THERAPY FOR ANXIETY
Anxiety is such a common issue that almost everyone experiences it at some point in life. For many people anxiety is an ongoing reality they live with day in and day out – some days are just better than others. Although some worrying about major events and practical issues is a normal part of life, anxiety becomes a problem when it impacts your ability to function.
You may be constantly worrying about almost everything, or have a tendency to imagine the worst-case scenarios and get very stressed. You may feel vulnerable as if something bad can
happen at any moment, or have obsessive thoughts that cause you distress and that you can’t seem to shake. You may often feel nervous, scared, terrified, or unable to relax. You may even have full-blown panic attacks. Furthermore, you may worry about anxiety itself; for example, you may worry about when panic attacks might happen again. In addition to your psychological symptoms of anxiety, you may also experience such physical symptoms as restlessness and inability to sit still, faster breathing, heart racing, feeling light-headed or dizzy, having a churning sensation in your stomach, feeling nauseous, needing to use the toilet more often, sweating, experiencing hot flushes, having headaches or other aches and pains, grinding your teeth, or struggling to sleep.
If you wonder whether what you are struggling with is anxiety, the following self-assessment quiz may be able to help.
Whether you experience these symptoms in response to specific situations or objects, or without a specific trigger, psychotherapy can help. Anxiety is both the most common and the most treatable mental-health issue. Therapy for anxiety can help you with panic attacks, irrational fears, phobias, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, stress, as well as excessive worrying, nervousness, and tension. It can help you to alleviate your symptoms and to discover or rediscover your peace of mind.
You may wonder if therapy for anxiety can help you effectively alleviate your symptoms or if you also need antianxiety medication. The answer to this question may depend on several factors, including the severity of your symptoms, your response to therapy, your distress tolerance, as well as your beliefs and expectations. It is worth considering that although antianxiety medication can quickly make you feel better, it can also be addictive. Therefore, it is recommended that you use it only as a temporary aid while addressing the root cause of your anxiety in psychotherapy and learning to alleviate your symptoms with relaxation and other strategies. Please note that psychotherapists do not prescribe medication. Please ask your family doctor or psychiatrist if you need a prescription for antianxiety medication.
If you decide to start therapy for anxiety at Better Self – Psychotherapy & Counselling, we will likely discuss the anatomy of your anxiety – what causes and maintains your anxiety and what happens with your body when you experience it. We will explore and address your self-defeating automatic thoughts and core beliefs that make you feel anxious. You will also be introduced to a variety of effective practices that can help you calm your mind and relax your body. We will likely consider every aspect of your life, including your lifestyle and your habits, to see what adjustments can over time lead you to feel calmer and more content. If you are struggling with a phobia, you will be encouraged to gradually expose yourself to the object of your fear, while utilizing effective coping strategies, so that over time you can feel less anxious about it; this approach is known as systematic desensitization or exposure therapy. If, in addition to feeling anxious, you are also struggling with symptoms of depression, we will integrate therapy for anxiety with therapy for depression. If you are experiencing anxiety in the context of bipolar disorder, we will integrate therapy for anxiety with therapy for bipolar disorder. My therapeutic approach will also depend on many other factors, including your specific presenting concerns, your personality and worldview, your tried coping strategies, your previous experience with psychotherapy, your objectives for therapy, and the unique dynamics of our therapeutic alliance. Regardless of these variables, I will always try to create a psychological environment where you can feel relaxed and safe to address your concerns at your own pace and in the way that works best for you.