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What Are the Most Common Disorders Therapists Encounter?

EtherapyOct 14, 2016, 11:04:15 AM

Therapists are qualified to treat a variety of problems but the most common reasons why people need a therapist usually fall under one of two categories: depression and anxiety. Both can be very serious problems. The challenge with depression and anxiety is determining the underlying issue or the source of the feeling. They both manifest in people differently and for several different reasons. Additionally, depression oftentimes can become anxiety and vice versa. Some estimates suggest that half of the people diagnosed with one will also be diagnosed with the other.


There are several different types of depression based on a number of factors. Some forms of depression are determined by the timing of the onset of the depression as is the case for seasonal depression and perinatal depression, which is depression a woman might experience during or after pregnancy. Other types of depression are determined based on the symptoms of the depression, such as delusions, in the case of psychotic depression, or bipolar experiences, as found in the case of bipolar disorder. Finally, the length of the depression can be an indicator which is how persistent depressive disorder is defined.

Generally speaking, depression is described as intense and prolonged hopelessness and negativity. Clinical depression varies from simply being depressed in a couple of ways most noticeably because the depression will last for a minimum of two weeks. Other indications of clinical depression include severely intense feelings, the depression having a negative impact on someone’s day-to-day life and even physical pain. The most severe of circumstances can unfortunately cause someone to physically hurt themselves or possibly attempt suicide.


Like depression, there are different types of anxiety. For simplicity purposes, they can be characterized as anxiety-related disorders and disorders relating to unrealistic or unfounded fears. There are two notable anxiety-related disorders: panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Panic disorder might be the most commonly known due to the fact that it is accompanied by sometimes an “out of nowhere” panic attack. If you have ever had the misfortune of experiencing a panic attack then you will know the feeling of chest pain, palpitations, sweating and possibly difficulty breathing. For sufferers, it can be terrifying. Generalized anxiety disorder is a similarly unfounded worry but perhaps to a less severe degree and without the panic attack.

The second category of anxiety-related disorders will fall under a phobia category. The most severe of which is most likely to be social anxiety disorder which is an intense fear of otherwise normal social interactions. Social anxiety disorder can make it difficult to live a normal life. There are hundreds of phobias. Some phobias can affect everyday life, like a severe fear of heights, while other phobias are unlikely to affect everyday life, like a fear of snakes or spiders. However, for many people the phobia can be so intense that the person might avoid everyday situations based on just the possibility that the object of fear present itself.