• Anxiety

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    What is Anxiety?

    Anxiety is an emotion that involves worry, tension, nervousness, and physical changes like increased heart rate. We all experience anxiety at different times in our lives and it’s an important emotion! 

    Anxiety may become a problem if it is persistent, intense, and interferes with daily activities. People with anxiety disorders experience recurring intrusive thoughts or worries and they are likely to avoid situations and triggers in an attempt to protect themselves from experiencing anxiety. 

    Common symptoms of anxiety include:

    • nervousness, restlessness, or tension
    • feelings of danger, panic, or dread
    • rapid breathing or hyperventilation
    • sweating
    • trembling or muscle twitching
    • weakness or lethargy
    • difficulty focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than what you are worried about
    • difficulty falling or staying asleep
    • gastrointestinal problems
    • excessive worrying or an uncontrollable mind
    • using alcohol or drugs to relax and feel normal in social situations
    Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    • Persistent and excessive worry about people, activities or events – even daily or routine events such as locking the door or ensuring the iron has been turned off.
    • The level of worry typically does not fit the situation and is difficult to control.
    Panic Disorder
    • Repeated episodes of sudden and intense fear or terror (panic attacks), typically followed by worry of the episode recurring and avoidance of situations in which panic attacks have occurred.
    • Symptoms of a panic attack include feeling of impending doom, shortness of breath, sweating, rapid heart rate.
    Social Anxiety Disorder
    • Feeling fearful or nervous in social situations and embarrassed or self-conscious around others
    • People experiencing social anxiety disorder don’t like being the centre of attention and often dread public speaking or performing a task while being observed.
    • Concern that others will negatively judge you.
    • Often people who experience social anxiety spend a lot of time reflecting on social interactions to identify potential mistakes and see if there’s something they can do differently next time; they may spend a long time figuring out what to wear, avoid making eye contact, or avoid social interactions all together.
    Phobias
    • Intense anxiety and sometimes panic symptoms in response to specific objects or situations. 
    • Often you will spend a lot of time avoiding the feared object or situation despite negative consequences.
    • A common phobia is Agoraphobia which is characterized by fear and avoidance of places or situations that cause panic and make you feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed.
    Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour
    • Recurring thoughts that can be words, images or urges that are unwanted and distressing (obsessions)
      • Obsessions often involve thoughts about harming yourself or someone else or that something bad might happen to you or someone else
    • Often these are followed by behaviours that try to reverse the thought or prevent a consequence (compulsions). 
      • Compulsions often include checking, counting, cleaning, washing, or hoarding.

    Anxiety Disorders

    There are various anxiety disorders and each have distinct characteristics and symptoms. 

    It is common for anxiety disorders to co-occur. This means that someone who is experiencing generalized anxiety may also experience panic disorder, etc. 

    At New Moon Psychotherapy we work with various anxiety disorders. Use the accordion to the right to explore the anxiety disorders that we support. 

    Often clients will come to us and say, “I think I might have anxiety but it’s never been diagnosed”. That’s okay! Most people don’t receive a formal diagnosis. We work with them based on what they are experiencing. A diagnosis is not always necessary. Your therapist will advise you on whether it would be helpful for you to obtain one. 

    How Does Anxiety Develop?

    It’s not always known how or why someone develops anxiety. Some common causes are:

    • Family history and genetics
    • Prior difficult experiences
      • For example, a child who was bullied may go on to develop social anxiety
    • Traumatic experiences such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
      • It’s more common for anxiety and depression to occur following these events than PTSD and CPTSD
    • Medical conditions such as problems with the thyroid can result in anxiety
      • It is always important to rule out underlaying conditions before starting therapy for anxiety
    • Alcohol and drug use 
      • You don’t need to have a drinking or drug problem to experience anxiety. Anxiety can be a side effect.

    How Can New Moon Psychotherapy Help?

    Anxiety does not have to stop you from living the life you want to live. When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, research shows that therapy is usually the most effective option. That’s because therapy – as opposed to medication – treats more than just symptoms of the problem. That’s not to say that medication doesn’t have a place in treatment. In fact, many studies show that combined medication and therapy is more effective than medication alone. 

    At New Moon Psychotherapy we’re committed to using evidence-based psychotherapy to treat anxiety. These are the therapies that have been well research and shown to effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy for anxiety that focuses on understanding and changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It can help you learn how to recognize and change problematic thoughts and develop skills to help you gain confidence in various situations.

    CBT may also include:

    • learning social skills to help you feel confident in social situations
    • learning relaxation strategies to reduce your stress levels
    • gradual exposures to the situations you fear most to develop the confidence to deal with anxiety-producing situations

     Mindfulness-Based Therapies can be used to help you learn to attend differently to your thoughts – instead of trying to change them, learning to live life with them. It can also help you be more present which is important when treating anxiety because anxiety is future focused.

    Somatic and Sensorimotor Therapy can be used to provide you with strategies to regulate your emotions and calm the nervous system which will allow you to think more logically. 

    Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can be useful is the anxiety is combined with feeling out of control of your emotions and engaging in destructive behaviours to cope.

    Reach out to us today!

    This part can feel uncomfortable and it’s the first step to finding freedom from anxiety!

    When you get in touch, our administrative staff Lauren will briefly chat with you about your needs and recommend a therapist who would be the best fit for you. 

    You will have a chance to meet with that therapist for a free 15-minute consultation so that you can ask questions and decide if they are the right fit for you.

    Use the form below to send us a message – you may also call, text, or email.

    By submitting this form via this web portal, you acknowledge and accept the risks of communicating your health information via this unencrypted email and electronic messaging and wish to continue despite those risks. By clicking "Yes, I want to submit this form" you agree to hold Brighter Vision harmless for unauthorized use, disclosure, or access of your protected health information sent via this electronic means.

    Meet our Therapists

    We’re committed to providing you with evidence-based therapy offered by therapists who specialize in treating anxiety.

    We’re happy to connect you with one or more for a consultation so that you can decide who would be the right fit for you.