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Anxiety and Depression

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Statistically, 15-20 persons out of 100 suffer from depression or anxiety, in different levels of severity, or from a combination of both - at any given moment. About 40% will suffer from those conditions at some point in their lifetime.


The words "depression" and "anxiety" describe mostly the mental suffering. The majority of sufferers complain about physical symptoms. Some are suspicious of the psychiatric terminology. In fact, oftentimes those are complex physiological conditions with resulting physical and mental suffering.


Among somatic symptoms are: weakness, lack of energy, sleepiness or insomnia, muscle pain, chest pain, abdominal pain. Many feel "something" in their chest, which prevents them from breathing freely. Some feel a need to eat to fill some of a void inside, others luck appetite at all, and lose weight. Common are fears of some fatal illness, such as heart attack, malignancy or AIDS.


Usually the sufferers blame themselves for their suffering; they feel guilty and are ashamed of their "weakness of character", and are sure that they have to overcome it by themselves. In severe cases suicidal thoughts and ideation appears. It is always a danger, because some sufferers do commit suicide.


In many cases friends and relatives who are in close contact with these people underestimate their suffering. They try to help by telling the sufferer that "it is nothing to worry about", that they "have to be strong", or "not to think about it". The sufferer feels misunderstood, blames himself even more, and his condition sometimes worsens.


Depression and Anxiety, even in the most severe cases are easy treated in comparatively short time. The family, and close friends, must persuade the suffering person to visit a psychiatrist, and just as importantly - not to stop the treatment too early, even if they are disappointed by not getting immediate results.


Because of high prevalence of anxiety and depression, they are the majority of clients in Hasharon Institute. There is nothing more satisfactory for a psychiatrist, than to see severely suffering patient returning to normal life after a few weeks of treatment.



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