Do you feel wound up or have trouble focusing on tasks? Do you feel tired, but wired, exhausted from racing thoughts but unable to fall asleep? Are you worried about your finances, your loved ones, your relationships, or your job? Are you afraid of going out in public places, or how you might be perceived by others? Do you feel nervous, shaky, sweaty, or experience dizziness or shortness of breath?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing anxiety. You are not alone, and you don’t have to continue suffering. Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. I have witnessed many individuals transform from paralysis to action in various domains of life through our counselling work together.
There are several types of anxiety, but the most common are outlined below.
If you experience a general feeling of being keyed up, or on edge much of the time, afraid that something bad might happen, you may have generalized anxiety. This type of anxiety is often associated with feeling chronically tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate, as well as trouble falling asleep at night. These individuals often experience somatic symptoms, including muscle tension and/or pain.
Those who struggle with social anxiety feel so anxious about embarrassing or humiliating themselves in social situations, that they go to great lengths to avoid them. Thoughts about coming across as “awkward” or “strange” occupy one’s mind, and their relationships and work may suffer, often because of misunderstandings about the individual’s interest or level of commitment.
Do you suffer from panic attacks, not necessarily because of a situation, but due to the fear of being anxious? If so, you may be experiencing panic disorder. This type of anxiety is characterized by avoiding situations or places, relying on a support person, or making special accommodations to escape in case panic strikes.
Obsessive thoughts and compulsive ritualistic behaviours are central to OCD. Checking and rechecking appliances or locks, obsessively cleaning or showering, maintaining symmetry or order, and fear of the consequences if these rituals are not carried out commonly overwhelm these individuals. They also experience fearful thoughts about losing control of their emotions and behaviours.
Have you experienced an event that threatened your sense of safety or security? Do you reexperience the events through memories, nightmares, or flashbacks? Answering yes may indicate that you have post-traumatic stress. With this type of anxiety, individuals can become numb, avoiding feelings related to the trauma, or they may become irritable and easily angered, remaining on high alert and having trouble sleeping.
If you experience any symptoms of anxiety and would like to see if counselling is a good option for you, I invite you to reach out for a 15-minute complimentary consultation by phone.