Anxiety Disorders and Treatment
Are You Suffering from Anxiety and do you feel it is running your life?
- Do you constantly feel anxious for no reason that you can understand or identify?
- Do you have anxiety or panic attacks?
- Do you have problems sleeping from worrying excessively?
- Do you wish you could understand what is causing your anxiety and develop the insight needed to manage it and feel better?
Living with anxiety and experiencing panic attacks can be draining, frustrating and limits the way you live your life. Anxiety and panic are signals that issues from your past are unresolved. I have helped hundreds of people successfully work through their anxiety and panic attacks by identifying the source of their anxiety and changing thinking patterns. This work helps provide a better sense of control in our lives.
Anxiety is Common
Anxiety is common, and everyone experiences anxiety. However, when anxiety disrupts your normal day to day functioning and interferes with your lifestyle it may be considered a “disorder.”
According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. And, women are 60 percent more likely to be affected compared to men. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.”
If you are feeling constant worry and the cause of the anxiety isn’t apparent, this likely leaves you feeling confused and even more unsettled. Counseling helps clarify the source(s) of your anxiety and offers effective methods for alleviating your pain.
How do you know if you need treatment for Anxiety
If you feel that your anxiety symptoms are interfering with your life, causing you panic attacks, interrupting healthy sleep habits, and giving you constant worry, it would benefit you to seek counseling.
The first step is to rule out the possibility that your symptoms are being caused by a medical condition, i.e. not psychiatric. You want to rule out hyperthyroidism, low blood sugar, or other endocrine problems that produce symptoms similar to those of anxiety. Certain medications can also sometimes cause anxiety. You want to get an evaluation from your primary care provider to rule out any of these conditions that may be the cause of your anxiety symptoms. If no other medical issue can be found and the symptoms seem out of proportion to any situation you are facing, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Do I have to take medication?
This depends on you and how difficult it is for you to manage your symptoms. We have treated clients over the years who didn’t want to take medication and wanted to manage their anxiety through counseling only. These clients were committed to work hard in therapy, and their symptoms improved.
There are also many people who want to take medication, and start to feel better within a couple of weeks. Some types of anxiety drugs are usually prescribed on a short-term or as-needed basis. People who combine medication with counseling experience positive results.
How I help my clients
Anxiety disorders are treatable and many people can be helped with professional care. I work with clients using different methods and treatments to help them manage and reduce symptoms. My goal is to help you identify triggers and examine the deeper emotions and reasons that are the source of your anxiety.
I help you to identify and address the thoughts and situations that are contributing to your anxiety. In a safe, supportive and nonjudgmental environment, you can work through difficult emotions and learn ways to gain more control over your thoughts and your life.
In our work together I help you develop more self-awareness, and various cognitive strategies to reduce anxiety and tension. Therapy can feel more positive and empowered as you work through emotions, shift your perception of yourself and your life situation. I also like to integrate meditation and mindfulness based approaches to help guide my clients towards healing.
If you are taking medication as a form of treatment it is important to combine it with therapy. Anxiety symptoms often respond well to a combination of talk therapy and medication.
How long does it take before I start to feel better?
We are all unique even though we may experience a lot of the same symptoms. The difference varies from person to person depending on how long you have had anxiety, how severe it is, your mind set, and attitude.
If you decide to seek treatment with medication that is right for you, you can start to feel better in a couple of weeks. If you only want to seek counseling, the change is subtle and may take more time. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the combination of medication and counseling can be most effective and help you feel more at ease and in control of your anxiety.
Counseling is necessary as you focus on identifying and addressing the core causes of your anxiety. Dealing with these underlying factors can take time but is extremely important in addressing anxiety and its many symptoms.