While most of us experience a healthy amount of anxiety and stress in our day-to-day lives which enables us to work harder and be productive, higher amounts of anxiety experienced over an extended period of time can prove to be detrimental for our mental and physical wellbeing.
There is a basic differentiator between normal anxiety and unhealthy anxiety. Normal anxiety is usually an appropriate response to stressful situations, difficulties and adversities. It may even, at times, push us to be more resilient and provoke us to self-regulate. Whereas, unhealthy anxiety drains us and feeds on our energy levels, rendering both our body and mind unfit for performing demanding, and sometimes even regular tasks.
If you constantly experience distress, anxiety, listlessness and helplessness, you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder. However, anxiety disorders, just like most other mental health conditions, can be managed with the help of counselling and therapy.
Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are some of the most common psychological disorders. There are some symptoms that overlap across all anxiety disorders, such as:
- Constant restlessness and worries
- Inability to relax
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Trembling and shakiness
- Intense fears (either vague or associated with objects, animals, people, etc.)
- Diarrhea, nausea, and motor tension
- Sleeplessness; not being able to get sleep at night due to an overly active mind
- Intrusive thoughts
- Avoidance behaviour
- Losing focus while doing basic daily activities
- Motor tension (muscle tightness, stiffness)
- Feeling drained, weak, or tired.
Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety can be caused by an inter-mix of several factors or a relatively significant presence of one specific factor. They are as follows:
- Biological Factors: The affected person might have a higher concentration of cortisol in their system (which is also known as the stress hormone). General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is also known to be associated with low activity of a particular neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). There is definitely some sound evidence that indicates such biochemical and other genetic factors’ involvement in anxiety disorders.
- Having a Predisposition/Diathesis: Anxiety disorders can develop if your predisposition or diathesis to the disorder is set off by extreme stressors in your environment, or difficulties in life. Many of us carry such vulnerabilities to develop certain disorders. This is based on the diathesis-stress model which is applied to many other mental disorders.
- Medical Complications: Anxiety can often be linked to an underlying physical health issue. It can be one of the first indications of a medical illness. A few examples of these diseases are heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, respiratory ailments, and drug abuse.
- Life Events: A lot of stress may have accumulated due to daily hassles. This can be linked to lifestyle problems. At other times, people are going through many serious life events that trigger anxiety, such as death of a close relative or friend, break up or divorce, unemployment, financial problems, etc.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
While anxiety is defined as a vague, unpleasant feeling of constant worries, fear, and apprehension, there are many anxiety disorders. Here, we’ll be introducing a few of the main anxiety disorders to you. They are as follows:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Generalized Anxiety Disorder is defined as a severe, prolonged unexplained feeling of fears that are not associated with any specific object or situation. It is categorized by hypervigilance, motor tension, and constant worries about the future.
- Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is categorized by recurring periods of peak anxiety and intense terror. It happens when thoughts of a particular object, person or situation are present. These thoughts occur in unpredictable patterns. In a panic attack, a person experiences severe shortness of breath, nausea, palpitations, feeling of being choked, pain in the middle of the chest, fear of death, fear of losing control, etc.
- Phobias: Phobias are irrational fears that can be attached to anything, like a particular animal, or being in an enclosed space, social interaction, darkness during the nighttime, heights, etc.
How Anxiety Counseling Works:
While the duration of the counselling and/or therapeutic intervention plan may depend on the severity of your condition, most people improve within 8 to 10 therapy sessions.
Anxiety counselling and anxiety therapy usually involve Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which works on the basic principle that our thoughts i.e our core beliefs, cognitive distortions/negative thoughts, etc., are responsible for our feelings. Another kind of therapy that many of us specialize in is called Eye-movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy, which proves to be a very effective treatment for many mental health problems including anxiety as per the findings of 32 years of research progress. It doesn’t only merely alleviate symptoms, it can also lead to profound shifts in your life.
Incontact’s Anxiety Counselling And Anxiety Therapy
Our therapists and counsellors help you tackle and manage your anxiety much effectively as we believe in designing your intervention programme perfectly suited to you and your unique individuality. Using a heterogenous approach, we involve several kinds of concepts and theories to help you achieve your mental health goals and make each session count.
We are a team of reputable, licensed counsellors and therapists who attune to your specific needs and learning styles and help bring in permanent, long-term results that make an ever-changing impact on your life. Trained in forming sound relationships, we act as enablers in your journey of self-development and empower you to become your best self.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. When to seek help?
If you experience anxiety that is making you feel increasingly listless and is disrupting your life, and you feel one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, we advise you to consult us as soon as possible and book an appointment.
Q. How can therapy and counselling help with anxiety disorders?
With the usage of CBT principles and our assistance, you’ll be able to identify your unhelpful thoughts and behavioural patterns which lead to your anxiety responses. Furthermore, we’ll help you unlearn such patterns and equip you with the tools necessary to lead a fulfilling life ahead.