One of my clients was recently asked to identify and name her anxiety. She said, “It is a dark, black, low to the ground cloud that eventually turns into a tornado that is out of control. It is going to suck me up and rip me to shreds”. And she added, “Tornadoes terrify me!” The common characteristics of her anxiety were intense fear, a sense of losing oxygen, an increased heart rate, and a feeling that she was going to die. She described her anxiety as a perceived threat that feels real.

Anxiety can take many forms including social anxiety, test anxiety, anxiety related to athletic performance, phobias, generalized anxiety- an overwhelming sense of worry and dread, and even panic attacks. When treating anxiety we must look at things holistically. Anxiety can be related to physiological things such as hormonal imbalances, illness or chronic health problems, or medications that an individual is taking. It can also be related to emotional struggles such as excessive worry, or unresolved trauma. We must look at all of these to determine what is causing the anxiety and to determine how to treat it. Treatment can include learning to express emotions in a healthy manner, learning relaxation or meditation exercises, and learning cognitive strategies to think differently and challenge negative or worrisome thinking

Anxiety is often caused by living in the past or the future. Worry and anxious thinking does very little to remedy events that have happened in the past or prepare us for events that might happen in the future. Counseling can help clients learn cognitive and behavioral strategies to combat anxiety and live in the moment.

Symptoms of Anxiety:

  • sleep problems
  • chronic fatigue, exhaustion
  • avoidance of social situations or specific situations that induce anxiety
  • muscle tension in neck, back, or shoulders
  • shortness of breath
  • racing heart, chest pain or tightness, or feeling that you are having a heart attack
  • feeling that your skin is burning
  • sweatiness, weakness, or dizziness
  • skin feeling flushed or feeling chilled
  • tingling or numbness in hands
  • nausea, frequent urination

Sometimes anxiety and depression are like two sides of the same coin. They are different but closely related. Often when a person experiences anxiety they may also experience depression. Sometimes individuals struggling with anxiety may actually believe that they struggle with depression when in truth the anxiety is the primary struggle and the driving factor contributing to the depression. Being able to identify the nature of this complexity is important for healing.

If you would like to make an appointment or if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at cecilylrodgers@gmail.com or 817-382-0860.