Therapy & Counseling
Anxiety Counseling and Therapy for your Journey to Inner Peace
While some anxiety is a normal part of life (sigh), if it's accompanied by feelings of helplessness or loss of control, or if it starts to affect how you go about your daily activities, it's time to get professional help from a therapist.
According to science, anxiety is merely your body's normal reaction to stress.
We can all relate to experiencing nervousness before important events like job interviews, first days of school, public speaking engagements, and blind dates. Right?
Despite the fact that worry is a universal human emotion, when it spirals out of control, it can develop into a very real ailment that requires attention.
Anxiety enters a separate category known as an Anxiety Disorder when it becomes all-pervasive and persists for a long time.
Following are some telltale signs of anxiety disorder that you should watch out for if you have any notion that you might be experiencing it.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY:
restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge
racing thoughts, obsessing, uncontrollable worrying
feeling fatigued or physically weak, muscle tension
sleep disturbance, difficulty falling asleep, or unsatisfying sleep
physiological symptoms (e.g. heart palpitations, chest pain, sweating, muscle trembling)
difficulty with concentration, feeling like your mind often goes blank
Restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge
Restlessness, irritability, and a constant feeling of being on edge are hallmark symptoms experienced by individuals grappling with anxiety. The restless energy within manifests as a persistent need to move or engage in repetitive behaviors as a means to alleviate the inner tension. This restlessness is accompanied by a heightened sensitivity to external stimuli, making even minor disturbances feel overwhelming. Irritability becomes a constant companion, as the mind and body remain in a heightened state of alertness. The smallest triggers can provoke intense emotional reactions, further intensifying the sense of unease and exacerbating interpersonal relationships. Living in a perpetual state of hypervigilance, individuals with anxiety find it challenging to relax or find solace. Understanding these symptoms as a part of anxiety is crucial, as it underscores the importance of seeking professional help to address the underlying causes and develop effective coping strategies. Through therapy, individuals can learn relaxation techniques, emotional regulation skills, and healthy communication strategies to manage restlessness, reduce irritability, and regain a sense of calm and peace in their lives.
Racing thoughts, obsessing, uncontrollable worrying
Racing thoughts, obsessing, and uncontrollable worrying are common experiences for individuals living with anxiety. The mind becomes a whirlwind of thoughts, constantly shifting from one concern to another, making it difficult to focus on the present moment. Obsessions, repetitive and intrusive thoughts, take hold, often centering around specific fears or worries. These thoughts can be irrational and persistent, causing distress and interfering with daily functioning. Uncontrollable worrying becomes a default state, as the mind fixates on potential future threats and worst-case scenarios. This cycle of racing thoughts, obsessing, and worrying can lead to heightened anxiety levels and a sense of being trapped within one's own mind. Seeking therapy is crucial in navigating these overwhelming cognitive patterns. Through therapy, individuals can learn techniques to challenge irrational thoughts, cultivate mindfulness, and develop healthier coping mechanisms to regain control over their thoughts and find relief from the grip of anxiety.
Feeling fatigued or physically weak, muscle tension
Feeling fatigued or physically weak, along with muscle tension, are common physical symptoms experienced by individuals grappling with anxiety. The constant state of heightened arousal and the body's response to stress can deplete energy levels, leaving individuals feeling exhausted and physically drained. This fatigue is often accompanied by a sense of weakness, as if one's body is unable to sustain normal levels of physical activity. Muscle tension is another prevalent manifestation of anxiety, with muscles becoming tight and rigid due to the persistent state of stress. This tension can lead to discomfort, aches, and even headaches, further exacerbating the physical burden of anxiety. Recognizing these physical symptoms as part of the anxiety experience is crucial, as it underscores the importance of holistic treatment that addresses both the psychological and physiological aspects of anxiety. Through therapy and self-care practices, individuals can learn relaxation techniques, engage in physical activities that promote relaxation, and develop strategies to manage fatigue and muscle tension, ultimately supporting their overall well-being and quality of life.
Sleep disturbance, difficulty falling asleep, or unsatisfying sleep
Sleep disturbance, difficulty falling asleep, and unsatisfying sleep are common challenges faced by individuals dealing with anxiety. The racing thoughts and worries that accompany anxiety can make it difficult to relax and unwind, causing difficulty in falling asleep. The mind remains active, replaying past events or anticipating future concerns, making it challenging to find tranquility. Even when sleep finally comes, it may be disrupted and fragmented, leaving individuals feeling unrested and fatigued upon waking. This cycle of sleep disturbance further contributes to increased anxiety and a sense of exhaustion during the day. Recognizing the impact of anxiety on sleep is crucial, as it highlights the importance of addressing both the underlying anxiety and implementing strategies for better sleep hygiene. Therapy can help individuals develop relaxation techniques, establish consistent sleep routines, and identify and address the root causes of their anxiety to promote restful and rejuvenating sleep.
