Dealing with Anxiety

Many people I see in therapy suffer from anxiety. We all experience anxiety at times in our lives. Some of the symptoms of mild anxiety, and the more extreme form of anxiety, called panic attacks, are: difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, headaches, stomach pain, nausea, trembling, and excessive perspiration. Feelings of irritability, helplessness or hopelessness often go hand-in-hand with anxiety.

Anxiety is the body’s way of getting us to deal with a threat. It could be an imagined threat of something that may or may not happen in the future.

In its milder form anxiety may mobilize us to deal with something in a positive way, such as when a student is preparing for an exam or a business person is designing a presentation at work.

In its more extreme form however, anxiety is debilitating and interferes with our lives in a profound way. People often feel that there is something wrong with them because there is nothing “tangible” to justify all the anxiety they feel.

If you are anxious it is important to know you do not have to deal with your anxiety alone. A good therapist can really help. If you would like to explore working together, I would begin by asking questions about what is making you anxious right now. You may be experiencing mild anxiety about an upcoming work or personal event, or you may be having extreme anxiety which can involve fears you have had since childhood. For example, when we are small children we learn to anticipate what will displease our parents and try to avoid punishment or withdrawal of their love. Often we carry the reality and fears of what we experienced as children into today, causing us to imagine we will be fired if our boss frowned, despite our good work reviews, or that our partner will leave us, even though he or she has reassured us of his or her love many times.

In overcoming anxiety it is important that I understand what you are experiencing and for you to know that I appreciate how hopeless and fearful you may feel.

As we work together in psychotherapy in dealing with anxiety, we can talk about and understand these fears better so that they have far less power in your life.

We might not need to explore childhood issues. Behavioral techniques or, if appropriate, a referral for medication evaluation may be what will help you resolve the issues and the effects anxiety can bring to your life. Whatever is necessary, I would be happy to help you work toward feeling better.