Problem with anxiety is very common in modern societies. I see many people who have a variety of different types of anxiety including generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety, panic disorders, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The symptoms for each type of anxiety disorder are different, but they similarly affect all aspects of a person’s life.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can’t stop worrying even though they often understand their concerns are way more intense than the situation they are in demands. Often there are physical symptoms that accompany their worry such as headaches, irritability and trembling. They tend to have difficulty concentrating, and often have issues with sleeping.
Of the various anxiety disorders, social anxiety is the most frequently encountered. Those with social anxiety have problems with severe anxiety in everyday social situations. In many cases, interacting socially becomes very stressful and even emotionally painful. Some people have the feeling that they are constantly being judged by others. Sometimes feelings like this become so problematic that someone may completely avoid almost all social interactions with others. Social anxiety can interfere with enjoyment of school, work or other activities that involve other people. Sufferers typically say they are really worried about being embarrassed or humiliated.
People with panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or even longer. These episodes are called panic attacks. Panic attacks typically include a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. Panic attacks may include sweating, shaking, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
One of the most well-known varieties of anxiety disorder is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. People with this condition will find themselves with upsetting compulsive thoughts and repetitive rituals to ease their anxiety. Common examples include frequent hand washing, a fixation with a certain person or situation, or in terms of personality styles, a person who gets something in their head and can’t “let it go”. These obsessions and compulsions can be very time consuming and leave little time for normal day-to-day activities.
One of the more well-known of the psychological disorders is phobias. There are all kinds of phobias and some of them are more common than others. Generally speaking, phobias are irrational and unrealistic fears that can interfere with your daily life. Common phobias include fear of blood, insects or flying. Modern research has led to therapies that will reduce the anxiety caused by phobias and take away the fear
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
The exact causes of anxiety disorders are still unknown. While there can be genetic predispositions to anxiety, many times anxiety seems to be only related to events that have unfolded in a person’s life. Interestingly though, people who have been through the exact same negative experiences may deal with them in different ways–some people may develop an anxiety disorder, while others may not. Ongoing research efforts are giving psychologists more insight into anxiety and uncovering the most effective treatment options.
Treatment for Anxiety
When it comes to treating anxiety, there are many tools and options at our disposal. I use a variety of methods including psychotherapy, stress management training and relaxation training to help alleviate the pain and suffering caused by this family of disorders. Often the people I treat for anxiety also have other areas of their life that they would like to improve as well, so there are many factors that influence which methods are used.
Generally speaking, I start with sessions that facilitate an exploration of your particular experience of anxiety. This help me to either recognize that you are someone who benefits greatly just by considering the anxiety in a supportive and therapeutic environment, or recognize that you are some who would benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is my treatment of choice for anxiety, but it is not the only treatments I use. In any case, I will develop a program that is tailored to your needs and help you to explore the options available to relieve anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has been shown to be extremely effective in helping my clients deal with anxiety. CBT is normally considered a short term therapy, which typically involves coming to therapy once per week. It focuses on behavior and thinking patterns and helps clients make sense of by thinking rationally about the stressors that cause their anxiety.
CBT breaks down the problematic thoughts and behaviors into smaller parts in order to find better ways of dealing with them. Research has shown CBT to be very effective in quickly dealing with anxiety and preventing future anxiety problems. CBT is a habit changing therapy that helps to challenge negative, anxious thoughts. Problem feelings and trends are identified so that they can be dealt with in more effective ways.
Mindfulness intervention is a practice that helps you to observe your life and engage with it at a deep emotional level. Through this practice you identify destructive emotions and feelings and then work through them. With the skills you learn in mindfulness training we will examine what’s happening in your life and your relationships. We also examine how effective your current anxiety coping mechanisms are and determine if there might