Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions page is dedicated to providing direct answers to the most common questions we get from our readers on all subjects that we cover on the Empowered Life Solutions page.  Knowledge is the key to empowerment so please continue to be active on the discussion forums and we will continue to strive to provide you with the most relevant content to help you live a more empowered and abundant life.


Depression FAQ:


What is the difference between sadness and depression?

To understand depression it is just as important to understand what depression is not as it is to understand what depression is.  Depression is accompanied with a disinterest and a withdrawal from life.  Due to a lack of hope, it can be difficult to find motivation towards problem solving.  When a person is sad they are usually very interested in whatever made them sad.   They do not withdraw from the precipitating factor but usually engage in problem solving towards alleviating the issue.


Is Depression genetic?

Depression does run in families suggesting a genetic component.  However, it can come down to age of question of which came first the chicken or the egg.  Is it the family pattern of dealing with stress and with a generally pessimistic outlook toward life that is learned?  Or is the vulnerability towards depression through actual genetic make up.  Either way most generally major depressive disorders and bipolar disorder are thought to be inherited whereas, situational depression is no.


How Does An Antidepressant Work?

Antidepressants are about the slowest of all the psychiatric medications on the market.  It takes about 2 weeks just to show signs of working.  If the starting dose does not produce relief the dose is increased.  This cycle can be repeated as many as 3 or 4 times before the medication is considered to not be working and a change of antidepressant is recommended.

It can be frustrating and a very long time before you know if the prescribed medication is working for you.  Like penicillin, antidepressants must be continued beyond the time you feel better.  Generally, from the time you have a good response from your antidepressant it is about 6 months to a year before your doctor will recommend slowly reducing your dose.

It is common for elderly patients or those who have chronic depression to experience a relapse when going off of the medication so often the recommended treatment for the elderly and the chronically depressed is to stay on antidepressants indefinitely.


Anxiety FAQ:


I like to think about things in the future so I can be prepared for anything that might come up.  Why is this a problem?

This is called “what if” thinking.  “What if” thinking keeps you in a chronic state of agitation and unease?  It tells your body that something is wrong right now.  The things that you are worried about in the future rarely happens.  Wait until you have an experience to actually have the experience.  For example, a friend had her boss stop by her office and ask her to come his office later in the day.  She spent the day thinking, “what if” I get fired.  “What if” I am in trouble?  “What if” my boss doesn’t like the work I am doing?  She spent the day in high levels of anxiety.  When she finally did get to the bosses’ office he just wanted to put her on a committee to work on a specific project.  She lost the day to the anxiety produced by her “What if” thinking.


Does having anxiety mean something is wrong with me?

Having anxiety does not mean that anything is wrong with you.  Approximately 20 percent of Americans experience anxiety at a level that is clinically significant.  Many more experience worry and stress to the point that it interferes with their daily living.  I would venture that all people experience some anxiety from time to time. Having anxiety means you are part of the human population.


Why is practicing relaxation skills so important to my anxiety management?

The answer is quite simple.  An anxious mind cannot exist in a relaxed body.  Many want to skip this helpful tool thinking that they don’t have 20 minutes in their day to practice relaxation/imagery/or meditation.  When you are familiar with the pathway to relaxation you are better aware when you are moving towards anxiety and depression.  You can calm down within your own mind thus interrupting the cycle of anxiety and panic.  This is one of the most empowering tools available to you and should not be overlooked.


Can anxiety be eliminated or will I always have to manage it?

Most people experience some stress, worry or anxiety in their lives.  It is when the anxiety starts to interfere with day to day functioning that it becomes a problem.  Because for the most part anxiety is part of the human condition it does require skills and knowledge to manage it. However, anxiety can be managed to the point that it has little impact on your life.  You can live a full abundant life even with a little stress or anxiety.