When it comes to things that are bothering us, anxiety issues are #1 (In The states at least). Anxiety is the most common mental complaint in the United States year after year. Nothing can rob you of your peace of mind and body calmness quite like anxiety.
The stronger it affects you – the more it hampers your life. The more it hampers your life – the more you become aware of it in your life and the more you work at trying to avoid it. The more you try to avoid it – the more it controls you.
It’s a vicious cycle!
If you have ever had a panic attack you know exactly what I mean. They are often described as feeling like heart attacks, hyperventilating and feeling like you’re dying. After you have experienced this, people usually spend a great deal of time preoccupied with never having that happen again;they become terrified of the panic.
Are Fear and Anxiety different?
Everyone knows what its like to get nervous when they are meeting someone for the first time, or speaking in front of a group of people. And most people know the fear that comes when you are walking down a dark street and a big dog or random man is walking there too. Fear in different forms, is universal – it effects us all.
It is natural for all of us to feel fear and anxiety in our lives. It is there to protect us and let us know when we need to start protecting ourselves or our interests. In fact I would think that it would be necessary for our survival. It is like having an internal radar that scans the environment for threats.
It becomes a problem when those natural emotions become extreme, persistent and unrealistic reactions to normal everyday situations and incidents.
It can be easy to confuse the difference between fear and anxiety once we start thinking that our everyday things are putting us in danger.
The difference between fear and anxiety for me is:
Fear is something that you have determined to be an imminent threat or danger to your safety. It is likely something that is really a threat to your security.
Anxiety is a bit different in that it is a perception. It is more about anticipating that a circumstance or event sometime in the future is going to cause an uncomfortable, unpredictable, uncontrollable threat to them or their interests; its future oriented.
What are the symptoms of Anxiety?
Actually there is a lot of different symptoms for anxiety. The funny thing is, that some people will have some of the symptoms and some people will have others, depending on the person and the type of anxiety that they are experiencing.
Typically though, the symptoms cans be broken down in 4 different ways.
Physical: sweating, short breath, feel like your choking, pains in chest or stomach, shaking, feeling hollow or weak
Mental/Cognitive: feel like your ‘going crazy’, feeling helpless or losing control, cant concentrate, or cant remember or think, confused on reality, cant rationalize
Emotional: frustrated, short tempered, jumpy, tense, nervous, scared, impatient
Behaviors: AVOID, hyperventilate, freeze, stutter or staggered speech, restless, pacing, wringing hands and fingers, looking for reassurance
Different types of anxiety
There are many different types of anxiety, but most commonly they fall under six common categories:
This is usually a feeling like you are losing control or dying. Most people that have panic attacks say that the experience can be terrifying. Feel like I’m having a heart attack, Hyperventilating, heart pounding and dizziness are all normal complaints for panic. It is often said to have ‘come out of no where’, and leaves the person extremely anxious and preoccupied about not experiencing another one.
Social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety. It is characterized by three main themes: Fear of being judged negatively by others, focusing on yourself and your behaviors in a preoccupied way, and avoidance of all kinds – conversations, events and situations. A person with social anxiety is usually very self critical, and spends a lot of time trying to conceal the anxiety or avoid.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [O.C.D.]
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is characterized by intrusive, unreasonable thoughts, impulses and fears (Obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors. It is often referred to as the ‘doubting disorder.’ It is normal to have intrusive thoughts that leave us thinking “where did that thought come from?” but when our thoughts become unwanted and uncontrollable, then we find ourselves struggling and our quality of life is dramatically affected.
General Anxiety Disorder [G.A.D]
This type of anxiety is what I call ‘Free Floating’ anxiety. Most people don’t really have a specific reason why they are anxious, they just have an overarching worry about disastrous outcomes or irrational and excessive feelings of apprehension. People that suffer with GAD usually are preoccupied with daily kinds of things and their worry often interferes with their day to day living.
This usually occurs after a person was exposed to a traumatic event. It is characterized by things like nightmares, flashbacks, hyper arousal and intrusive memories. You will usually see it in people that have encountered a sexual assault, car accident, witnessed a violent crime, or returning from the military.
This is characterized by excessive, persistent and unreasonable fear of either a specific thing (heights, dogs, spiders ect), social encounters and/or going outside (agoraphobia). The person usually is distressed by the fear and it will significantly disrupt that persons life when encountering the feared thing or event.
Is there help?
Yes!! There are a number of different ways to help people get control back in their lives from anxiety.
I use a combination of different techniques depending on the individual and the specific needs and issues they might have. This usually includes CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Talk therapy, Traumatic Incident Reduction and Neuroptimal Neurofeedback.
Because I suffered (past tense) with Social and General anxiety for many years, I have tried many things. I know what worked for me and what didn’t, and I explored a lot of different angles to helping getting my anxiety under control. I can now offer you all that experience and knowledge, and get you back on the road to being free.
I understand and I get it.
Are you ready to start getting your anxiety under control?
Call our Maple Ridge Counselling location, and see what Anxiety counselling can do to eliminate social anxiety today!
778 846 3569