Get help managing anxiety, depression
by CJ Blomquist
Anxiety and depression are common conditions that affect millions of Americans. But there’s a lot of misinformation about what causes them, as well as how to manage them.
Shiori Lange is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at the Optum Health Care Center who focuses on a type of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy. This helps individuals re-train their thoughts and better manage a condition like anxiety or depression.
She addressed some of the common misbeliefs about these conditions.
There’s something wrong with you. “Anxiety and depression aren’t flaws or weaknesses,” Lange said. “They are mental health conditions. We need to look at them the same way we look at physical health conditions, like asthma or diabetes.”
You can shake it off. “It’s not something that goes away,” she said. “Anxiety and depression are caused by chemicals in the brain. A bout of anxiety or depression can last a long time.”
Depression means you feel sad. “People with depression feel it differently,” Lange said. “Some feel sad, and some feel hopelessness, but others might feel apathetic. They just don’t care about things that used to matter.”
To track what they are feeling, some people use a mood journal, which can help make it clear if these emotions have been going on for a long time, or if they are less common.
“We all feel these emotions, but if you feel this way for more than two weeks, it may be time to check in with your doctor,” Lange said. “The earlier you catch it, the earlier you can start on a path toward a brighter future.”
To connect with a mental health professional at the Health Care Center, call (562) 493-9581.