Question: I have battled depression and anxiety for years, but it wasn't until my last pregnancy I was finally diagnosed and treated. However, I have felt lately my anxiety has been through the roof. I cry over tiny things, I don't sleep, and I am very moody. I obsessively stress over things outside of my control. My panic attacks have taken a new form- I now feel like I'm going to pass out. What can I do to help ease my anxiety?
Answer: I know it can be annoying when a question is answered with a question, so forgive me.
First, are you still being treated for the depression and anxiety?
If not and you feel the symptoms are worsening, it's time for a follow-up appointment. Of course, I'm biased to therapy, but the most important thing is that you find what works for you.
Arm Yourself...With Coping Skills
When trying to manage something as overwhelming as anxiety or depression, coping skills are vital. And you want to have as many as you can. You wouldn't use just a hammer to fix all the broken things around the house. Even if you're skeptical about trying a new one, ask yourself ‘What have I got to lose?'
Check out my list of coping options at http://www.busymomslifecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Coping-Skills-Toolbox.pdf. Try one a day for a month.
Ride the Wave
Depression and anxiety are usually episodic in nature. A panic attack comes on and then it goes away. Think of it as riding a wave until it dissipates. Sometimes just knowing that it won't last forever can instill some hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Apples and Oranges
Don’t compare yourself to others, especially someone who has never experienced anxiety or depression. Thoughts like 'They look happy. Why can't I just be happy like everyone else?' aren’t fair to you.
Amanda is a licensed counselor with a practice in Westfield, just north of Indianapolis. She counsels worry warts, distant couples & also offers online coaching packages for busy moms who want to have it all on their terms. She lives with her husband, two boys, and not-to-be-ignored cat Sphinx.