How do you manage through times of emotional distress, depression and anxiety?

Major crises, such as the loss of a job, health or relationship, can put anyone into this situation.

Dr. Gregory Schramka is a behavioral health supervisor at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital.

I just learned of a dear friend, who lost her job due to the economic downturn. She responded as many people do – she became sad, she suffered from low self-esteem, she lost motivation to keep searching for a new job. I wondered what I could do to help her.

Greg Schramka, PsyD, Director of Behavioral Health Therapy at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital, describes this as avoidance behavior – staying in bed, withdrawing from friends, exercise or normal routines – that can tend to lead to, maintain or worsen depression.

“People often resort to avoidance to escape stressful events and depressive feelings. Individuals need to identify personally meaningful activities and be encouraged to schedule them into their week and carry them out regardless of their mood.”

So I will encourage my friend to take action (one of the concepts behind a research-supported therapy used by Dr. Schramka called Behavioral Activation), and to break patterns of avoidance. I understand that is may be far from easy for her.  And if she needs more help, professional therapy is available.

For more information about treatment for individuals experiencing emotional distress, feelings of hopelessness, or depression, visit the web site for Aurora Psychiatric Hospital.

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs.  If you or someone you know needs help, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

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