30 something: Depression and anxiety
Many adults achieve their dreams, ambitions and aspirations in their thirties. However, many have not and the impact on the psyche, can create a desire to explore the question, ‘what does it mean to be a fully functioning successful adult in the 21st Century?’ This question has greater emphasis for those who have chronic bouts of depression and anxiety, which at times, can be so psychologically debilitating that it exacerbates further descent into mental illness.
The life goals that we aspire to as young adults are full and varied, but if you have a history of depression and anxiety, how do you deal with setbacks? Especially if your personal and professional peer-group have achieved those very goals that you so admire? Comments that spring to mind are -
‘I’m dating this guy, even though I know he’s not the one, but it’s better than being alone.’
‘I don’t know how to make new friends, now that most of my University friends have moved away.’
‘Everyone seems to settling down, moving in together, getting married and having kids, but I’m not. What’s wrong with me?’
‘My job is awful but it’s too late to find what I really want to do, I’ve made too many mistakes. I’ve made such a mess of my life!'
For those overwhelmed by depressive worry, the 30 something period may demonstrate a constant inner battle between success and failure; anxiously comparing oneself to social norms and milestones. Therapy can provide support to those who feel depressed, anxious and alienated by the growing needs of a goal orientated, target driven society.
In some cases, where anxiety and depression has played a significant part, clients revert back to the mind-set they had in adolescence. There is room for debate; in certain circumstances, it is during the adolescent years, where anxiety and depression have their greatest ramifications, if left unresolved. This is a significant period where emotional development can stop prematurely - the results of which can last a lifetime. However, therapy can be a helpful tool, to explore depression and anxiety by looking at its effects on behaviour, challenges and life choices.
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About Claudia Anderson
PG. Dip psychotherapy; PG. Dip clinical integrative supervision. Primary and secondary care NHS services. MIND. Specialism identifying parallels between family, relationships from childhood to adulthood; impact of mental illness and how damaging patterns can replicate themselves; member of Hearing Voices Network; narcissistic abuse support group.