Is Anxiety Preventing You From Living a Fulfilling Life?
You open your eyes in the morning only to be greeted with a sense of dread. A list of fears and expectations start running in a loop. Your stomach turns to knots and you feel nauseous. Exhausted from a lack of sleep you barely drag yourself out of bed. The thought of having to leave your house is overwhelming.
Walking with your shoulders turned in and head and eyes down you avoid contact with people. You feel lightheaded and weak in your legs as you cram yourself onto the bus for work. Panic starts to rise, you have difficulty breathing, and there is intense pressure building in your chest. You feel your heart beating out of your chest and think you’re having a heart attack. You immediately ring the bell to get out at the next stop and wait for a bus less full.
A host of worries start swirling through your head. “I’m going to be late again.” “I’m going to be fired.” “I don’t have enough money for rent.” “My friends don’t want to be around me.” “My boyfriend is going to break up with me.” An overwhelming sense of impending doom fills your body and your hands start to tingle and go numb.
Finally getting to work, you feel stressed by everything you need to do. Rubbing you neck and shoulders you notice a headache coming on. You feel incompetent and that you aren’t meeting your boss’s expectations. You believe your boss thinks you aren’t doing a good job and that any day now they will fire you.
Your friend texts you to go out for drinks after work, but the thought of being in a loud bar with lots of people you don’t know terrifies you. Friends and family have become scarce because they struggle to be around you and don’t know how to support you. You want to connect with people and engage in meaningful relationships, but feel too afraid to interact with people. You feel unsatisfied, struggle to feel joy, are anxious and nervous all the time, and feel confined by your life. You wonder: “Is this all there is?”
If you relate with some of these experiences, you may be experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, or Panic Disorder.
Getting Your Life Back
Anxiety therapy can provide relief so you can live the life you want to live. I specialize in anxiety therapy and am here to support you to manage your overwhelming worry and fear. I understand the mental, emotional, and physical toll anxiety can cause and I am here to help you bring back peace and joy in your life. I don’t want you to suffer any longer. I know it can be hard to reach out and ask for help and I am grateful you are seeking support. Your life does not have to be a constant struggle. You can learn how to feel “normal” again and live a life that is free of anxiety.
Questioning Whether or Not You Have an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health problems. Research reports that 1 in 4 Canadians will experience at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime. There are varying levels of anxiety, which can be brought on by a traumatic event or develop over time. Unfortunately, children are not often taught how to deal with conflict or how to handle stressful situations, resulting in increased symptoms of anxiety with every difficult experience.
When someone is anxious or panicked, they go into survival mode and experience a fight-flight-freeze response in their body. The body responds by producing high levels of adrenaline resulting in symptoms such as confusion, light-headedness, excessive sweating, racing or irregular heart rate, heartburn, nausea, and difficulty swallowing. Within 10-15 minutes, the adrenaline subsides and the person is left feeling extremely exhausted.
Anxiety is one of the top reasons people seek out therapy. Whether you are experiencing anxiety symptoms for the first time in your life, or you have experienced anxiety throughout your life, psychotherapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment is known to be effective.
Understanding Anxiety and Its Effects
Anxiety is not just about physical symptoms, you will also experience a number of emotional difficulties. You may have difficulty trusting people. You don’t like surprises and need to be in control so you can know exactly what is happening and when. You may experience racing thoughts that keep you up at night. You may be consumed by worry and negative and catastrophic thoughts about the future.
Feeling exasperated and irritable with others may result in frequent emotional outbursts. If you experience social anxiety, you may fear criticism and rejection from others or feel embarrassed, inadequate, or insecure. It may be very difficult for your friends and family to deal with your anxiety. They understand you are struggling and want to support and comfort you, but you may often repeat symptoms and complaints, leaving others feeling frustrated. You may calm down temporarily only to be worked up again about the same thing, leaving your loved ones feeling confused and discouraged to the point of leaving. This may leave you feeling unsupported and abandoned.
