Counselling for Anxiety
By Christina Radziejewski
Anxiety is an emotion experienced by millions on a daily basis. Some anxiety is useful when it moves us to act, such as when there is a tight deadline at work, or when a school assignment needs to be handed in.
Small and manageable amounts of anxiety also help us to be better prepared, for example, in new situations such as visiting a city for the first time and not knowing where to go. A little preparation ahead of time by searching for maps and directions online, or asking someone who has been there before, can usually alleviate some of the anxiety.
For some of us, however, fears and worries are our constant companions, to the point whereby daily tasks and activities are affected. Some fear the end of the world, others that a calamity or accident might befall them at any time. Some fear being in public places, or meeting new people. Others fear being on their own, being in tight spaces with others, or being in the dark. Yet others are fearful of heights, spiders, needles, the sight of blood, to name a few.
Signs of Anxiety
Some common signs of anxiety include rapid heartbeat, dizziness, a tightness around the temples and throat, feeling cold, and for some, headaches and stomach aches.
Some people are not able to keep calm or still, finding themselves constantly tapping their feet, twirling their hair, or playing with a pen. Difficulty sleeping soundly through the night may be a sign of anxiety, as are nightmares and a lack of appetite or overeating.
As mentioned earlier, some anxiety is useful. However, anxiety becomes problematic when it threatens to take over our lives. Individuals with Anxiety Disorders experience excessive and irrational fears and worries to the extent that these become overwhelming and debilitating. For many, these fears and worries interfere with regular functioning such that important relationships and work are affected.
Help for Anxiety
Counselling for anxiety can be very helpful for those who suffer. Therapy treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (read What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?) is well documented in its validity and efficacy in the treatment of anxiety.
According to the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, Anxiety Disorders affect 12% of Canadians.