Dr. Giovanni La Veglia, Psychologist and Coach

Feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, loneliness can interfere with your relationships and daily activities. Treatment focuses on replacing negative or unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. Based near Trastevere, also Skype.

Dr. Giovanni La Veglia is a Clinical Psychologist specialized in Psychotherapy for adolescents and adults with expertise in the areas of stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, mood disorders and eating disorders.

He is a consultant for major public health institutions in clinical research and group psychoeducation.  He also works for private multinational companies as a Coach for managers professional development and improving team effectiveness.

Certifications:

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist , Ordine Psicologi del Lazio, sez. A n. 18752
  • Licensed Psychotherapist, International Institute for Psychoanalytic Research and Training of Health Professionals  n. 01115
  • Certified Professional Coach, ICF - International Coach Federation n. 902734

 Feelings of anxiety or depression

Most of us feel anxious or depressed at times, moving abroad and having difficulties in settling up, losing a job or home, separation and divorce, financial instability, health problems …the list is endless.

Feelings of sadness, loneliness, fear, hopelessness, and anxiety are normal, and they usually pass over time. But if these feelings interfere with daily activities, you may have an anxiety disorder or depression—or both.

Anxiety and depression are crippling, and they can have profound negative effects on you and your family and friends. They can disrupt your daily activities and affect your ability to care for loved ones and complete tasks related to school or work.

These disorders are real and they are serious, but they can be treated together and separately. There is hope, and finding the right treatment will help you get better.

 Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal biological reaction to stress and an important part of living. It helps us get out of  harm’s way and prepare for important events, and it warns us when we need to take action.

But you may experience anxiety that is persistent, irrational, seemingly uncontrollable, and overwhelming. If it’s an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can be disabling. When anxiety interferes with daily activities, you may have an anxiety disorder.

 Symptoms of anxiety:

  • Excessive worry, persistent anxious thoughts on most days of the week
  • Sleep problems, troubles falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Irrational fears, if the fear is overwhelming and way out of proportion to the actual risk involved
  • Constant muscle tension, clenching your jaw, balling your fists, pains and aches, twitching, stiffness, grinding of teeth, unsteady voice, increased muscular tone.
  • Chronic digestive problems, stomachaches, cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea.
  • Blushing, trembling, nausea, profuse sweating, difficulty talking in certain social situations
  • Difficulty in concentration, poor memory.
  • Respiratory symptoms, pressure or constriction in chest, choking feelings, sighing, dyspnea.
  • Frequent flashbacks, reliving a disturbing or traumatic event
  • Perfectionism, constantly judging yourself or anticipatory anxiety about making mistakes or falling short of your standards
  • Obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior
  • Persistent self-doubt and second-guessing

Panic attacks are also part on anxiety disorder for those who experience them repeatedly. 

Panic attacks can be terrifying: picture a sudden, gripping feeling of fear and helplessness that can last for several minutes, accompanied by scary physical symptoms such as breathing problems, a pounding or racing heart, tingling or numb hands, sweating, weakness or dizziness, chest pain, stomach pain, and feeling hot or cold.

Depressive feelings

The term “depression” often characterizes feelings of being sad, discouraged, hopeless, unmotivated, as well as a general lack of interest or pleasure in life. When these feelings last for a short period of time, it may be called a passing case of “the blues.” But when they last for more than two weeks and interfere with regular daily activities, it’s likely you have a depressive disorder.

Depressive disorders, also known as mood disorders, include three main types: major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder, and they can occur with any anxiety disorder.

Major depression involves a combination of symptoms that are disabling and interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, and sleep. It may occur once or twice in your lifetime or more frequently. Or you may experience it in relation to the death of a loved one, a romantic breakup, a medical illness, or other life event. Some people may experience physical aches and pains, leading them to believe that these are symptoms of an undiagnosed physical ailment. Others may feel that life is not worth living, and a small number may attempt to end their lives.

Depression is different in each person. No two people experience the same combination, severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms.

Symptoms of major depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or excessive sleeping
  • Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed

Treating anxiety and depressive disorders

Anxiety and depression are highly treatable. Psychotherapy and medications have proved effective in treating anxiety and depressive disorders, sometimes with a combination of therapies. Talk with your doctor or psychotherapist about the best treatment for you. New scientific research emerges all the time to improve treatments.

Treatment should be tailored to your individual diagnosis and designed to help you manage and reduce the symptoms of both disorders. You may have symptoms that require treating one disorder first. The first step is getting the appropriate diagnosis and deciding on a course of treatment that will work for you.

Getting help

Doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists are among the many types of trained professionals who can diagnose and treat anxiety and related disorders. You might also seek assistance from your primary care doctor.

You should feel comfortable asking questions about treatments, training, and fees. Here are some sample questions you may want to ask during a consultation:

  • What training and experience do you have in treating anxiety and depressive disorders?
  • What is your basic approach to treatment?
  • Can you prescribe medication or refer me to someone who can?
  • How long is the course of treatment?
  • Would I benefit from a combination of treatments?
  • How will the treatments affect my sleep and eating?
  • Will I be able to function at work or school?
  • Can I drink alcohol while taking these medications?
  • How frequent are treatment sessions and how long do they last?
  • How will I know that the treatments are having a positive effect?
  • How long will it take for me to begin feeling better?
  • Do you include family members in therapy?
  • What is your fee schedule, and do you have a sliding scale for varying financial circumstances?

Psychotherapy

Several forms of psychotherapy are effective. Of these, cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy have proven to be very effective also in a short-term horizon. Psychotherapy teaches you how to replace negative and unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. Treatment focuses on taking specific steps to overcome anxiety and depression.

Read more on how psychodynamic therapy works and its efficacy: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-65-2-98.pdf

Medication

Medications are effective. Symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders often occur together, and both respond to treatment with the appropriate medications which only a doctor can prescribe.

These medications must be taken for two to four weeks to experience their full effect, and it may take several weeks to adjust them to the correct dosage. Even once you are feeling better, you must continue taking the medications. Changes to a different medication or withdrawal from all medication should be only done under your doctor’s supervision.

 

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