Anxiety is a common human emotion that originated as a way of keeping us safe. If we felt anxious about a spider who appeared to be a threat, anxiety would tell us to move a safe distance away to avoid being bitten. As we’ve evolved, our anxieties have too, now we usually worry about things like that upcoming work deadline, relationships, and how we are showing up as humans overall. Anxiety can become problematic when it feels out of our control and consistently takes us out of the present moment and into worrying about the future or past. Sometimes, feelings of anxiety escalate into anxiety attacks which can disrupt our lives and make us feel like we have no control over our bodies. This can make it difficult to sleep, relax, and connect with others. For some, anxiety shows up as personality traits of people pleasing and perfectionism. Saying yes, when you really mean no, and consistently putting your needs last. As an anxiety therapist who has struggled with anxiety herself, I understand how disruptive anxiety can be. I am dedicated to exploring your unique symptoms so you can get the relief you deserve. Below are a few common traits I see when helping clients work through anxiety.
- Thinking of the worst-case scenario and believing it will happen
- Procrastinating tasks because you feel like you won’t do them perfectly
- Struggling to set boundaries because they feel mean
- Physical symptoms like heart racing, chest pain, unexplained stomach pains
- You think “what’s the point in doing anything if I’m not going to get it 100% right?”
- Past mistakes are difficult for you to move on from and involve lots of internal shame
- Feeling stuck on repetitive negative thoughts
I believe each person’s relationship with anxiety is unique and can present in many different forms. Here are some common forms of anxiety that I have treated:
- Generalized anxiety disorder- Feeling excessive and persistent worry. The worry may not rationally fit the feared event yet, the fear feels very real to you.
- Stress- Feeling overwhelmed and unable to keep up with life’s demands. This starts to take a physical and emotional toll on you.
- People pleasing- The inability to say no, avoiding all conflict, over apologizing for things out of your control.
- Perfectionism- Setting unrealistic and unattainable standards for yourself. Experiencing self criticism when you do not achieve the unrealistic goal.
- Anxiety attacks- Overwhelming fear that can come on suddenly along with physical symptoms such as heart racing, trembling and sweating.
- Panic disorder- Intense fear of recurring panic attacks
- Trauma and post traumatic stress- Feeling unsafe in your body or feeling numb. Struggling to relax, always waiting for something bad to happen, always on guard, avoiding certain places, people or things.
- Social anxiety- Avoiding social interactions for fear of being judged, many of the physical symptoms of anxiety may be present here.
- Adjustment disorder- intense stress after a change or life event that is preventing you from fully experiencing life.
Some common questions I receive in regards to treating anxiety are:
Should I see a therapist for my anxiety or can I manage it with family and friends?
I believe you are the expert of your life and know if going to family and friends for support is helping you recover from your anxiety symptoms. Sometimes family and friends do not understand the challenges of living with anxiety and may give invalidating feedback that they believe is helpful, but may actually make you feel worse. My favorite line is, “just stop worrying about it”. If it were that simple, we would’ve eradicated anxiety a long time ago! Working with an anxiety specialist who really understands the in’s and out’s of what you’re going through can help save you time and effort of treating your anxiety through the DIY method.
Do I need to take medicine for my anxiety?
Research suggests the best method for treating anxiety is through medicine and talk therapy combined. While medicine can help, it will not make all issues go away overnight. I will support you with what works best for you, whether medicine is a part of that conversation or not.
Can I recover from anxiety?
I believe recovery from anxiety symptoms is possible. I use treatments that have been researched and shown to be effective for treating anxiety such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Mindfulness-based Interventions
- Self-Compassion Interventions
If you’re looking for an anxiety specialist in Houston, contact me today for a free anxiety treatment phone consultation. I look forward to supporting you on your journey to healing from anxiety.