What is anxiety?
Fear is an essential emotion to have. It is important to have that physiological state or gut feeling that tells us that something is not quite right or that warns us of a potential danger. Anxiety, on the other hand, is fear of something that is not potentially harmful or dangerous.
Many people who experience anxiety feel embarrassed or ashamed. Anxiety is however really quite common and is nothing to be ashamed of.
What are typical symptoms of anxiety?
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Butterflies or sinking feeling in your tummy
- Rapid heart beat
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Inability to function or concentrate
- Disturbed sleep
- Panic attacks
- Distressing thoughts (racing thoughts, rumination, worry, self-doubt, catastrophizing or imagining the worst etc.)
What are the different types of anxiety?
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
GAD is characterised by persistent worry and anxiety in diverse situations with little or no trigger.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is characterised by obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals or behaviors done in an attempt to reduce anxiety.
Social anxiety occurs when an individual fears social situations, being judged by others and/or public speaking.
Panic Disorder/Panic attacks
Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense anxiety or fear that often include freezing, experiencing a dry mouth, a shortness of breath, trembling and/or sweating. It can be really frightening to experience a panic attack. It often feels as though we are having a heart attack or are about to die.
Panic disorder occurs when a person experiences repeated panic attacks.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD usually results from one experiencing intense fear following witnessing an event once or a repeated number of times. The symptoms include:
- Flashbacks or memories of the event that caused the trauma that feel extremely real, as if one is re-experiencing the event
- Physical anxiety symptoms including sweating, a racing heart and/or panic attacks
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Avoidance of situations that remind the individual of the traumatic event
- Sporadic feelings of irritability and/or anxiety with no apparent source
A phobia is an irrational fear in which an individual dreads a situation, place, object or animal which is a far greater danger in their mind than in real life. Individuals who experience phobias often go to great length to avoid their perceived danger.
How can counseling help?
Chantal Kayem has a great deal of experience and success at treating anxiety. She has the training that can help you to stop the vicious emotional cycle of anxiety. You can develop strategies to cope with or overcome your anxiety by dealing with the underlying issues causing the anxiety and helping you to adopt strategic coping skills. Clients generally feel calmer, more relaxed and less stressed.
Don’t go through and continue to experience your anxiety alone. Talk it through with Chantal Kayem who will help you to isolate the cause of your anxiety and to develop coping strategies in order to get your life back on track.