Anxiety is a normal part of life – any person might feel a bit anxious when having to do certain things like speak in front of others, take an exam, or meet a deadline at work. However, when anxiety becomes intense, and prolonged feelings of distress are present, this can cause problems in daily functioning. If life becomes wrought with worry and fear, this can interfere with relationships, work, and family.
When counselling someone with anxiety, I explain factors such as cognitive distortions (distorted ways of thinking), the use of positive self-talk, and various relaxation techniques. Also, by determining the cause of the problem, the anxiety surrounding this can be alleviated. There are many exercises and treatments that I use to decrease anxiety and to help people function more productively in their daily lives.
Common Anxiety Disorders Include:
Experience of recurrent, unexpected panic attacks along with persistent worry about having another panic attack. Panic attacks may include symptoms of: sweating, increase in heart rate or palpitations, shaking, shortness of breath, feelings of choking, nausea, chest pain, dizziness, fear of dying or losing control, numbness, chills, or hot flashes.
Social phobia is present when a person fears social situations, and specific phobias refer to a fear of certain experiences (e.g. blood, heights, spiders).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A person suffers from PTSD after experiencing a situation where an extreme traumatic stressor involved actual or threatened death or serious injury to a person. The response to the event involves feelings of intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
Recurrent obsessions or compulsions that are severe and time consuming, causing significant distress or impairment.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Excessive, constant anxiety and worry that is difficult to control, and may be accompanied by feelings of restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, or interrupted sleep patterns.
Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health problems, affecting about 1 in 10 people (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2010). Anxiety is also very treatable, especially when Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is used.Canadian Mental Health Association