Struggling to Cope with Anxiety and Depression

Frequently, the things we’re wanting and/or needing to change in our lives (i.e. our sadness, anger, anxiety, commitment to troublesome patterns, etc.) serve a purpose for us on some level. These character traits play a part in defining who we are, how we manifest, and what roles we have in different contexts. While they can contribute to our torment, their removal from our lives threatens us at a very deep level. We get comfortable in the life that we have built around our quirks and patterns, and we hesitate to consider how vastly our lives might have to adjust to substantial changes in how we view the world. We are constantly creating an identity for ourselves and the very idea of change represents a threat to that identity.

It is also often times our resistance to coping with inevitable changes in life that can cause such inner turmoil. In this way, we can become our own worst enemies. We as human beings are future directed creatures and as time passes we are forced to change even when we don’t want to or aren’t ready. Therefore, change can be hard because of our own psychological blocks to being in the present moment when we are so hung up on the finality of the past and uncertainty of the future.

Many people, myself included at one point, come to therapy with the hope and expectation that therapy is going to do away with all of our fears, sadness, and then some. We can get so overwhelmed with our lives that we just want someone to take it all away or “fix” us. However, were someone to actually do that, it would only teach you to continuously look outward for the answers rather than internally. Part of what determines who you are in the world are the choices and challenges that you face in life.

A colleague of mine recently shared this article on why anxiety and depression can be so hard to manage, and I wanted to pass it along. It outlines why negative thoughts and emotions are so hard to manage while elaborating upon a few helpful coping strategies. I normally shy away from articles that include tips on how to fight certain symptoms, but this article touches on points that I feel hold a certain degree of clinical utility. The points made also appear to be in tune with some of the things I try to guide many of the clients I serve into thinking, practicing, and embodying in their daily lives.

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