Everyone will feel anxious from time to time. These fleeting feelings of anxiety are entirely normal. They exist to help us tackle the difficult tasks we face in life and try to protect us from making potential mistakes. However, anxiety can become a disorder when it develops into a chronic state of exaggerated worry and tension. An anxiety disorder is much different from the normal bouts of anxiety we feel from time to time. One que that anxiety has extended beyond normality is when we find ourselves in a constant state of anxiety, fear, and worry even though nothing is around to provoke it. When normal levels of anxiety cross the threshold into an anxiety disorder, it is important to seek professional help. Anxiety disorders that manifest themselves over long periods of time, and go untreated, can have detrimental effects on all areas of our lives. Maintaining a state of inner tension and prolonged discomfort will deplete our energy levels and significantly deteriorate our quality of life. When our energy levels are low, we will have issues not only maintaining ourselves, but our professional, family, and social commitments as well. Even though an anxiety disorder can seem daunting to contend with, anxiety disorders can be effectively managed with the appropriate psychotherapeutic treatment.
Read More… Anxiety disorders are different from our built-in anxiety responses since they are harmful to us rather than helpful. Anxiety disorders are marked by an ongoing state of tension, worry, and fear even if no threat is present. There are a multitude of therapy techniques that have been proven to be successful in treating anxiety disorders. These techniques exist to mitigate the ongoing state of tension and worry we experience and to rewire maladaptive thought patterns that make us expect the worst. It is highly beneficial to seek therapy since anxiety disorders can manifest themselves in the body and find outlets such as chronic pain and other symptoms that can be detrimental to our health in the long run.
What are the benefits of working with a therapist?
While there are ways to manage our anxiety on our own, seeing a psychotherapist may be a valuable decision. A psychotherapist can bring clarity to our anxiety issues and help us uncover the real reasons why we find ourselves in these uncomfortable states to begin with. Often times, there is a hidden cause manifesting itself as anxiety, begging for our attention in order to be looked at and resolved. In many cases, gathering the courage to face this root issue can bring relief and resolution. A skilled therapist can provide a safe and trustworthy environment for us where we can address any potential root causes of our anxiety and examine where it is manifesting in our present lives. They may also suggest efficient techniques for how to work with our conditioned anxiety response whenever we feel a wave of anxiety rising. With a little practice of these techniques, we are able to rewire our thought circuits. Therefore, we find ourselves less and less prone to delve into an anxious state, which then serves as a powerful confirmation of our success, providing us with an increased level of confidence to hold our ground in more challenging situations.
There are different methods that have proven to be successful in treating anxiety disorders.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used not only to uncover incorrect or distorted thinking patterns that lead to dysfunctional responses, but to replace these irrational thought patterns with rational, appropriate patterns of thinking instead. CBT aims to deconstruct and release the negative emotions and thought patterns that follow the onset of an anxiety episode. This allows for healthy emotional and cognitive behavioural patterns to fill the space that maladaptive patterns of behaviour once occupied.
Read More… Cognitive Behavioural Therapy teaches clients to identify and question negative thought patterns, beliefs and behaviours and encourages clients to change these reactions during triggering situations.
Exposure Therapy confronts clients with their fears and exposes them to triggering scenarios in a secure way, so that the maladaptive interpretations of such situations can be recognized. Through the process of Exposure Therapy, the fear response is reduced and is eventually extinguished. This means there is a complete elimination of the anxious response to a situation that would have previously been perceived as dangerous and triggering.
Read More… Exposure therapy allows clients to safely confront situations that cause them to react in unhealthy ways so that new, healthy responses can be learned and installed in place of negative learned reactions.
Mindfulness-Based Therapy Approaches offer benefits in treating anxiety on multiple levels. By pulling our attention from the past and future, they help us stay focused on the present moment, without projecting fearful scenarios into the future, or feeling negative emotions of guilt and shame surrounding past events. This awareness of the present is conducive to seeing stressful situations through a clear lens, free of irrational projections. Methods like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy guide clients toward acknowledging their negative feelings in the present moment without acting on them. By identifying their personal values and goals, clients can commit to changing their unhealthy reactions in order to support these goals. Mindfulness practices can also help us stay grounded and centered within our own energy so that we’re not easily swayed by outside circumstances. This inner balance and resilience provides improved self-confidence and contributes significantly to both our psychological and physical wellbeing.
