Psychological Treatment of Anxiety
What are anxiety triggers
In general, the experiences that set off anxiety can be many things such as tests, performing in front of other people, closed spaces, heights, health worries, or remembering bad experiences, to name a few. Or it may feel like the anxiety just appears without any noticeable outside triggers. People's experience of anxiety is personal, real, and quite unique. There are, however, some common features.
Symptoms of Anxiety
If you have anxiety, you may be experiencing some or all of the following:
- Feeling keyed up or on edge
- Difficulty controlling the nervousness
- Difficulties concentrating or remembering
- Easily fatigued
- Muscle tension
- Sleep difficulties
Therapy for anxiety
Treatment for anxiety may be thought of as consisting of 3 steps:
- Diagnosis of the specific type of anxiety you are struggling with. This is very important, as it guides the specific treatments we will offer. This does not, however mean that having specific label is important at all. But the clinician needs to have a clear understanding of history, past and current symptoms, changes over time, triggers and specific emotional and thought reactions.
- Education about what anxiety is and how it functions. Gaining insight into how we experience, when we experience, and how strongly we experience the anxiety, is a first step to deeper understanding of what can be done, and how you can begin to have a different experience. Understanding how emotions are generated and what external and internal factors contribute to the anxiety, are useful in the process towards gaining insight and perspective on this often very debilitating disease.
- Focus on changing thought patterns that contribute to the continuation of the anxiety. This last one is a complicated and quite idiosyncratic process, that can allow you to first gain insight into your thinking patterns, and to then start changing them real-time. Don't worry. We will take it one step at a time!
Homework is part of the treatment of anxiety
Research suggests therapy
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