There are several categories of anxiety disorders. Some people experience generalized anxiety, which occurs all day, every day. Feeling anxious and insecure is a daily occurrence and, if left untreated, eventually becomes a way of life. You may have forgotten what it’s like to have a “normal” day. Some people experience panic attacks, which may strike without reason or warning and have a rapid onset. Panic attacks can be terrifying because their symptoms – sweating, a racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, chest constriction – mimic those of a heart attack. Other people may experience extreme cases of trauma due to mental, emotional, physical, or sexual assault, abuse, or neglect. Anxiety from trauma can evolve into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, hyper-vigilance and emotional numbing to name a few.
Anxiety Therapy Can Help You Feel More at Ease and in Control of Your Life
Making sure you feel safe is of utmost importance to me. Speaking about your anxiety with someone you don’t know can be overwhelming. I have created a calm and inviting space where you can feel free to openly and honestly share whatever you need to without fear of judgment. I provide an accepting environment regardless of your sexual orientation, gender, culture, or spiritual beliefs.
During sessions, we will explore your anxiety in order to help you understand what you are feeling anxious about and how anxiety manifests for you. If you are suffering from anxiety, I will explain how the disorder works and how it is affecting your body. I will help you develop effective strategies, tools, and techniques to use when your anxiety is heightened. Through mindfulness techniques, I will help you identify your triggers. Through the use of EMDR, we can get to the route of your anxiety.
Once you start to implement the strategies and address your triggers, anxiety symptoms may begin to diminish – sometimes quickly, depending on severity, and other times, subsiding over time. Therapy can help you learn how to manage your anxiety instead of it running and controlling you. You will also learn how to control your fears with rational thinking and checking the facts. Helping you to become more mindful and self-aware of negative self-talk, and how it affects your physiology, will allow for the opportunity to create new healthy thoughts – often making events, feelings, and ideas you are normally anxious about less intimidating.
You may be ready for change, but still have some questions and concerns about anxiety therapy…
No One Could Possibly Understand How This Feels – Even I Don’t Understand It
Identifying triggers is one of the biggest challenges in managing anxiety. If you can’t figure out what is making you anxious, how could someone else do so? Working with an experienced therapist that is familiar with uncovering and explaining these triggers can be invaluable. There are always reasons for why someone gets anxious and identifying your triggers can be the first step toward healing.
If I Talk About My Anxiety, I Will Get More Anxious
This may be true, but this is only because you haven’t yet learned the strategies and tools to help you to manage your anxiety. You always have a choice: you can talk about it, find ways to manage it and get relief, or you can continue to suffer. Which would you prefer?
Do I Have to Take Medications?
Often the biggest barriers in anxiety treatment is comprehending the nature of the disorder and gaining an awareness of the triggers personally affecting you. Along with psychotherapy, my approach is one of incorporating holistic foods and supplements. However, you may need medication to stabilize your level of anxiety until you learn the strategies and tools to manage it on your own. Often when a person is anxious they also feel out of control and the thought of having even less control by taking medications may make you feel resistant and more anxious. I am open to hearing your concerns and together we will come up with the best course of treatment for you.
You too can reduce your anxiety and experience ease and freedom in your life.
“Vicky has the ability to manage whatever comes up. In her wise calmness, she is able to create a space that is safe, and that allows for the possibility of change.”
Tracy Guillet, Registered Social Worker
Contact me at 403-891-1384 for a free 15-minute consultation or to set up an appointment.
Vicky Roubekas, MACP is a Registered Psychologist and currently owns a private practice in Calgary, AB. She specializes in anxiety, PTSD/trauma, and women’s health. Vicky is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), is a Certified Hakomi Therapist, a Certified Embodied Awareness Facilitator, and has a Creative Expression Specialization from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Vicky is also a Peruvian Shaman Practitioner and Reiki Master. To find out more about Vicky click here: Vicky Roubekas Psychology