Read More… Mindfulness-based therapy approaches encourage clients to remain in the present moment and to accept incoming thoughts rather than react to them. By accepting and acknowledging thoughts, clients are able to address them while maintaining a calm state and view them with realistic outlook rather than a negative one. There are a variety of other methods used for treating anxiety disorders and an experienced therapist will choose those best suited to our personal needs to provide the solution we seek through psychotherapy.
Reference: Anxiety Treatments: Medications, Therapies, Self-Help. Anxiety.org. (2019, September 25). https://www.anxiety.org/treatments.
Edmonton Anxiety Disorders
Edmonton Anxiety Disorders affect approximately ten percent of the population. Those who suffer from these disorders experience excessive levels of fear and stress over daily life activities. These disorders can manifest through continuous states of anxiety, terrifying panic attacks, chronic sleep disturbance and other symptoms. Because they mistake these illnesses for emotional weakness, many suffer needlessly. Fortunately, Roy Psychotherapy provides traditional psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and other treatments administered by mental health practitioners who specialize in treatment of Edmonton Anxiety Disorders. Roy Psychotherapy offers treatment for the following disorders:
Edmonton Panic Disorder
This disorder is characterized by unpredictable panic attacks in which the sufferer may experience heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, nausea, sweating, physical numbness or tingling and other symptoms. Sufferers of Edmonton Panic Disorder may fear they will die during the attacks, even though the physical symptoms of a panic attack are not life-threatening. Because the panic attacks are unpredictable and occur without warning, Edmonton Panic Disorder sufferers may also develop agoraphobia, and fear places and objects connected to previous attacks. They may fear driving, exercising, being in enclosed spaces and other situations where a panic attack may embarrass them or endanger their health. In extreme agoraphobia cases, the sufferer may feel unable to leave their home.
Edmonton Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Edmonton GAD sufferers experience high levels of stress over everyday life routines and events. Sufferers may feel overwhelmed by persistent fears of worst-case-scenarios and complain that they cannot “turn off” the stream negative thoughts in their minds. Edmonton Generalized Anxiety Disorder may also manifest in a sense of constant alertness and anticipation. The anxiety these sufferers experience, however, lacks a specific or appropriate source. Physical symptoms can include irritability, headaches, muscle spasms, inability to concentrate or relax, being easily startled, excessive sweating of hands and feet, and sleep disturbance. Fortunately, Edmonton Generalized Anxiety Disorder is treatable with a combination of medication and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Edmonton Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Edmonton PTDS is a disorder suffered by those who have undergone or witnessed a violent or life-threatening event. War veterans and survivors of motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters, rape, assault, and child abuse may experience Edmonton Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Symptoms of this illness include “flashbacks” in which the survivor relives the incident, nightmares, angry outbursts, thoughts of hurting oneself and others, and feelings of emotional numbness, helplessness, and despair. Physical symptoms such as headaches and upset stomach may also manifest, particularly among children with the illness. Treatments may include medication and therapy. Unfortunately, many with Edmonton PTSD feel shame concerning their illness and suffer in silence.
Edmonton Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Edmonton Obsessive-compulsive disorder, often referred to as Edmonton “OCD”, is a Edmonton Anxiety Disorder that will affect roughly three percent of the population at some point in their lives. Edmonton OCD sufferers are plagued with unwanted and obsessive thoughts, and will respond to these obsessions in a compulsive manner. Obsessions common to this disorder include fears of bacterial contamination, forgetting to lock the door or turn off the stove before leaving home, and harming oneself or others. The obsessive thoughts are accompanied by compulsions of hand washing, repeated checking of doors and household appliances, counting, organizing, and repeatedly touching objects. Initially, the compulsive actions provide temporary relief for the Edmonton OCD sufferer. However, the anxiety quickly returns, and compulsion rituals soon become so elaborate and repetitive in nature that they become debilitating and completely overwhelm the patient.
However challenging, Edmonton Anxiety Disorders are not insurmountable obstacles. With the exceptional treatment offered by Roy Psychotherapy’s anxiety treatment specialists, those who suffer from these disorders can overcome their illness. If you have been diagnosed with one of the disorders listed above, or if you suspect that you may have a Edmonton Anxiety disorder, contact Roy Psychotherapy today to schedule a consultation with our intake specialists.