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 and real, and each person's experience is unique. Few have all the symptoms, and each symptom is often presented in unique ways.
If you have anxiety, you may be experiencing some or all of the following:
- Feeling keyed up or on edge
- Difficulty controlling the nervousness
- Easily fatigued
- Muscle tension
- Sleep difficulties (waking up or not getting good sleep)
Treatment may be thought of as consisting of 3 steps:
- Diagnosis of the specific type of anxiety you are struggling with.
- Education about what anxiety is and how it functions.
- Focus on changing thought patterns that contribute to the continuation of the anxiety.
Regarding the third one, bringing the thought patterns into clear understanding commonly shows the way towards helping you change them. We often do this through homework and in-session discussions about your thinking before, during and after a period of increased anxiety. We then work towards replacing the self-defeating thinking patterns with more realistic and healthier thoughts.
It should be said that the above, which is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach, does not always yield satisfying results. Anxiety can also be connected to experiences that have caused you to develop ways of being in relationship with others and the world around you that no longer is healthy for you. If this is the case, then we will explore different approaches with you. If you have more questions about this, please feel free to contact us, and one of us will be happy to explain further.
Anxiety is difficult to live with, and likely gets in your way in your career and personal life. Research suggests that anxiety is responsive to treatment, and strongly suggests psychotherapy as the first choice of treatment.