“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Anxiety: it’s something that we all experience to varying degrees from time to time.
It can run the gamut, from nervousness, caution, or worry, to stress, obsessing, fear, panic attacks, or outright terror.
At times anxiety can be helpful, as when it signals a danger or something that’s “not quite right” that needs our attention.
At other times, however, anxiety can be debilitating, immobilizing, and/or frightening. It is not uncommon for people to end up in the emergency room of a hospital, mistaking a panic attack for a heart attack.
If your stress, fear, or worry is affecting the quality of your life, you may wish to call (512) 339-1694, text, or email me to ask any questions that you may have or to set up a counseling appointment to treat your anxiety.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY*
- Restlessness or Feeling Keyed Up or On Edge
- Being easily Fatigued
- Difficulty Concentrating or Mind Going Blank
- Muscle Tension
- Sleep Disturbance
accompanied by excessive anxiety or worry about a number
of events or activities which the person finds it difficult to control.
SYMPTOMS OF A PANIC ATTACK*
- Palpitations, Pounding Heart or Accelerated Heart Rate
- Trembling or Shaking
- Sensations of Shortness of Breath or Smothering
- Feeling of Choking
- Chest Pain or Discomfort
- Nausea or Abdominal Distress
- Feeling Dizzy, Unsteady, Lightheaded, or Faint
- Feeling of Unreality or Being Detached from Oneself
- Fear of Dying
- Numbness or Tingling Sensations
- Chills or Hot Flushes
* Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
Despite the extreme discomfort and stress that anxiety may cause, it might also be seen as an opportunity for healing, growth, and deeper understanding of ourselves.
Perhaps the anxiety is related to a fear of something that is or has been a genuinely frightening, traumatic, dangerous, orpotentially life-threateningsituation.
At other times, however,we may actually feel anxious about experiencing other, deeper, core feelings such as sadness, anger, or even joy (such as when we believe that if we allow ourselves to feel too happy, we’ll be even more hurt and disappointed when it gets taken away).
So in a sense, at times, anxiety may be seen as a signal of, and protection or defense against feeling overwhelmed by other seemingly unmanageable, scary, and/or intense emotions.
I think that the reason that our feelings can seem like too much to handle, is that it often feels as though we’ve been left alone to deal with these feelings.
When you are in counseling with me, I will not leave you alone to deal with your anxiety or any other feelings from which your anxiety may be protecting you. I am not afraid of the intensity of big feelings. In fact, I invite and welcome them.
For it is the very experience of feeling and working through emotions while in the presence of a caring and compassionate other that, I believe, is truly healing.
It is this shared experience that, I think, is what actually has the power to move us beyond our stuck or scary places, into a place of calm, confidence, clarity, courage, and compassion for ourselves and for others.
If you are struggling with anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, obsessions, compulsions, or trauma, please feel free to call (512) 339-1694, text, or email me to discuss your particular situation or to set up a counseling appointment. I look forward to hearing from you.