“I feel ashamed that I can’t control my nervousness.”
“I just want to roll up in a ball and stop the worry.”
Anxiety can be a constant problem that plagues your mind, steals your time, and robs you of enjoying the happy moments of life. You may wonder why you can’t control your thoughts, or why you can’t shake your worries: thoughts are always lurking in your mind. You may dread going to sleep at night because that’s the worst time for your anxiety. You may have anxiety attacks and you feel like you’re losing control and worry that you’re going crazy.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are many different types of anxiety, and the ones that I tend to work with the most at Legacy Counseling Service in Broken Arrow/Tulsa, Oklahoma include Panic attacks (also known as anxiety attacks), Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Many people think of panic disorder in terms of “anxiety attacks” or “having a nervous breakdown.” And indeed, anxiety attacks are really scary and tend to show up quickly and out of the blue (these are called “spontaneous” panic attacks), while others show up in specific situations (e.g., driving over a bridge, feeling trapped in large crowds).
Panic attacks are not uncommon. In fact, a little less than 1 of our 4 people will experience a panic attack over the course of this year! There are many symptoms of anxiety attacks. Not everyone will have the same symptoms and most people only experience about four of these symptoms during an anxiety attack. Symptoms you may experience include: pounding heart, sweating, trembling/shaking, feeling like you can’t breath or feeling like you are choking, having chest pain or discomfort, feeling sick to your stomach or having stomach cramps, feeling dizzy or like you are about to faint, body chills or suddenly becoming very hot, feeling like you are “outside of yourself” or that you are dying, losing control, or going crazy.
Panic disorder describes the situation in which a person has more than one anxiety attack over the course of a day, week, or months and feels really worried about having more panic attacks.
Generalized Anxiety is another type of anxiety that is characterized by worrying, a lot! This brief video describes some of the difficulties of generalized anxiety disorder.
When you worry so much, or feel really uneasy, and it’s hard to control, those thoughts and feelings can start to eeck their way into your relationships. Sometimes it can be really hard to be “in the moment” when your are with family and friends. It can make it difficult to concentrate at work and your productivity may suffer. And it can certainly interfere with your ability to fall or stay asleep. It’s not uncommon for this type of nervousness and worry to get worse during a persons 30s and 40s.
Anxiety Therapy: Effective Counseling for Anxiety Attacks and Worry
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has been shown to be effective in helping people with anxiety disorders worry less, decrease anxious nervous thoughts and physical sensations, and be able to be more “present” in their day to day activities.
Over the course of therapy, you’ll learn about the physical responses the body has in response to worry and anxiety, and why those responses make those symptoms worse. You’ll learn strategies, such as diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization that will calm down those heightened body responses so that you can gain better access to your thoughts and feelings. As you get a better handle on those physical responses, thoughts, and feelings, you’ll be able to work on changing your thinking or actually addressing your worries (instead of trying to push them out of your mind) so that you can spend less time of worrying and more time doing the things you need and want to do.
Call 918-505-4367 today to schedule an appointment.