Anxiety affects all of us at some point or another. Every client is a little different: their level of anxiety, what makes them anxious, and how they deal with their anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorders throughout the world. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders continue to be misunderstood and overlooked in our society. Instead of encouraging people to seek help, our society discourages getting help and seeking therapy. As a therapist, it is my mission to educate people about anxiety, the prevalence, and how we can help clients deal with their own anxiety. If you are feeling anxious or chronically nervous, it is critical to address those feelings and identify the triggers underlying them. Here are five major things to know about anxiety.
Some individuals are at a higher risk for an anxiety disorder than others. Those affected more by anxiety include women, young people under the age of 35, and those struggling with addiction. Women are twice as likely to suffer from an anxiety related disorder than men. For each individual, the anxiety varies, but more women deal with anxiety in the workplace, with relationships, and in the home. People under the age of 35 have also been known to have higher levels of anxiety than older populations. Society has become much more complex with pressure to get a college degree, the competitive job market, technology, and social media, in turn affecting those who deal with these factors the most: young people. Those individuals who suffer from addiction (any type: alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.) or have addictive personality traits tend to also suffer more from anxiety disorders.
Although many people seem to think you can “get over” your anxiety, it is not something to get over, it is something to identify and then manage in the most effective way. Anxiety has a way of leaching into many parts of our daily lives, giving us the sensation that we need to be nervous or scared about something, even though we know its not actually a threat. At my Manhattan Beach office, we believe anxiety is best treated through therapy. Of course, each individual client is completely different, and there is not a one-size fits all therapy method for anxiety disorders. That being said, I work with my clients to identify what gives them anxiety, or rather what triggers them. Then, together we challenge the irrational thoughts fueling the anxiety and begin implementing strategies to effectively manage how they respond when triggered. Over time we will find a solution that best works for you!
Anxiety may also cause controlling behavior or controlling tendencies. With every passing minute or experience, anxiety can pop up out of nowhere. For each person it is a little different, but for most clients, anxiety can truly be an all of a sudden experience. Because of this, anxious people can be very particular with how they spend their time, how they approach a certain experience, and in general, how they live their lives. With my clients, I work with them to identify these aspects of their lives. If controlling the situation gives them less anxiety, then it may work for them. If controlling the situation leads to anxiety, then we strategize alternative ways of navigating these situations. .
Does the majority of your anxiety stem from social situations or interacting with new people? If so, you may suffer from social anxiety. For many of my clients, they live their lives anxiety free at work, at home, and during their normal routine. However, if they are forced to speak publicly, meet new people, or interact with more people than they would like, anxiety is triggered immediately. This is called social anxiety and is one of the most common types of anxiety. At my Manhattan Beach practice, I work with clients to deal with and eventually overcome social anxiety. I always suggest clearing your mind and meditating before going into what you perceive to be an overwhelming social situation. I also recommend using visualization techniques in which you visualize yourself successfully getting through the anxiety producing social situation.
For many of my clients, their anxiety subsides from time to time. They experience very specific triggers which cause the anxiety and eventually, the anxiety goes away until the next trigger. However, some individuals may deal with a more constant anxiety that never seems to subside; almost everything is a trigger which causes chronic anxiety. Constant anxiety is usually defined and diagnosed as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). I work with my clients who suffer from GAD to identify everything that is causing the anxiety, examine the thoughts and beliefs behind the anxiety, and to counter these irrational thoughts and engage in anxiety reducing self care, like yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Anxiety can get in the way of a lot of life experiences. As your Manhattan Beach therapist, I want to give you the tools to overcome your anxiety and allow you to fully engage in your life.
Are you suffering from anxiety and want to do something about it? At my Manhattan Beach therapy practice, we work with clients with various levels of anxiety to improve their psychological well-being and allow them to live their life to its fullest. If you feel that your anxiety is out of control, let us be the ones to help you! Call to set up your first consultation today. Together, we can find solutions to your anxiety.