Is my anxiety normal?
We’ve all experienced anxiety. It’s the pit in your stomach as you prepare for a stressful work day, sleepless nights spent tossing and turning because you can’t shut off the worrisome thoughts, or maybe it’s the racing heart beat and awkward feeling that accompanies you in social situations. If you’ve noticed these symptoms, but they usually resolve in a couple of weeks, or they only occur occasionally, then this is typical of a situational anxiety that may likely resolve on its own. If these symptoms have lasted more than a few weeks and are not improving or are worsening, seeing a therapist may help you get back on track and feeling better.
Sometimes people have more severe symptoms such as:
• Difficulty concentrating or focusing on anything other than worrisome thoughts
• Panic attacks
• Fear of public places
• Racing thoughts
• Intrusive upsetting thoughts
• Avoiding people, places and things that cause anxiety
• Difficulty sleeping
• Feeling compelled to perform and repeat behaviors in an attempt to “prevent” a feared event from happening
• Flashbacks and nightmares of a traumatic event
These symptoms can be indicative of certain conditions such as general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive -compulsive disorder (OCD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . Although we don’t have conclusive data, anxiety disorders may be caused by a genetic predisposition (i.e. it “runs” in your family), prior traumatic events, and certain medical conditions. If your symptoms are interfering with your day to day life, a therapist can help.
Treatment for Anxiety
Counseling is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you learn how to identify and change the negative thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen your anxiety.
For post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), EMDR therapy helps clients process traumatic memories in such a way as the memories lose their emotional charge. Please see our EMDR page or speak to one of our therapists for more information.