You’re getting tired of the anxiety. You may have always felt a little anxious. Or at least for a while. But now, it’s getting in the way.
Now, the anxiety is starting to interfere more with your day-to-day life. It’s causing you distress. And, to be honest, anxiety is keeping you from doing things that you know are important.
You want to do something about it. But, you’re not sure what. You’ve tried to relax. You’ve tried to think positive thoughts. But, the anxiety is still there.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety looks a little bit different for everyone. But, there are some common symptoms that many people experience. If you have anxiety, you may:
- Often feel tense or on edge
- Have difficulty sleeping – either trouble falling asleep or waking up often
- Experience muscle aches and tension
- Sweat more than usual
- Have a hard time concentrating
- Feel like your heart is racing or pounding
- Avoid certain situations or people
- Experience nausea or other stomach problems
Some Anxiety is Normal
To be honest, everyone experiences anxiety at times. In fact, some anxiety is a good thing. Anxiety can help us stay alert and aware of our surroundings. It can also motivate us to take action.
But, when these symptoms of anxiety start to interfere with our life, that’s when it becomes a problem. You may have been so excited to get into a great university like Xavier or the University of Cincinnati. But, now that you’re in school you are so anxious that you find yourself missing class or failing tests. You have a job that you used to love but now you live in constant fear of “getting in trouble” and it’s impacting your performance. Or you find yourself turning down an invitation to a Cincinnati Reds game because you’re worried you’ll have a panic attack if you’re in a crowd.
Any of these situations – and so many more – can be helped with anxiety treatment.
Common Anxiety Disorders
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you don’t have to qualify for a specific “anxiety disorder” to seek counseling. But, many people do fall into one of these categories:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is characterized by excessive worry about a variety of topics. These often include work, school, health, finances, and family. This worry is present more days than not and lasts for at least six months. People with GAD often feel “on edge” or “keyed up.” They may have trouble sleeping or concentrating. And they may startle easily.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
SAD is characterized by feeling intense anxiety or fear in social situations. This may become triggered by activities such as public speaking and meeting new people. Or, even going on a date. People with SAD often worry about getting embarrassed or judged by others. They may avoid social situations or endure them with extreme distress.
A phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights, flying, snakes, or needles. People with phobias often go out of their way to avoid the thing they’re afraid of. In some cases, the fear is so severe that it interferes with daily life.
There are many different types of phobias. For example, agoraphobia is a fear of entering open or crowded places, leaving one’s own home, or being in places from which escape is difficult. Claustrophobia is a fear of enclosed spaces, such as an elevator.
Panic disorder is characterized by having panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear or anxiety. Physical symptoms often accompany a panic attack. This may include symptoms like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness. For those living with panic disorder, they’ve generally experienced more than one panic attack and now live with the fear of having another.
Other Anxiety Disorders
There are other anxiety disorders as well. Some of these include Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But in general, anxiety disorders are characterized by persistent, excessive, and unreasonable worry that’s difficult to control.
Anxiety Treatment Works
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you’re not alone. But the good news is, that anxiety is often very responsive to treatment. That is why I enjoy treating anxiety so much as a counselor. I’m able to see people make real progress.
My Approach to Anxiety Treatment
When it comes to anxiety treatment, I like to use a combination of ACT and CBT. Both of these methods have been proven to be effective in treating anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a more traditional approach. It looks at the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are maintaining the anxiety symptoms and holding you back. It’s “traditional” only because there is a vast amount of research showing how effective it can be. Particularly when it comes to anxiety treatment.
In anxiety treatment sessions, we will often begin with psychoeducation.
This means you’ll learn all about anxiety. You’ll learn what anxiety is and why people experience anxiety. It helps to understand why we experience symptoms of anxiety before we can understand what helps. We’ll discuss how most people avoid anxiety. Plus, how this avoidance can actually maintain your anxiety or even make it worse.
Then, you’ll begin to gradually learn ways to approach your anxiety and move toward things causing anxiety. We’ll work on behavioral techniques to manage your anxiety such as slowing down your breath.
In addition to more traditional CBT and behavioral approaches to treating anxiety, I like to incorporate a lot of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). This is a newer method of treating anxiety. ACT is a more mindfulness-based approach. We work on accepting the thoughts and emotions that are causing the anxiety. And we commit to taking action despite the anxiety. You’ll learn to observe your thoughts and feelings and take a step back from the anxiety. Then, you can move in the direction of your values and goals.
I find all these approaches complement one another. They work together as a whole to treat your anxiety in an effective way.
You Don’t Have to Live With Anxiety Forever
If you’re struggling with anxiety, don’t give up hope. There is treatment available and it does work. I encourage you to reach out for help from a mental health professional. An anxiety therapist can provide you with the tools and support you need to manage your anxiety.
Through participating in counseling sessions for anxiety, you’ll find that anxiety interferes less and less with your day-to-day life. Our goal is for your anxiety to no longer get in the way of you doing the things that are important to you or moving you closer to your goals. After this occurs, it will be time for us to talk about discharge from counseling altogether.
The truth is that you’ll never be able to get rid of all your anxiety. But it IS possible to better understand it. You can learn to work with anxiety when it does come up, and often to reduce the frequency or intensity of your anxiety as a whole. Best of all, the skills you learn in counseling generalize to other areas of your life. This means even when you aren’t actively in anxiety treatment, you’ll still be able to use the skills you learned. You can apply them to better manage other things that come up in your life.
Are you ready to start living your life again without anxiety holding you back? If so, contact me today for a free consultation. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have about anxiety treatment and how I work
Begin Anxiety Treatment in Kentucky or Ohio
If you’re struggling with anxiety and are ready to start living your life again without anxiety holding you back, I hope this has been helpful. I hope you can better understand that there is treatment available and that you can get help. If you live in Kentucky or Ohio and are interested in counseling services, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about anxiety treatment and help you start moving toward your goals. To start your therapy journey with Kyle Linnemann Counseling, please follow these simple steps:
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