Counseling and Psychological Services at Kennesaw State hosted a Managing Anxiety and Depression Virtual Workshop on Feb. 16 to spread awareness about depression, anxiety and ways to deal with those mental illnesses.
The hosts of the hour-long workshop, Lydia Evans and Olympia Papageorgiou began the discussion by explaining what anxiety and depression are, and how they can affect a person.
Anxiety is a natural response to danger or demand. When confronted with certain stressors, people may find that their hearts beat faster, that they are most sensitive and prone to sadness or anger, or that they become so focused on their fear that they are unable to focus on anything else.
Several different kinds of stressors can contribute to anxiety. Among them are catastrophizing, mind reading, should-have statements and black and white thinking.
Catastrophizing occurs when a person has something happen to them that leads to a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions blowing that situation out of proportion.
Mind reading occurs when a person assumes what another person may be thinking about them, which causes them to feel worse about themselves.
Should-have statements are a line of thinking that causes a person to stay so focused on the past that they are unable to make meaningful changes in their life.
Evans described black and white thinking as “anything you can put in an ‘if-then’ format.” Framing thoughts in such a way can lead to increased stress.
In contrast to anxiety, depression may not always have such concrete effects or causes. Just because someone is depressed does not mean they are sad all the time. Depression can lead to a loss of motivation or interest in life, and it may be harder for someone living with it to focus on school or even get up in the morning. Other symptoms of depression are social isolation, disrupted sleep and disrupted eating habits.
When struggling with anxiety and depression, it may seem like there is no way out or that there is nothing anyone can do to make things better. To show otherwise, Papageorgiou and Evans shared different ways to cope with depressive symptoms. They explained that some ways to cope are practicing gratitude, self-care and mindfulness.
Going through depression and suffering from anxiety is undeniably difficult, but people do not have to do endure it alone. KSU has resources available to help anyone who needs it.
The Counseling and Psychological Services department offers several counseling services accessible through their website. If you would like to set up an appointment you can schedule by calling 470-578-6600 for the Kennesaw Campus or 470-578-7391 for the Marietta Campus.
In addition, Wellbeing@KSU has a support line available at all times for KSU students in need of talking to someone. Call 833-874-0013 for this service.