Anxiety can be an incredibly difficult experience to live with. It can show up as panic, difficulty concentrating, worries, a sense of unease, difficulty sleeping, problems concentrating, loss of appetite or nausea, and many other ways. If someone experiences a trauma typically there are very few reactions to traumatic events that do not involve some form of anxiety. Anxiety can cover up other emotions or make it difficult to understand what you are feeling. Sometimes people do not know how to approach treatment for intense anxiety because everyone feels anxious at one point or another. It is one of those emotions that is difficult to isolate and understand at times because it can show up an almost any situation.
There are different degrees of anxiety, and those with anxiety severe enough to qualify as a disorder often end up suffering tremendously. Our natural reaction to any difficult emotional experience is often to try to get rid of it but we can’t just take the anxiety away as if we were taking out the trash. The tricky thing about anxiety is often our reaction to the anxiety ends up influencing the nature of how the anxiety shows up in our lives.
We Try to Protect Ourselves
It’s like if you were to fall off your bike while you were riding fast and you ended up with road rash. Our natural reaction often times is to put pressure over that area and protect where it hurts. It is only because we trust medical professionals that we allow them to scrub the dirt off and clean out the wound with a brush and soap because believe me I know how much that hurts. If we didn’t do that scrubbing we would be left with an infected arm or leg which would end up being very painful, scarring, and bad for our health. We sometimes react to anxiety in this way. We want to protect the area that feels anxious so we end up avoiding social situations, work, friends, school, or any situation that ends up bringing up the anxiety. Unfortunately what can happen then is that area of our lives can become “infected,” meaning the anxiety can grow and feel uncontrollable. Sometimes what we need to do is “scrub out” the area.
I have experienced intense anxiety and panic before and I understand how difficult it can be to explore and approach. I work to make the process the most compassionate, healing and gentle as possible. It can feel incredibly intimidating and overwhelming to even consider getting treatment for anxiety. I want you to know there is hope and that we can move through this space together so that there is healing and you are able to get back to doing the things you love like attending your child’s birthday party, going out with friends, or succeeding in school.
The Impact on Relationships
Often when one member in a couple experiences lasting anxiety it can be very impactful on the couple as a whole. It can limit interest in shared activities, make it hard to communicate, or make it difficult to be intimate. Often it can feel frustrating for one or both partners because they end up feeling helpless and uncertain about how to help or wishing that they were as happy as they used to be together.
Are You Looking For Change?
Our work can be about a specific phobia or about generalized anxiety that seems to spread across multiple areas of your life. The work I do to treat anxiety integrates exposure therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Interpersonal Process Therapy. My goal is to be effective and healing so that you are able to live the life you have always dreamed of. All of these types of therapy have been shown to be effective and I have seen many clients grow tremendously throughout the process. Do you experience anxiety and need help? You can contact me to learn more and book a session when you’re ready.