Tag: Anxiety

Newly graduate students

Graduation Blues: Overcoming Post-College Depression

Life’s biggest transitional periods are accompanied by feelings of anxiety. This includes entering marriage, the infamous quarter-life crisis, empty nest syndrome, and retirement.

A less commonly discussed transitional phase is the change that follows after college. Students may feel nostalgic after having to leave behind the familiar academic environment — friendships with peer groups, being a part of a tight-knit community, participating in local interest groups, and attending parties.

It’s more than just heavy-hearted nostalgia for others, however. Sometimes, fresh graduates experience post-college depression, or the extreme sadness and impaired functioning during the transition from school to the workplace. A person’s inability to move from student life to adult life is an issue that requires serious attention.

Post-Graduate Depression Is Underreported

Therapists claim that post-college depression is understudied and underreported. Sheryl Ziegler, a licensed professional counselor, believes that young adults can be difficult to study and categorize from a research perspective. On a similar vein, some people shy away from talking about post-college gloom, because culture dictates that graduation is a “joyful time.”

Furthermore, studies about post-graduate depression are difficult to find. There is a multitude of studies analyzing the causes of depression among individuals between 18-25 years old, but data on the blues that students experience following graduation tends to dramatically dwindle.

The symptoms of post-uni depression include lethargy, pessimism, a general sense of hopelessness, and in some cases, substance abuse. Usually, those who experience the blues are unmotivated to find a job.

When Expectations Fail to Meet Reality

Statistics show that Millennials have the highest rates of depression and anxiety than any other generational group. Job hunting and workplace issues, in particular, fall high on their list of concerns.

A study from the University of Pittsburgh concludes that Millennials showing signs of depression are also prone to be more active on social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. The habit, however, only creates feelings of helplessness and the narrow view that everyone else has their life figured out.

Getting Out of the Post-Uni Slump

Suffering from depression while unemployed can make a person feel like they’re stuck in a slump. Seeking out professional help and talking to a psychiatrist in Westport is one way to deal with the situation positively and proactively. Experts also suggest overcoming feelings of depression through the following:

  • Being realistic – New graduates need to acknowledge the current market and where their skills fit in. It’s impossible to reach one’s professional goals straight out of college, after all.
  • Focusing on skills – People shouldn’t feel discouraged if their college successes fail to make an impact on the “real world.” It helps to focus on how past triumphs were achieved, and then think that current issues are just a new set of challenges to face and overcome.
  • Recognize improvements – Sometimes, life doesn’t go according to plan. Try to stay positive, though. Focus on areas of improvement to avoid making the same mistakes again.
  • Communicate with family and friends – Parents and peers can provide support to struggling individuals during major, life-changing transitions. It helps to be open about job hunting and the frustrations that come along with it.

If you’re experiencing post-college depression, you can count on The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health for help. We treat depressive disorders using evidence-based psychotherapy and techniques to improve your quality of life.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Chronically Tired? Signs that Anxiety Might be Causing Your Fatigue

Do you remember the last time you actually watched a prime-time show without fighting the urge to fall asleep?

If you continuously lack energy because of an ongoing feeling of tiredness, you might be suffering from fatigue. Unlike the feeling of tiredness that comes with regular colds or some other viral infection, chronic fatigue is lingering, constant, and limiting. It can hinder your ability to be productive at work or to function at home. The constant feeling of exhaustion may render you unable to manage your daily affairs.

The usual culprits behind fatigue include anemia, allergic rhinitis, and fibromyalgia, among other medical reasons. Anxiety, however, can cause you to feel exceptionally tired all the time.

Sympathetic System Overdrive

The Web radio show host and clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow says anxiety drives the body’s sympathetic nervous system into overdrive.

Anxiety elevates blood pressure and increases the heart rate, it makes muscles tense, and it releases toxins into the system, causing inflammation. The way your body reacts to anxiety, therefore, is enough to make you feel fatigue and malaise.

Normal Tiredness vs. Anxiety

If you are otherwise healthy but still feel tired all the time, here are some signs to look out for to tell the difference between normal tiredness and fatigue induced by anxiety:

  1. You feel too tired all the time, even after a night’s sleep.

According to therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, if you are getting at least seven hours of sleep daily and still feel tired, it’s likely that something else is going on.

Gladys Frankel, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, says feeling drained all the time may mean that your body is constantly on “high alert,” as anxiety causes an intense surge of cortisol rushing through the body. It’s like your body is always preparing for something dangerous to happen, and that can be exhausting.

In addition, the author of Misdiagnosed: The Adrenal Fatigue Link, Dr. Steven Zodkoy, says tiredness, anxiety, and a hectic lifestyle are definitely connected. The problem is today’s stressors may be low-grade, but they are continuous. Take the constant buzzing of phones and being on social media 24/7. These are low-grade yet constant, which means they never give the body’s fight or flight pathway a chance to turn off or rebuild.

  1. You feel tired before a social event

If you feel “sleepy” right before a major gathering, you might have social anxiety. People who don’t have social anxiety tend to feel energized by human interaction. Meanwhile, those who have social anxiety may feel physically or mentally drained before, during or after being around a large group.

  1. You experience a host of other malaise.

Anxiety goes hand-in-hand with many symptoms, so any weird issues your body might be experiencing could be a result of anxiety. Hershenson says that people struggling with anxiety are likely to encounter symptoms such as migraines, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and even simple stomach pains, on top of chronic fatigue.

If you suspect that anxiety is causing your chronic fatigue, check with a reputable psychiatrist in Westport. The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health is home to experienced professionals providing comprehensive, tailored mental health services to individuals and families.

To learn more or to set an appointment, call toll-free at 1-888-745-3372 or fill out the form today.

Anxiety treatment for better tomorrow

Anxiety is something that exists in everyone’s life to a certain extent, and in a way it is medically known to be helpful as well. Because, anxiety helps us stay alert and be reactive to our circumstances, whether joyful or painful. However, when the anxiety reaches the stage where it overwhelms you mentally and physically, and affects your normal routine of life, you need the help of a clinical psychologist.

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