapse to the original state of the feelings.
The reason for this is… these are symptoms… reducing symptoms without addressing the underlying issues will therefore result in frustration and deepening of symptoms.
I will provide several examples of this in my own practice….
I have had dozens of clients reporting anxiety and depression to find out they had a thyroid imbalance… they were often in treatment for long periods with a therapist and a psychiatrist without looking for the causes. All of these clients reported that they were anxiety and depression free after thyroid treatment.
I have had dozens of clients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and auto immune disorders seek therapy and they were not properly treated for their physical ailments…
I have had clients that did not eat well, did not exercise, did not sleep well, and used stimulants to work, and they complained of anxiety and depression… after changing the basics of self care, they went on to be anxiety and depression free.
After 28 years in practice, I have hundreds of these stories, I am committed to helping people explore and relive their suffering from the core, not the surface.
Yes, there is a place for psychiatric medication but it needs to be used sparingly, with great vigilance, and from a holistic approach. Today, we have at our disposal many complimentary methods to support anxiety and depression.
So if you are struggling with anxiety or depression, please make sure that whomever you are seeking help with, sees you as a whole person and addresses your concerns with a big lens…
About Alex Boianghu
With Journey to Wholeness, my aim is to make psychotherapy readily available to everyone around the world in the comfort and privacy of their homes.
From my perspective, the goal of therapy is to let go of outdated ways of living that make you feel “stuck” or “in survival mode”, so that you can live in freedom, joy and success. You can learn more about me here.
In addition to psychotherapy, I am offering a variety of courses, practices, articles and videos covering a wide range of psycho-spiritual topics. Please feel free to get in touch with me for a free 15-minute consultation in which we can address your questions and discuss a plan of action for your specific needs.
I am deeply moved to walk together on the path of healing with YOU. Join me!