We treat anxiety disorders at Collier Counseling, LLC. Anxiety disorders are considered the most common and frequently occurring mental disorders. Anxiety is a normal reaction to anything that might be threatening to a person’s lifestyle, values, self, or loved ones. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. One might feel a sense of discomfort, butterflies in the stomach, a rapid heart rate, or nervous fidgeting. Some degree of anxiety can benefit us and even motivate us to prepare for upcoming tasks such as an exam, presentation, performance, or to ward off a threat. However, too much anxiety can cause significant discomfort and interfere with life’s daily tasks.
Common anxiety disorders we see in our practice include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia). Individuals often have complaints of physical symptoms as it relates to anxiety. Many people often end up in the Emergency Room or at their doctor’s office when experiencing a panic attack or severe anxiety. Some of the common symptoms or complaints of anxiety include:
• Excessive worry that is difficult to control
• Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
• Racing thoughts
• Difficulty sleeping (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
• Increased muscle aches or tension
• Feeling faint
• Pounding heart
• Sense of unreality
• Tingling or numbness in hands
• Feeling a loss of control or losing one’s mind
• Fear is disproportionate to the circumstance
• Fear of being negatively evaluated in social settings
When treating anxiety we use a comprehensive approach that includes assessment and treatment as it relates to physical health (exercise and diet), mental wellbeing, and mindfulness. This is important as we believe they are interconnected. We encourage eating three balanced meals plus healthy snacks as this keeps your blood sugar and energy regulated. Having low blood sugar can bring about symptoms that resemble anxiety or panic. We recommend limiting or even eliminating caffeine as this adjustment has instant results in terms of decreasing anxiety. We encourage exercise as this allows the body to release endorphins (feel good hormones), is a positive distraction from worrisome thoughts, and allows your body to rid itself of some of that “nervous energy”. We will work to create healthy lifestyle habits that promote mental well-being and decrease anxiety.
We use multiple treatment modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy to treat anxiety. We incorporate mindfulness, meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises, as well as yoga-psychotherapy during treatment. The goal is to be able to decrease symptoms of anxiety in the moment, defeat or challenge irrational and worrisome thoughts that promote anxiety, and replace unhealthy patterns of coping such as avoidance and isolation with healthy coping skills such as acceptance, reframing thoughts, and doing the opposite of your fear.
Anxiety does not present itself overnight, as many anxiety disorders begin in childhood and tend to persist if not treated. Therefore, be patient with yourself during treatment and celebrate small successes. Oftentimes, there might be an underlying cause of the anxiety that needs to be processed and explored such as trauma, adverse childhood experiences, or our true feelings about ourselves. Sometimes there is also no significant cause of our anxiety, it just happens. Currently, research suggests that while we cannot always pinpoint the exact cause, common causes of anxiety disorders include genetics, environmental factors, medical causes, and psychological factors. Expect 6-8 weeks of consistent treatment in order to achieve significant progress*.
If you would like to begin your journey towards a life of peace, certainty, and comfort, give us a call at 404-618-1040 and let one of our skilled clinicians join you on the journey towards wellness.
*Typical progress, cannot guarantee this for every client