What is anxiety?
Anxiety is feeling overwhelmed as though you can't handle what is happening. Anxiety is feeling extremely shy and unable to interact in social situations. Anxiety is constantly worrying about what might happen in the future. Anxiety is having episodes where you feel like you are having a heart attack and you can't breathe; however, there is nothing physically wrong with you (having a panic attack). Anxiety is second guessing everything you do and thinking you should have done something differently.
How is anxiety treated?
There are many therapeutic methods used to treat anxiety. A few of the more common methods include cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and traditional talk therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - This form of therapy involves looking at how your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interrelated. It involves examining unhelpful thought patterns and unhelpful ways of reacting to situations. The end goal of CBT is to change your patterns of thinking and behavior which then changes the way you feel.
Exposure Therapy - In this form of therapy you would create a list of anxiety producing events and then rank the items in your list from least anxiety provoking to most anxiety provoking. Once you have your list, you expose yourself to each item starting with the least anxiety provoking situation. As you do these things, you process your thoughts and feelings regarding each experience.
Traditional Talk Therapy - This form of therapy involves having the client discuss their current stressors and life situation while the therapist listens and asks appropriate questions to help the client examine and process their current situation. Some clients find this form of therapy to be highly effective because it helps them to think through things and make decisions on how to handle situations in their life. It can also help the client to view their issues from a different perspective.
Learn more about anxiety
Click on any of the sentences listed below to access the information that is being described in that bullet point.
- This links to a PDF handout about what anxiety is and ways to treat anxiety.
- The AnxietyBC website includes a lot of great information and handouts describing anxiety and how to treat it.
- This is a well put together short video that describes what it feels like to have anxiety.
- This is a short video that discusses 13 ways that anxiety affects a person. Heads up: there is a short advertisement in the middle of the video which is annoying; however, since I think it is a good video, I have still included the link.