Whereas normal anxious responses help us reach our goals, anxiety disorders hold us back and hurt us in the long run. Anxiety disorders are marked by an ongoing state of tension, worry, and fear, even if no threat is present. There are numerous therapeutic techniques that successfully treat anxiety disorders. These techniques mitigate the ongoing state of tension we experience and rewire anxious thought patterns. It’s highly beneficial to seek therapy since anxiety disorders can harm our bodies, manifesting as chronic pain and other symptoms that can be detrimental to our health.
Fleeting feelings of anxiety are normal and help us reach our goals. So, when does anxiety become a disorder? One symptom indicative of an anxiety disorder is if we face perpetual fear and worry even when unprovoked. It’s important to seek professional help for anxiety disorders since, when left untreated, they can have detrimental effects on all areas of our lives. Maintaining a state of inner tension will deplete your energy levels and significantly deteriorate your quality of life. However, anxiety disorders can be effectively managed with the appropriate psychotherapeutic treatment.
What are the benefits of working with a therapist?
While there are ways to manage anxiety on our own, seeing a psychotherapist may be a valuable decision. A psychotherapist can offer us tools to cope with anxiety and help us determine why we’re anxious to begin with. Often, there’s a hidden cause manifesting itself as anxiety, begging for our attention. A skilled therapist provides a safe and trustworthy environment where we address the root causes of our anxiety and examine where it’s manifesting in our lives. With a little practice, we can rewire our thought circuits, allowing us relief from anxiety.
There are different methods that have proven to be successful in treating anxiety disorders.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches clients to identify and challenge negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours, and encourages clients to change these reactions during triggering situations.
Exposure Therapy allows clients to safely confront triggering situations that cause them discomfort so that new, healthy responses can be learned and installed in place of negative learned reactions.
Mindfulness-Based Therapy Approaches treat anxiety by helping us stay focused on the present moment. Staying in the present prevents us from projecting fearful scenarios into the future, or feeling negative emotions of guilt and shame from the past. This awareness allows you to see anxiety-provoking situations through a clear lens. Methods like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy guide clients toward acknowledging their negative feelings without acting on them. By identifying their personal values and goals, clients can change harmful thoughts and behaviours to support these goals. Mindfulness practices also help clients stay grounded so that they're not easily swayed by outside circumstances. This inner balance and resilience improves self-confidence and contributes significantly to both our psychological and physical wellbeing.
Reference: Anxiety Treatments: Medications, Therapies, Self-Help. Anxiety.org. (2019, September 25).
Anxiety Disorders affect approximately 10% 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. Some mistake anxiety for emotional weakness, and suffer needlessly. Fortunately, Roy Psychotherapy provides traditional psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and other treatments administered by mental health practitioners who specialize in treatment of Anxiety Disorders. Roy Psychotherapy offers treatment for the following disorders:
Panic disorders are marked by unpredictable panic attacks, which often include heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, nausea, sweating, physical numbness or tingling, and other symptoms. Those with Panic Disorders may fear they'll die during the attacks, although the physical symptoms of a panic attack are not life-threatening. Due to the unpredictable nature of panic attacks, some people develop agoraphobia, fear of driving, exercising, or being in situations where a panic attack may embarrass them or endanger their health.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Those with GAD experience extreme anxiety over everyday life routines and events. They often report feeling overwhelmed by persistent fears of worst-case-scenarios and complain that they cannot “turn off” their anxiety - even though the anxiety that's experienced lacks an 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, GAD is treatable with a combination of medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a disorder suffered by those who have undergone or witnessed a violent or life-threatening event. Symptoms of this illness include “flashbacks” of 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. Treatments may include medication and therapy. Unfortunately, many with PTSD feel shame concerning their illness and suffer in silence. If you think you may be suffering with PTSD, please reach out for support. Trauma is subjective and nothing to be ashamed of.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, often referred to as “OCD”, affects roughly 3% of the population. Those with OCD are plagued with unwanted and obsessive thoughts, and 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, 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; however, anxiety quickly returns, and compulsion rituals soon become so elaborate and repetitive in nature that they debilitate and completely overwhelm the patient.
However challenging, 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 an anxiety disorder, contact Roy Psychotherapy today to schedule a consultation with our intake specialists.