Physiological symptoms such as heart palpitations, chest pain, sweating, and muscle trembling are common manifestations of anxiety. When anxiety takes hold, the body's natural stress response is activated, triggering a cascade of physiological reactions. Heart palpitations may occur as the heart beats faster and irregularly, creating a sense of unease. Chest pain can arise due to the tightening of chest muscles or the perception of restricted breathing. Sweating is a natural response to heightened arousal, as the body tries to regulate temperature. Muscle trembling and tension can accompany anxiety, as the body prepares for fight-or-flight responses. These physiological symptoms can be distressing and contribute to a sense of unease or fear, further perpetuating the anxiety cycle. It is essential to recognize these symptoms as a normal response to anxiety and seek professional help to develop effective coping strategies. Through therapy, individuals can learn relaxation techniques, stress management skills, and self-care practices to alleviate physiological symptoms, promote overall well-being, and regain control over their anxiety.
Difficulty with concentration, mind goes blank
Difficulty with concentration and feeling like your mind often goes blank are common cognitive symptoms experienced by individuals grappling with anxiety. The constant stream of racing thoughts and worries can make it challenging to focus on tasks or absorb information. The mind may feel scattered, jumping from one thought to another, making it difficult to maintain sustained attention. This cognitive fog can lead to frustration and a sense of inefficiency in completing daily activities. Additionally, there may be moments where the mind goes blank, seemingly unable to retrieve information or articulate thoughts. These symptoms can contribute to feelings of inadequacy and further exacerbate anxiety. Seeking therapy can provide individuals with tools and strategies to improve concentration, enhance cognitive flexibility, and manage anxious thoughts, ultimately fostering clarity of mind and improving overall cognitive functioning. Through therapy, individuals can regain a sense of mental clarity, boost productivity, and regain confidence in their cognitive abilities.
In addition to these more typical signs and symptoms, anxiety can also show itself as panic attacks, hypochondria, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Panic Disorder is a challenging condition characterized by episodes of severe panic attacks. These attacks instigate an overwhelming sense of fear, accompanied by intense physical reactions, even in the absence of any real danger or identifiable cause. The experience of a panic attack can be incredibly frightening, with symptoms that closely resemble those of a genuine heart attack. While some individuals find temporary relief when stressors diminish, it is crucial to recognize that panic attacks often indicate deeper underlying issues that require attention and resolution for long-term relief and prevention of recurrence. If panic attacks persist beyond isolated incidents, seeking professional help becomes essential.
Symptoms of panic attacks can manifest as a looming sense of danger and impending doom, severe hot flashes, nausea, cramping, profuse sweating, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and a sense of detachment from reality or the world. Consulting a professional can provide the necessary support and guidance to navigate Panic Disorder and regain control over one's life.
Hypochondria, now referred to as "Illness Anxiety Disorder," is a condition characterized by excessive worry and fear of having a medical condition, even in the absence of a confirmed diagnosis from a healthcare professional. Individuals with Illness Anxiety Disorder constantly fret about their physical or mental health, often believing they have a serious or life-threatening illness.
Common symptoms of this disorder include persistent anxiety, excessive concern about health, constantly checking the body for signs of illness, avoiding medical appointments or frequently changing healthcare providers, engaging in cyberchondria by extensively searching the internet for self-diagnosis, and feeling a lack of reassurance despite being examined by a doctor and deemed healthy.
People with Illness Anxiety Disorder may also amplify the severity of a diagnosed condition, leading them to believe their health is worse than it truly is. Certain factors such as significant life stress, a history of childhood abuse or neglect, or the loss of a loved one due to illness can contribute to the development of Illness Anxiety Disorder. Seeking professional help can provide support in managing excessive health-related concerns and promoting overall well-being.
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a complex mental health condition characterized by persistent and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Individuals with OCD often experience intense anxiety or distress, which leads them to engage in repetitive rituals or routines in an attempt to alleviate their anxiety or prevent perceived harm. Common obsessions can revolve around themes of contamination, symmetry, or intrusive thoughts, while compulsions may involve excessive cleaning, organizing, or repetitive checking. OCD can significantly impact a person's daily life, causing distress, interfering with relationships, and impairing functioning. Seeking professional help is crucial for managing OCD, as it can provide effective strategies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. With proper treatment and support, individuals with OCD can learn to manage their obsessions and compulsions, leading to a greater sense of control and well-being.
If you're in need of anxiety therapy and support, Gem State Wellness is here for you. We offer anxiety counseling in Boise, counseling in Nampa, counseling in Meridian, and counseling in Idaho Falls, providing evidence-based approaches that have proven effective in treating anxiety and a range of mental health conditions. Our compassionate Boise therapist, Matt Schubert, specializes in children's counseling and is dedicated to helping you find hope and happiness.
We recognize the unique needs of children grappling with anxiety and provide a safe and supportive environment for their emotional well-being through children's counseling in Boise and children's counseling in Nampa. If you're ready to take the first step towards healing and regaining control over your anxiety, contact us today. Our therapists and counselors are here to provide the guidance and tools you need to overcome anxiety and live a fulfilling life.