What You Need To Know About Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal and adaptive part of our emotional lives.  It is a way to keep us safe by helping us recognize danger, anticipate future problems or difficulties, and to find solutions.  It also keeps us sharp and active.  However, when anxiety is out of balance it can become one of the most debilitating and over-whelming of emotions.  Keeping us from enjoying life and, in extreme cases, blocking us more and more from the things we love.

Anxiety is one of the most common problems plaguing Americans today.  It can be triggered by almost anything including thoughts, feelings, interactions with others, and situational events. Symptoms tend to be recurring and are many.  Most people complain of the inability to stop worrying.  Their thoughts tend to race and are intrusive and obsessive.  They carry a sense of helplessness, dread, and a belief that they do not have the ability to be in control of their world.  Their self-doubt lends itself to a fear of future events and a sense of impending doom.  In some cases people often describe confusion, difficulty concentrating, and at times accompanied by depression.

Additionally, they begin to feel physical symptoms such as restlessness, nervousness, being wound up, and tense.  In some, panic attacks begin to occur.  Panic attacks are the most extreme form of anxiety and are typically frightening.  They last, on average, 10 minutes and are usually preceded by an anxious thought.   Those who suffer from panic attacks experience uncomfortable physical sensations such as heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, and shortness of breath.  It is typical to end up in the emergency room thinking that they are dying.  These attacks are usually random, but over time associations with events, places, and even other people are formed.  Untreated panic attacks can lead to phobias such as fear of bridges, driving, freeways, flying, open spaces, closed spaces, and social situations, to name a few.  As you can see their world becomes smaller and smaller.

These symptoms end up robbing you of your sense of well-being, create relationship strain, interfere with daily living, problems at work or school, sleep difficulties, fatigue, weight gain, and even physical pain or illness.

Anxiety is so common that most of my practice is filled with those who are suffering from some level of anxiety.  The causes are sometimes easy to spot while in others it is much harder.  Most anxiety problems begin in childhood.  Since I tailor the treatment to your individual needs, I may use a multitude of approaches including psycho-education (a process of providing education and information) cognitive/behavioral approaches (treating the anxiety by exploring and challenging negative patterns of thought about the self and the world), and psychodynamic approaches (an approach to psychology that emphasizes looking at the underlying childhood causes of behavior, feelings, and emotions).  That being said, my primary approach is EMDR as the results seem to be faster and permanent.

With a personalized approach I can explore causes, thoughts, feelings, and images while teaching you to remain calm.  Don’t let anxiety stand in the way of your goals.  This disorder is one of the easiest to resolve and often without medication.