The pressure in your chest keeps building and you feel over the top. You worry about everything: What will people say? What are they thinking? What should I do next? What if I get it wrong? How will I know? Do I have enough time? Why am I feeling this way? You have no answers and that's stressing you out.
You keep hearing yourself in that familiar refrain: “I’m sorry” or “Are you mad at me?” to those around you because just maybe you said or did something to upset them. You try to figure out if you actually have something to worry about because you feel like you do.
Lately friends and colleagues are noticing that you cancel getting together with them more often. They don't get how you are feeling and where you're coming from. Your excuses are becoming noticeable and those close to you are feeling like you don't care about them anymore and that's the last thing you want to happen.
You’re aware of the irrational and excessive nature of your thoughts and fears but you just can’t seem to stop them. You feel out of control and suddenly, for no apparent reason, suffer from symptoms of dizziness, nausea, numbness and shortness of breath. Before you know it, you're in the middle of a full-blown panic attack.
Taking days off from work or increased drinking and drug use has been your go to solution so far but it won't last long-term. Whatever is going on for you is not going away on its own. You need help to see you through this and to stem the rising tides of anxiety.
Causes of anxiety
You could have had a difficult childhood where your basic needs for love and attention weren’t met – either because you parents weren’t capable or emotionally unavailable due to their own issues. These experiences made you feel unsafe and afraid.
There could be many reasons why you feel the way you do now but fortunately anxiety can be treated. The solution involves understanding the reasons behind your anxiety and finding ways manage your symptoms that work for you.
The steps forward to breathing easier are at your fingertips.
Signs & symptoms of anxiety:
You struggle with irrational and excessive fear.
You’re apprehensive and tense.
Managing daily tasks are difficult or you're feeling distress related to them.
You worry that you are losing control.
You imagine the worst is always going to happen.
Nightmares wake you up at night and occur over and over again.
You put yourself down for being anxious.
Avoiding activities that make you nervous (e.g., driving) becomes frequent.
Talking too quickly or changing the subject when you feel uncomfortable are subtle avoidances you use.
You engage in behaviours that help you feel safe in order to minimize anxiety (e.g., always having your phone out and ready for emergencies).
Your heart races and you feel short of breath that seems excessive in relation to the activity. It may even feel like a heart attack.
You’ve become addicted to activities or substances to numb yourself and cope.
Your anxiety is mixed with depression.
Click on the following links for more information on: trauma, addictions, nightmares, depression, shame, grief and legacy.
How I work with anxiety
To begin, I ensure you feel safe enough to be able to share what's going on for you and prepare you to handle the difficult emotions and memories that may arise in session. You will always feel in control of your therapy process and we only go at the speed you need.
We then explore the very beginnings of your feelings and what may have caused them. Through gentle questioning and art making, we carefully expose what's going on, develop self-care strategies to reduce your stress and you learn to see yourself with new eyes and with compassion.
Relief from the pain of fear and anxiety is possible.
Treatment for anxiety in Toronto
As a therapist in Toronto, I offer Expressive Arts based therapy in combination with Talk Therapy and Compassionate Inquiry to support your recovery from the debilitating effects of anxiety.
You'll learn to manage your emotions and anxiety in tangible ways to keep you getting up in the morning and connecting to your world without fear.
Please contact me by booking a consultation. This way we can get to know each other a little bit, you can ask me whatever you need to know and feel confident that you have made the right choice in a therapist.