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DO YOU FEEL ANXIOUS?

Anxiety can describe the temporary fear we feel before and during difficult life situations like going to a job interview. Anxiety may also describe fear that simply will not go away. Anxiety that won't go away is a very distressing mind-body experience. This kind of anxiety may lead you to stop spending time with friends and family, stop activities and hobbies you enjoy, and worry about the future. You may wonder if you'll ever get better.  When anxiety won't go away and it interferes with your daily activities, you likely want to seek help.

When Anxiety Won't Go Away

When anxiety occurs often and interferes with your life, it might appear in the following ways:

  • Phobias (e.g., fear of spiders)

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (e.g., obsessive thoughts that provoke anxiety followed compulsive behaviours to alleviate the anxiety – fear of contamination that leads to repetitive hand washing)

  • Social Anxiety (e.g., fear of being judged or rejected by other people)

  • Panic  (e.g., intense fear that often arises when people believe they are going to die or go crazy)

  • Health Worries (e.g., recurring worry about the possibility of having an illness despite clear medical tests)

  • Generalized Anxiety (e.g., frequent worries about many different areas of life – work, relationships, the future)

The Thinking – Feeling Connection

Our thoughts and behaviour influence our emotions. When you are feeling anxious, you may think about danger or bad things happening; you may have thoughts that you won’t be able to cope. These thoughts often occur as images, not just words. These thoughts can increase the intensity of anxiety.

Anxiety not only affects the way you think, it also affects the way you act. You may avoid situations and places where you might feel uncomfortable or anxious. You might also try to escape from situations (e.g., leaving a social event early).  You might try to control everything to ensure it is ‘just right.’ You may do things to feel safe (e.g., only leaving the house with a friend or family member). Avoidance, escape, perfectionism and safety behaviours are commonly associated with anxiety. These behaviours can keep anxiety going.

Alongside changes in your thinking patterns and the way you act, anxiety produces many physical symptoms including shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, dry mouth, sweating, muscle tension, shakiness, dizziness, nausea, hot flashes or chills, frequent urination, restlessness, and difficulty swallowing. Anxiety affects our thoughts, behaviour and physical sensations. Anxiety that won't go away is a very distressing mind-body experience.

Fight, Flight or Freeze Response

All of the thinking, feeling and behaviour changes we experience when we are feeling anxious are part of the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. The fight, flight or freeze response can be helpful when we face danger. Imagine that you are going for a walk along a nature trail. You notice a bear nearby. You think that the bear sees you and you say to yourself 'I may be in danger.' Your body responds by increasing your heart rate, increasing your breathing rate, your muscles become tense, and you may start to sweat. All these changes are helpful. They prepare you to run away, fight off the bear or stay still so the bear does not pay attention to you. Anxiety is helpful when dangers are real and serious. So you don’t want to get rid of anxiety completely.

Treatment for Anxiety

When danger is not real or serious, anxiety can interfere with everyday life activities. Treatment can help you to assess the degree of danger more quickly and learn how to reduce your anxiety. Often this means gradually approaching what you fear, in order to learn more about the degree of danger and your ability to cope with it. There is an effective proven treatment for anxiety.

Effective Evidence Based Treatment

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the most well established treatment for anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been extensively tested since the first outcome study was published in 1977. More than 500 outcome studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBT for a wide range of psychiatric concerns including anxiety.


Researchers have demonstrated that there are neurobiological changes associated with cognitive behavioural therapy treatment. 


A comprehensive review of the studies that confirm the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be found in Clark and Beck's Cognitive therapy of anxiety disorders: Science and practice (2010). You may also refer to Judith Beck's book called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Basics and Beyond.

I Can Help You

I am pleased to offer you Cognitive Behavioural Therapy so you can feel better, fully enjoy your life, and improve your relationships.

 

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a collaborative, short-term, skills-oriented therapy.

CBT skills will help you change the way you think and act to influence the way you feel. By doing so, you will feel better, fully enjoy your life, and improve your relationships.