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Anxiety Counselling

What does Anxiety look like?

Anxiety can be described as feelings of stress and worry during certain situations that arises in one’s life. Experiencing symptoms of anxiety is a very normal human response to stressful events. However, there is a difference between a normal response to anxiety, and experiencing an anxiety disorder.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders”.

For Example: Two co-workers are up for the same promotion. One co-worker expresses stress and worry about doing well on the interview. However, they don’t want to overthink the interview process. They decide to go out with their partner, study for the interview for an hour or two, and then get a good night’s sleep. The other co-worker also expresses stress and worry about doing well on the interview. However, they become irritated with anyone who expresses comfort, they start to worry about their future with the company if they don’t advance in the interview. They fear they will oversleep for their interview so they decide to wake up at 4am to prepare and remain alert.

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Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

The following definitions are from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM - 5)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Excessive anxiety and worry about a number of events or activities. The intensity, duration, or frequency of the anxiety and worry is out of proportion to the actual likelihood or impact of the anticipated event. The individual finds it difficult to control the worry and to keep worrisome thoughts from interfering with attention to tasks at hand.

Social Anxiety

Intense fear or anxiety of social situations in which the individual may be scrutinized by others. The individual is concerned that they will be judged as anxious, weak, crazy, stupid, boring, intimidating, dirty, or unlikable. In addition, they fear that they will appear in a certain way or show anxiety symptoms, such as blushing, sweating, and stumbling over one’s words.

Panic Disorder

Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. The frequency and severity of panic attacks vary widely. In terms of frequency, there may be moderately frequent attacks (one per week) for months at a time, or short bursts of more frequent attacks (daily) separated by two weeks, or months without any attacks or less frequent attacks (two per month) over many years.

 

Agoraphobia

Intense fear or anxiety triggered by the real or anticipated exposure to a wide range of situations. The individual fears or avoids situations because of thoughts that escape might be difficult or help might not be available in the event of developing panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating or embarrassing symptoms.

What can I expect with Counselling for Anxiety?

Although this is not the case for everyone, many anxiety disorders develop in childhood and tend to persist if not treated. The goal for anxiety counselling is to get to the root of the issue, clean out the wound, and heal. This is done through exploration of one’s history, healing from childhood wounds, self-compassion, challenging & changing old narratives, developing new techniques/coping strategies, and creating balance. Healing begins in a safe space that is free from judgment and criticism. Book a free 15-minute consultation, this can help reduce some of the anxiety associated with starting or restarting counselling.

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