16 Jul Don’t let anxiety rob you of your life!
I have been seeing many clients with anxiety lately. I’m not sure if there is a spike in the number of people who experience anxiety or if people are more aware that help is available and that you can learn to effectively manage your anxiety. I’d like to think it’s the latter. People who have an anxiety disorder can struggle quite a bit. One of my clients, we’ll call him Ron, has told me that his anxiety has been so debilitating recently that he had missed about 40 days of work in the past 3 months! Another client, we’ll call her Melanie, has been so anxious that she has been unable to sleep or do anything which requires concentration. Yet another client, Lisa, has been so anxious she has not left her house for over a month!
Anxiety can be really uncomfortable and scary. Most people who have severe anxiety or panic attacks are fearful of the next one coming. This anticipation of another panic attack can be very overwhelming and can rob a person of the ability to live a full and satisfying life.
There are several types of anxiety, such as Panic Disorder with or without agoraphobia (fear of crowded places or fear of being away from home), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobias, social anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and they are all highly amenable to treatment! It is important to know exactly what type or types of anxiety a person has in order to tailor the most effective treatment to them.
Whereas an anxiety or panic attack can be very scary it is not dangerous in any way and does not indicate a severe physical or mental illness. About 12% of the world’s population suffers from anxiety disorders to some level, making it the number one mental health problem in the world. The number of women sufferers is double that of men’s. People who experience a lot of stress in their life are significantly more likely to suffer from anxiety than others. Anxiety tends to run in families but we cannot conclude from that that it is purely hereditary because anxious thought-process can be learned and certain life circumstances may trigger anxiety in people who do not have a family history of anxiety. Scientists think that, in most cases, anxiety is brought about by a combination of biological, psychological and sociological factors.
The great news about anxiety is that certain therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral-Therapy (CBT), can be very helpful in alleviating symptoms. All of the above mentioned clients (real clients but fabricated names) are now symptom-free after a course of CBT. So don’t let anxiety rob you of your life; get help and the sooner the better!