Therapy for Anxiety in Virginia and North Carolina
Some people are well aware that anxiety is to blame for their suffering. Others feel surprised, albeit relieved, to discover that there is a reason for their suffering. Anxiety can lead people to believe that they are unique and alone in their suffering. But, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, just under 20% of the U.S. adult population has an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are more common than any other mental health diagnosis. They are on the rise given the events of this past year and a half.
Some anxiety is normal and actually good!
We want anxiety to turn on the adrenaline when we’re faced with dangerous and life-threatening situations. By feeling anxious, we can get out of harm’s way. Anxiety can also help us meet deadlines, finish annoying tasks, and show how much we care about someone. When anxiety is in its proper place, it is a helpful tool for humans.
For about 20% of the U.S. adult population, anxiety has become a dictator or a mean and manipulative “friend.” In these individuals, anxiety has become a way of life instead of a part of life. Anxiety can grow to become a persistent state that interferes with all areas of a person’s life. It can be so very uncomfortable and debilitating and keep you from living the life you were made to live.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
- Persistent feeling of being tense stressed “uptight” or on edge
- Racing thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Tightness in the chest
- Skipping, racing, or pounding of the heart
- Stomach discomfort
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feeling tired, weak, and easily exhausted
Common Anxiety Disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Just because you have anxiety doesn’t mean you have an anxiety disorder. This is one of the things that you will explore in counseling with an anxiety therapist in Virginia. Together, you will consider the intensity, frequency, duration, and symptoms of your anxiety. Certain criteria must be met to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Treating an anxiety disorder varies from person to person.
But, most people with anxiety find relief through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT involves:
- Examining your thoughts and beliefs
- Identifying distortions in negative and unhelpful thinking patterns
- And working to reframe your thoughts to be more helpful and accurate
People can feel better on their own without therapy. Humans are very good at finding ways to reduce or relieve pain. But, not all coping skills prove to be beneficial in the long run. By the time a person comes to anxiety therapy, they have likely tried many other tactics to find relief.
Some common anxiety-reducing strategies and coping skills people try are:
- Scrolling social media, news, tv
- Reassurance seeking
- Overindulging or restricting food
- Negative self-talk
- Physical aggression
These strategies might provide some immediate relief from your overwhelming thoughts and feelings. But, these strategies only provide temporary relief. Plus there are a significant amount of long-term consequences and risks that go with them. Engaging in any of these strategies will actually strengthen and worsen a anxiety symptoms.
- Consuming a healthy diet
- Prioritizing quality sleep
- Moving your body daily
- Being outside and in nature
- Deep breathing
- Taking anti-anxiety medication
- Taking vitamins and supplements
- Allowing yourself to feel anxious
- Talking to a trusted person
- Positive self-talk
- Flexible thought patterns and beliefs
People who seek treatment for their anxiety, want to feel better as soon as possible.
Most people do report an improvement in mood and symptoms within several sessions. But, it is also common to experience an increase in anxiety when first starting therapy. One reason for this is fear of the unknown and trying something new. Another reason for this is that to reduce your anxiety you will have to be willing to face some of your fears. This should occur in a strategic way and with the support of the therapist. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, most people feel noticeable relief from anywhere between 3 to 24 sessions. You and your anxiety therapist will be routinely evaluating progress. They will determine what is working and what is not working to help you find relief as soon as possible.
One of the most important parts of any therapy is the therapeutic relationship between the client and the anxiety therapist.
A therapeutic relationship is one in which you feel safe, heard, valued, and experience a sense of emotional connection with the therapist. It is within this context of safety and care that people find the most healing from their overwhelming thoughts and feelings.
Begin Therapy for Anxiety in Virginia or North Carolina
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Start overcoming the issues affecting you from the comfort of home.