Normal Worry or Anxiety?
Persistent feelings of worry have a way of making everything else more difficult. Feeling a little nervous before flying is one thing, but finding yourself unable to even pack your suitcase is something else. Unmanaged anxiety can affect relationships, work, and in some cases can even interfere with basic needs like leaving the house. To further complicate things, anxiety has other sneaky symptoms besides, well, anxiety. Sleeplessness, irritability, carb or sugar cravings, racing thoughts, trouble focusing or following through on tasks, and/or unpleasant physical feelings (like chest pain or trouble breathing) can all be part of the mix. For some people, these symptoms can be severe enough that they may find themselves struggling to complete basic day-to-day tasks or socialize normally.
Your friends may suggest yoga or other exercise, practicing better sleep hygiene, or breathing exercises to help you deal with the unpleasant symptoms. For some people, these basic coping skills will do the job, but for others, anxiety might persist or continue getting worse in spite of these efforts. If anxiety symptoms are noticeably impacting your quality of life and you can’t seem to get a handle on the situation, or if you’ve noticed that you’ve started treating your anxiety with excessive alcohol or other substances, it may be time to consider seeing a professional therapist.
How can therapy help? Well, just like depression, many people assume anxiety is best treated with medications. However, this isn’t always the case! Besides the fact that many anti-anxiety drugs can be dangerous and addictive, other options most certainly exist. Indeed, there are types of therapy that are designed specifically to help people learn to disrupt trains of worried thought and reduce cognitive distortions that may be making the problem worse. A therapist will also sort through important events in your life with you to determine if there is anything from your past that may be at the root of your feelings of persistent anxiety. For some people, underlying causes like a history of trauma or PTSD symptoms may also need to be dealt with as issues of their own to ease anxiety symptoms. There is also a whole world of coping skills to learn that can be used both during moments of panic and to help make these moments fewer and farther in-between in the first place.
Anxiety can take away your ability to be at your best with loved ones, perform at work, and in extreme cases even impact your ability to take care of yourself. Living with unchecked anxiety is an exhausting process that you don’t need to experience alone. Thoughts like “I should be able to deal with this” or feeling shame that you can’t only make the problem worse. Getting help now will free up time and energy that could be spent so much more productively! If you’re ready to get help today, contact our office to see if our services may be right for you.