When Anxiety Becomes a Concern and How to Treat It
Anxiety is no fun! It can range from a minor inconvenience to a crippling and painful state of near paralysis – either way, it’s not a pleasant experience.
The interesting thing about working with anxiety is that we don’t seek to eliminate the ability to get anxious, because, for starters, that’s impossible, secondly, anxiety is often useful and adaptive.
Quite simply, without the capacity for anxious reactions our species would have perished long ago. Much of the time our anxiety is protective and healthy.
Unfortunately, anxiety becomes a concern when an individual’s anxious reactions are disproportionate to the causes for the anxiety; for example, a relatively small or benign situation can cause much consternation and fear.
Anxiety also becomes a concern when a state of prolonged stress can trigger continual feelings of intense uneasiness, which can sometimes manifest as crippling panic attacks.
Prolonged anxiety can lead to pulling away from growth opportunities and eventually lead to loneliness and depression.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders that we see in clinical practice – some clients have specific phobias (such as the fear of flying or public speaking), while others may have social anxiety, general anxiety, obsessive compulsions, or post-traumatic stress, and more.
My approach to working with the many different forms of anxiety is to first treat my client as a whole person and to help them feel ok about their condition. I seek to build them up by focusing on their natural strengths so they can go directly towards the source of their anxiety and hopefully learn to overcome it.
Sometimes this requires a deep and courageous exploration of the past, and sometimes this requires more simple behavioural exercises.
We also explore the loop between the body and the mind, and seek to interrupt the chain of events that often lead to anxious reactions.
I take a wholistic approach to treating anxiety disorders and I help audit lifestyles to identify areas that may be contributing to the anxiety. Medications can be useful for anxiety and so my clients are sometimes encouraged to explore this with their doctors.
Anxiety is not always easy to treat but my experience has been that significant improvements and sometimes total remission is possible through the course of psychotherapy.
If you feel like your anxiety is getting the best of you, please feel free to reach out for a free telephone consultation at 780-655-3809 to discuss therapy options. Or, fill out the form adjacent to this post and Gerard will reach out to you very shortly.
Does the Covid-19 pandemic have you feeling more anxious then usual? Check out my latest blog post on Coping with Covid-19 – Strategies for Anxiety.