What would it look like to regain control of your thoughts?
How would your life be different if you never had another anxiety or panic attack again?
Are you tired of the constant worry and obsessive thoughts?
Anxiety keeps you constantly on edge, feeling as if something terrible is going to happen. If you experience severe anxiety or have had persistent anxiety for a long time, it can leave you feeling out of control. You might live in constant fear of a panic attack, lose sleep at night or have difficulty eating some days.
Sometimes you become so overwhelmed that your mind races and you even have a physical response. Anxiety can hurt. It can physically hurt. Anxiety disorders make it hard to live life on your own terms. In fact, sometimes anxiety can be so debilitating and impact so many areas of your life that it can feed into depression. They become an endless cycle with anxiety worsening the depression and depression causing even more anxiety.
Anxiety vs. An Anxiety Disorder
Not everyone who experiences anxiety has an “anxiety disorder.” In fact, a little anxiety can be a good thing. For instance, anxiety when driving in a thunderstorm will cause you to drive more carefully and stay more alert. Anxiety about a college exam can lead you to study more. However, too much anxiety can be a problem.
Sometimes anxiety can cause you enough distress that it keeps you from carrying on with your day to day life. At this point, you may qualify for some kind of anxiety disorder diagnosis. There are many different types of anxiety disorders including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias (for example, if you have an intense fear of flying that causes you to avoid airplanes) or generalized anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
While everyone’s anxiety looks different, and each type of anxiety disorder has a different set of symptoms, there are some general symptoms of anxiety that indicate you might need professional help. Below is a list of anxiety symptoms. If you experience some or all of these, it may be time to begin counseling.
- Feeling out of control due to anxiety
- Constant worry
- Racing thoughts
- Fatigue/Sleep problems/Lack of sleep
- Lack of appetite
- Panic, fear and uneasiness
- Avoiding places, things or people
- Tense muscles
- Feeling agitated
- Difficulty concentrating
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Anxiety.org describes panic attacks as, “ A panic attack is a sudden rush of strong fear or discomfort that is accompanied by a cluster of physical and cognitive symptoms, including heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, and fears of dying, going crazy, or losing control.” Psychotherapists have a pretty standard definition of a panic attack, because it is laid out in the DSM V, the manual that helps us diagnosis mental health disorders. In fact, repeated panic attacks are the main feature of a specific disorder called Panic Disorder.
Anxiety attacks are a little less defined, but if you’ve lived with anxiety for long you know what I mean. In general, people commonly use the word anxiety attack to describe a period of intense anxiety. This often comes in response to some sort of trigger or upsetting situation.
Specific Symptoms of an Anxiety Attack include:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling short of breath or like you can’t breath
- A feeling of choking
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feelings of unreality (derealization)
- Feeling detached from oneself (depersonalization)
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Chills or hot flushes
- Fear of dying
My Approach to Anxiety Treatment
The first thing I want you to know is that anxiety doesn’t have to take over your life. Panic attacks don’t last forever. Anxiety comes and goes. But there are some specific things we can do together to help you regain control over your own life.
I take a very active, structured and systematic approach to anxiety treatment. Through the use of powerful, effective tools counseling can help you find relief from your anxiety quickly. As part of cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety, I often assign homework and ask you to do things between sessions that will help you conquer your anxiety. I’ve found this approach to be very successful in the treatment of anxiety. Examples of homework that help us get to the bottom of your anxiety as quickly as possible may include keeping a log of your panic attacks, practicing mindfulness activities at home or other assignments between sessions.
Mindfulness and Meditation for Anxiety
Through counseling, I will help you learn specific techniques to cope with anxiety as it comes up. Most of these techniques involve practicing mindfulness or meditation. You may learn to use a technique like 4 square breathing or some grounding techniques that will get you out of your head and into the present moment. Learning to practice mindfulness is often an important step in helping you free yourself from the grip of anxiety. Through learning to be present in the moment and to focus your attention in a non judgmental way, you can begin to develop your observing self.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety
Similar to how I approach depression therapy, I often use cognitive behavioral therapy techniques when treating anxiety. Once you’ve been able to separate yourself from the emotion attached to your anxiety, I will help you begin to recognize unhealthy thought patterns, what I call mind traps. These patterns of thinking are keeping you stuck in what feels like an endless cycle of anxious, racing thoughts. Once we identify these thinking patterns, and the core beliefs that are feeding them under the surface, you’ll be able to regain control over your own thinking.
Tips & Information About Anxiety
As as a therapist, I am always looking for ways to help people improve their mental health. One way I do this is through keeping a blog where I often share tips including some about anxiety. Here are a few blogs I’ve written you may find useful:
Begin Anxiety Treatment in Cincinnati, OH
Are you tired of being trapped in a vicious cycle of anxious thoughts? Are you worried your anxiety has gone too far? You don’t have to live in a state of constant worry. If you are looking for a counselor in Cincinnati, OH, I can help. My name is Tim Barron, and I am an experienced mental health therapist. We will set up an appointment for you to begin counseling for anxiety.
Still unsure if you’re ready for counseling?
I know it can feel intimidating to come in for counseling and to face your anxiety. Especially if you haven’t been to therapy for other emotional or mental health issues in the past. I try to make the process as painless as possible for you. Consider checking out my Frequently Asked Questions page or contact me with other questions.
Counseling can also help with a variety of other emotional & mental health concerns. For instance, therapy can help you overcome your depression, reconnect in your relationships, navigate the stress of college, find joy in your work/career and regain control of your life. Take the courageous first step by contacting me today.