Archive for the ‘Anxiety’ Category

When You Need To Seek Treatment For Anxiety

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Experiencing some amount of anxiety is not uncommon for most people. In fact, in some situations it is even necessary for our survival. Anxiety at its best signals potential danger or a need to pay attention and be alert to what is going on or what is about to happen.

At its core, anxiety is fear, a sense of unease, a sense that  something “bad” is about to happen. It is a signal in our nervous system that tells us to be aware or alert.

“Healthy” anxiety happens in response to appropriate signals or situations. However when it becomes chronic or seemingly random and uncontrollable, it may be a good time to seek help. This type of anxiety signals overactive nervous system which is either genetically or trauma based. It is also important to note that if anxiety is not treated it can perpetuate itself and lead to more distressing types of anxiety such as panic, obsessive compulsive disorder, claustrophobia or agoraphobia.  These conditions ultimately limit one’s activities and the ability to lead a full life. They can also cause pain and suffering.

In order to treat anxiety, it is a good idea to start with psychotherapy to establish genesis of the anxiety. It may then be decided after a complete assessment if a particular anxiety can be treated with “talk therapy” or if there is a need to medication. The reason for medication is that genetically based anxiety may not respond to psychotherapy unless it is somewhat controlled. Even anxiety that is a result of trauma, may need to be helped by medication before any meaningful insight oriented or trauma work can take place.

It is important not to let chronic anxiety run amok as it can have serious life and emotional consequences.

 

How To Cope With a Panic Attack

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

A panic attack is one of the most distressing situations one can experience. Typically a panic attack can literally feel as though you are having a heart attack. They are often are accompanied with fast heartbeat, sweating, dizziness and sometimes short, shallow breathing. Those having a panic attack will often experience an extreme fear that something terrible is about to happen and believe there is no relief is in sight.

When coping with panic attack it is important to know first and foremost, that it will pass, and that it is not a heart attack. It may be difficult to actually realize this that the first time it happens however, and typically the first incident lands one in the emergency room. However, after a thorough check up, especially cardiovascular tests, it is usually determined that what is happening is in fact a panic attack. Usually a person will then be sent home, sometimes with a prescription of Xenax, Clonapine or another anti-anxiety medication. Sometimes a referral to a therapist or a psychiatrist will be recommended.

Aside from being aware that what is happening is panic, here are some tips that can be helpful when coping with panic attack.

  • Sit comfortably, with your feet firmly on the ground and get control of your breath. It helps to slow it down as this may bring down all the other accelerated functions in the body.
  • It may also help to gently rub your chest right over the heart.
  • Think positive thoughts, such as “I am safe”, “this will pass”, “I will be OK”.
  • Use your imagination and try to picture a place you typically associate with safety and calm.
  • If a person close to you is present, hold their hand.

 

 

How To Cope With Personal Anxiety Within A Relationship

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

What are the causes of anxiety within a relationship? Why would a relationship make you anxious?

One of the reasons for anxiety within a relationship is that the relationship is making you feel insecure about the strength of your commitment or wonder if the feelings and goals are mutual. Sometimes this is because feelings develop at different paces and sometimes it is because there is a sense that there is something going on with the other person that is troubling, and there are real doubts. Generally though, when there is anxiety, there is a reason for it, and that needs to be addressed. If the discussion or exploration of the issues and feelings is unsuccessful or not satisfying, a couple needs to seek professional help in order to understand what is happening and be able to communicate about it constructively. Sometimes this leads to strengthening the bond and sometimes to a realization that the relationship is not going to work.

Another reason for anxiety in a relationship is a history of “bad” relationships. Often when traumatic things happened in a prior relationship such as painful break up, cheating, among other possibilities, there is a tendency to be afraid of that happening again. Often these fears can become self-fulfilling prophecies and there is a tendency to be overly vigilant or suspicious to ward off anxious feelings, thereby alienating one’s partner. This is a good time to explore these fears in therapy to gain a sense of what is really going on.

Sometimes there is personal anxiety in a relationship simply because of an anxiety disorder that is present and untreated. I am talking about an individual who is generally anxious and this anxiety takes over the relationship. This is another situation when therapy and possibly medication may be appropriate.