Effective Treatment for Anxiety and Stress
We all feel stress and anxiety from time-to-time.
Every-day occurrences, such as speaking in public, meeting tight deadlines, first dates, and even being stuck in rush hour traffic can lead to anxiety and stress.
These forms of mild stress or anxiety aren’t bad. In fact, they can even be helpful as they make us more focused and alert when faced with challenging or threatening situations. And these types of anxiety usually subside rather quickly, frequently as soon as the circumstances that led to them have passed.
However, if you’re suffering from recurring, routine, or severe stress or anxiety, experience distress over long periods of time, your anxiety never seems to completely go away, you feel your fears are often unwarranted, unjustified, or imagined, and your stress or anxiety is affecting your work, your relationships, or your ability to enjoy your life, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.
Fortunately, anxiety can be treated effectively and multiple treatment options exist to help you take back control of your life and move forward with confidence and optimism!
How Can You Tell If You Have an Anxiety Disorder?
Before you begin seeking treatment for anxiety, you should first consider the severity of the difficulties you’re experiencing as well as the treatment options available.
Anxiety disorders are relatively unique in that there are several types of anxiety disorders with different causes and effects and the symptoms of severe anxiety and stress are almost as varied as the individuals experiencing them…
Drastic changes in appetite, oversleeping, insomnia, listlessness and a general lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, frequent headaches, and mood swings are just a few common symptoms of severe anxiety.
Anxiety disorders typically fall into one of three main categories:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – People with generalized anxiety disorder commonly feel worried or anxious for no apparent reason. Their fears tend to be incongruent with the actual threats they face, and their anxiety tends to be an ongoing concern that waxes and wanes over months, years, and even decades.
- Panic Attacks – Panic attacks are sudden, unexpected surges of anxiety that result in an individual’s perceived need to escape, by any means necessary, the situation that caused the attack. The severity of panic attacks can lead them to be confused with heart attacks or other medical conditions and often cause the people who suffer them to avoid any situations they feel may bring on another attack.
- Phobias – Phobias are extreme fears of specific situations or things that are not usually dangerous, such as spiders, flying, heights, open spaces, confined spaces, social encounters, and so on. According to some, phobias may be the most common form of anxiety disorder, affecting as much as half the population. However, since individuals with a phobia only need avoid one thing or type of situation in order to cope with their fear, they often decide they can live with their phobia and don’t seek the treatment that could help them overcome their fear.
While the symptoms of anxiety disorders differ from one individual to another, there are some physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety disorders that are relatively common, including:
- Muscle aches and tension
- Difficulties relaxing
- Loss of concentration
- Restlessness and irritability
- Problems falling, or staying, asleep
- Lack of energy
- Irregular heartbeat
- Upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea
- Fears of rejection
- Constant, persistent, or recurring worries and fears
Just because you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder. Many of these symptoms can have medical causes. However, if you’re experiencing more than a couple of these symptoms and/or have been experiencing them for some time, you should seek professional help.
Effective, Lasting Treatment for Anxiety and Stress
If you’re suffering from severe anxiety or stress, help is available. And research has shown time and time again that counseling and psychotherapy are extremely beneficial for the vast majority of people who are struggling with anxiety disorders.
There are a variety of approaches to anxiety counseling and stress management therapy…
Some approaches (such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy) focus on helping you relieve the symptoms of your anxiety and learn the skills necessary to identify, understand, and change negative thoughts and behavior patterns and replace them with positive ones so you can restore a sense of control to your life, while other approaches (such as existential and psychodynamic techniques) focus on helping you understand and work through the underlying causes of your anxiety so it doesn’t recur in the future.
All of these approaches can be helpful and no one form of treatment is equally effective for everyone, which is one of the reasons I practice psychotherapy eclectically. I draw on various theoretical orientations and techniques to meet the needs and goals of my clients during our work together.
If you believe you’re struggling with an undue amount of anxiety or stress, we can work together to help you:
- Determine the severity of your anxiety or stress;
- Decide on the best type of treatment;
- Learn mindfulness techniques and other coping strategies, so you can minimize the effects of anxiety and stress and start moving forward again in your relationships and your life;
- Understand the underlying causes of your stress and anxiety; and
- Work towards changing the beliefs and behaviors that trigger your anxiety, so it doesn’t recur in the future.
Not only can recurring or extreme anxiety and stress be debilitating in their own right, but, if left untreated, they can easily lead to other emotional and behavioral problems such as depression, alcoholism, or substance abuse.
Having said that, if you’re willing to make the commitment and put in the time and effort to make sure you get the best treatment for you and stick with it, you can learn to cope with and overcome your anxiety and stress and rediscover all of the joy life has to offer!
For more information about how the anxiety treatment and stress management services I provide can help, I encourage you to contact me at 408-309-5957 or email Talks2people@yahoo.com to ask any questions you have and schedule an initial consultation. I look forward to speaking with you.