I just want to know is depression a real illness or another way doctors and counselors rake in more money.

Depression is a real illness. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. It is the most common debilitating mental health disorder in our world.

It is a mood disorder that causes a constant feeling of sadness, loss of interest, decreased concentration, hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, loss of sleep, decreased appetite, feeling fatigue/loss of energy and/or feelings of guilt. If it is severe, it can also cause a person to overeat, sleep constantly or even experience hallucinations (hear or see things that other people don’t.) When it is at its worst, depression can cause a person to contemplate self-harm or suicide.

My fiancé has anxiety and depression and sometimes it scares me because whatever happens to her is amplified. What kind of exercises can we do to calm her fears? Sometimes we breathe and relax but sometimes I just get worried.

Anxiety can be caused by a number of conditions: mental/emotional stress, untreated medical conditions, social stressors, etc. Depending on the cause will help determine how to manage these symptoms. Therefore, I recommend that she speak with her doctor if she is unaware of what is causing her anxiety since it may require different managementBreathing techniques, meditation, prayer, muscle relaxation can all help temporary anxiety from worsening. However, maintaining a good sleep hygiene, eating balanced meals and regular aerobic exercises also help manage and prevent anxiety from becoming disabling.

My son curses for 24 hours at a time. Anything could trigger it, like me saying no when he asks for money or my car or baby mama drama. His perception is off a lot. Sometimes  I’m afraid he”ll hit me. I came home recently he and his girlfriend were inside fighting. He’s 26 years old. What do I do?

Life can be stressful. Some of us may be dealing with something that we are not aware of and it is impacting how we feel, communicate, and react. If you are afraid that your son will become aggressive towards you and/or his girlfriend, I recommend that you talk to him about your concerns and encourage him to get help from a mental health professional.

If he is resistant and his behaviors have not changed, then I recommend the following:

  • Let him know that there is an important conversation that you need to have with him.
  • Approach him with empathy and non-judgement. Consider saying “I know this is really hard for you, but I’m talking to you because I love you. If I didn’t care, we wouldn’t be having this talk.”
  • Be prepared for his resistance. Try not to be defensive.
  • Refrain from using words like “crazy” or “abnormal.”
  • Use “I” statements, such as “I am concerned about you.” Avoid “you” statements.
  • Leverage your help. Phrase your concern in a way that you are asking him to seek help to help others. i.e. “This would be the best thing you could do for your child. Please do it for him. He needs for you to receive proper help, more help than I or any of our family members know how to provide.”
  • Help locate a mental health professional and schedule an appointment on his behalf. Offer to attend at least the first appointment with him. Regardless if he goes or not, go and discuss your concerns with the professional. There have been successes with a loved ones eventually receiving the help they need after a family member or friend attended the first appointment.

If possible, offer to pay for the appointment if given the excuse that it costs too much.

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