What Is Gender Affirming Care and Why Is It So Important?
Does this sound like you?
Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
Being easily fatigued
Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
Having muscle tension
Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
Preoccupation with planning for the future
Attempting to predict outcomes and answer what if questions
Worries building on top of other worries
If you answered yes,
you may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety is an all too common response to many of the challenges of modern life. The fast pace of busy life that is often overflowing with work demands, financial concerns, and relational expectations. It can be difficult to cope with the abundance of stresses that quickly pile up. Such overwhelming worries can develop into a persistent pattern of psychological distress that appears insurmountable, causing feelings of being stuck or an inability to find hope for changing the pattern.
It is normal to experience a few worries now and then - but when it becomes constant the worries and anxieties can become overwhelming and debilitating. Have you noticed that you struggle showing up or connecting in your relationships? That you have all the best intentions to “be productive” and focus on work or school, but struggle with focusing or motivating yourself? In addition to the constant worries, many of the physical symptoms are what define the picture most people imagine when someone mentions anxiety. What is less talked about is the emotional toll of anxiety. Whether your anxiety is following a dilemma involving your career, relationships, or an anticipated failure, the emotions that accompany the worries can begin to look as if depression is setting in. The fatigue and irritability that can be present during times of persistent anxious thoughts build, unless addressed. These symptoms will interfere in your relationships, ability to focus effectively on work or school, or to feel a zest for life. These effects of anxiety are frequently felt, but are more difficult to reach resolution with those close to us, who may be on the receiving end of your anxious frustrations and emotional fatigue.
How will Therapy for Anxiety help?
You have tried, perhaps for what seems like forever, to make the thoughts stop. You have ignored, avoided, and probably attempted just about anything to make the thoughts stop and to get rid of the tension in your body. By holding your thoughts and feelings inside and not communicating your experiences, your anxiety symptoms are frequently made worse. Fortunately, anxiety is one of the most responsive of all mental health challenges to therapy. When you collaboratively engage with our therapists you will build a therapeutic relationship and begin to identify the underlying factors that contribute to your worries and fears. Engaging in the counseling process you will learn relaxation techniques and coping skills, increase problem solving skills, utilize your strengths, and identify the roadblocks that are stopping you from overcoming your anxiety. You and your therapist will explore and dialog about the aspects of your experiences that have, until then, been left for you alone (or with the help of well-meaning significant others) to identify, understand, and reconcile. This may not seem like much at first, but the process quickly develops into a new, often clearer perspective, on the problems you are experiencing. You will notice increased engagement in your life - with your friends and family, your career, education, and yourself. You will notice a reduction of tension and distress, increased concentration and focus, and reduced swirling worries. You will be able to live the life you have been hoping for. Change is not only possible, but probable, through committing to the counseling process and collaborating with your therapist. Our therapists will partner with you and bring their specialized training, tools, and techniques to the therapeutic relationship so you can find relief from your anxiety symptoms.
Uncertain about starting therapy?
Uncertainty about starting therapy is a common concern people have when considering whether or not to treat anxiety. Of course attitudes toward therapy vary between people and cultures, but beyond fear there are many valid questions about the use and effectiveness of therapy in resolving anxiety.
Talking about my problems won’t help my anxiety.
Understandably, the belief that talking won’t help change what seems insurmountable in your minds, justifies the idea that therapy won’t be helpful and is better handled alone. This could not be further from the truth. It is common to feel a great sense of relief after the first session of therapy, having expressed your thoughts, feelings, and perspectives with a person who is listening, without judgment, and who is fully engaged in the conversation. Sharing is a powerful experience, especially when sharing significant mental and emotional challenges. This helps to form a foundation from which the process of therapy can be built upon, including the addition of tools that can be practiced outside of session.
Anxiety is rooted in childhood experiences,
so therapy will be about my childhood.
Early experiences and influences have shaped your patterns and habits. Identifying the origin of your symptoms can add to the process of growth and healing. Many treatments for anxiety predominantly attend to the “here-and-now” of your life. In the “here-and-now”, the focus of therapy revolves around addressing the thoughts, feelings, actions that you are experiencing in the present. Therapy can help you develop news skills to manage your thoughts, emotions, and engage in new responses. While the style and personality of each individual therapist will shape the process of therapy, the most effective treatments for anxiety are behavioral therapies including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), as well as mindfulness based strategies.
I have anxiety, so I should avoid stress.
While we would ideally want to live a life free of stress, this belief is counterproductive to overcoming anxiety. The fuel to the anxious fire in a person’s mind is the avoidance of fears or perceived fearful occurrences. The more a person avoids rather than addresses or processes the fear they are experiencing, the more likely that fear consumes a person’s life.
The fear in question may be “normal” or excessive. For example, a “normal fear” might include an encounter with a particular insect a person fears, such as a spider, triggering that person’s fear response. This is thought to be “normal” as it is appropriate to the situation the person finds themselves in and their reaction is to a real or present fearful event. On the other hand, a person who has an irrational fear of spiders may spend an excessive amount of time and energy to “spider proof” their home, interfering with their typical daily functions. Whatever the fear, facing it, with proven tools is key to preventing their growing and transforming our lives into one of apprehension.
As anxiety has grown over time, so too the progress of erasing excessive worries takes time. The good news is that therapists have a range of effective tools to aid people attempting to eliminate excessive worries from their life, no matter the source or symptoms.