It’s not uncommon for people to feel anxious over a variety of things. Life offers up a lot of stressful situations. After all, exams, job interviews, planning a big event like your wedding or change of any kind, can be at some point very overwhelming. You can be rumbled by waves of fear and doubt throughout the entire process. After the experience, however, you are glad it is all over, experience relief and go back to feeling normal. Those with anxiety disorders, unfortunately, often skip the last part, or take too long to reach it. This is when psychologists and therapists are there to provide strategies through anxiety counselling to deal with the impact of sustained anxiety. Let’s look at anxiety:
Anxiety and Anxiety Disorder: What’s The Difference?
Anxiety is a normal feeling that people can experience during their lives. Anxiety, at its core, is a survival mechanism from our prehistoric ancestors to keep pumped and motivated to survive. What was an instinctive mechanism to ensure survival in dangerous situations, however, can be carried over to the here and now, when an individual experiences feelings of vigilance and hyperarousal over things that aren’t an actual threat to life. When such hyperarousal spikes become the daily norm, negative effects from this can impact functioning and this is known as an anxiety disorder. Here’s how it’s different from “regular” anxiety:
Anxiety disorder describes an individual who is anxious over things that others either deal with or are not phased by. A person can have heightened stress levels when they’re exposed to a certain stressor, or a circumstance, such as during an interview with your boss or on that first date. However, with an anxiety disorder, you can dread big and small things such as paying the bills or starting a task. To make things more complicated, sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing your anxious symptoms.
With an anxiety disorder, it seems that your normal “coping” behavior doesn’t work leading to a lack of sleep and energy. The constant worry cycle produces physical and mental effects. You may feel your heart race, breathing is fast, you’re constantly over-thinking, usually about the worst-case scenario and you might have a sense of edginess.
Anxiety disorder can also make you completely want to avoid doing things that can make you even remotely anxious. After delivering a few presentations for your sales team, you may feel as though you’re getting slowly used to speaking in public. Sometimes, you may want to do it more after you realise that you can have fun while doing it or even experience a sense of accomplishment. Those with an anxiety disorder unfortunately may feel as though the safest way to avoid being anxious in public presentations is to never do them again. This can make you miss out on a lot of things.
A summary of symptoms that you may indicate you have an anxiety disorder are:
- Excessive worry and over thinking
- Interrupted sleeping pattern
- Irrational fears
- Feelings of disaster
- Having panic attacks
Anxiety can be observed in generalized anxiety, situational phobias and trauma responses (including PTSD).
Treating Anxiety: How Does One Cope?
When it comes to treating anxiety, while it’s true that anxiety normally dissipates over time, it’s when anxiety stays for extended periods that you may need professional help. Anxiety counselling can be done in a wide variety of ways. We have a multidisciplinary approach at Direct Focus Solutions, combining different styles and modalities to tailor the intervention to the individual.
This unique approach allows you to gain the benefit of not just treating the symptoms of your anxiety, but may lead you to address the cause itself. Our professionals come from different disciplines, which means we can provide you with a unique therapy that is comprised of both psychologically and neurologically driven methods. Examples include the usage of psychotherapy alongside neurological practices that can help give a more accurate assessment of your situation from both a behavioural and biological point of view.
Anxiety is a normal part of life, but an anxiety disorder isn’t, and as such our team at Direct Focus Solutions wants to help you find the means to deal with it in a way you can call your own. You can find benefit from our various treatment methods, including anxiety counselling services. Our client-centred approach allows us to focus on developing an excellent client therapist relationship that can further improve your treatment experience with us.