Anxiety, Depression, and Emotional Regulation

Anxiety and Depression

If you are dealing with some kind of mental health struggle, you’re not alone.

Recent studies show that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge, affecting 40 million adults. And depression is the leading cause of disability in the US for ages 15 to 44, and affects over 16 million American adults.

Treatment for these issues are highly effective, yet only about 1/3 of those suffering from them seek treatment. You may have resisted seeking treatment due to shame and embarrassment, lack of understanding about what you are experiencing, or apprehension of what to expect from therapy. Most mental health issues and disorders such as ADHD, substance abuse, relationship problems, depression and anxiety are commonly  associated with emotional dysregulation. When we are emotionally dysregulated our nervous system floods and we either become overwhelmed and hyper focused on our feelings or we shut down and disconnect from them. Either way, simple tasks and problem solving become much harder, even impossible.

At Arizona Connection Counseling, we help clients identify and treat the underlying issues of anxiety and depression and understand the function of emotions and how to manage them. Life stressors that may impact our ability to regulate emotions and lead to anxiety and depression are:

  • losing a loved one 
  • going through a divorce
  • prolonged shame
  • Unresolved  anger or other emotional pain
  • relational problems
  • Trauma
  • family of origin issues

Therapists that specialize in anxiety, depression and emotional regulation

Therapists that specialize in anxiety, depression and emotional regulation

Eating Disorders - It's Not About the Food

By Kelly Lopez

If it’s not about the food, what is it really about?

The eating disorder serves a function, it does a job. Despite the problems an eating disorder creates, it is an effort to cope, shield against, communicate, and solve problems. Behaviors may be a way to establish a sense of power or control, self-worth, strength, and containment. Bringing may be used to numb pain. Purging may be a way to release emotions. When one cannot cope in healthy ways, adaptive functions (behaviors) are created to ensure a sense of safety, security, and control.
According to Carolyn Costin*, some of the “adaptive functions that eating disorder behaviors commonly serve are”:
It’s not about the food, it’s a way of coping with low self-esteem, negative emotions, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, unstable home, difficulty resolving conflict and much more.
*Costin, Carolyn. The Eating Disorder Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments and Prevention of Eating Disorders. 3rd. edition, McGraw Hill, 2007.
Fuller, Kristen. “Eating Disorders: It’s Not All about Food.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 22 Mar. 2017