What Is Anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human response and is often experienced when one feels anxious or nervous. For many individuals anxiety is fleeting and may not have a significant impact on their ability to perform daily tasks and responsibilities (CAMH, 2020). However, many experience persistent and debilitating symptoms of anxiety that cannot only impact how they feel but in turn can negatively impact their ability to maintain social relationships, carry out daily activities and significantly impact their overall quality of life  (CAMH, 2020).  Anxiety can manifest in different ways and can be classified in different symptom groups. Here are a few common ones (CAMH, 2020);

 Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Characterized by persistent worries and feelings of anxiety, those suffering from GAD often feel that horrible events are just along the horizon. They are typically preoccupied with topics such as health and finances and continuously feel restless, irritable, tense, exhausted, and on-edge. 

 Panic Disorder

Clients who have panic disorder experience physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, choking sensations, and palpitations. Episodes can occur suddenly and without warning. Patients frequently live in a state of fear, limiting their ability to perform everyday tasks. Worry and dread of physical symptoms reoccurring.

 Phobias

Phobias pertain to one’s extreme fear of a particular object or situation, whether rationally or irrationally. These may include subjects such as spiders or snakes or circumstances such as flying in a plane. 

 Social Anxiety Disorder

Those suffering from social anxiety disorder fear social situations in which they may feel judged or embarrassed. They are repeatedly nervous and self-conscious and find it difficult to connect with peers. 

 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Commonly known as OCD, this disorder is characterized by persistent and uncontrollable urges for completing behavioral routines and rituals. Clients may engage in compulsive behaviors such as hand-washing, a fear of contamination, or repetitive behaviors. 

 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD tends to develop after severe physical or emotional trauma caused by perceived or lived experiences such as abuse, a serious accident, or a life-threatening event. Clients may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and frightening thoughts that interfere with everyday activities.

Why See a Therapist?

 Several factors can determine if seeking treatment for anxiety is for you. If you are experiencing anxiety it may be necessary to seek help if your anxiety is difficult to manage and you are overwhelmed by it once and cannot cope. You may need to seek help if your anxiety symptoms affect your ability to socialize, study, work, or manage daily tasks. Finally, you may want to seek help if you notice that specific situations or objects trigger an overwhelming anxious response.

How Can a Therapist Help Me?

A therapist trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can assist patients in identifying and managing factors that contribute to their anxiety. Over time, clients learn to challenge unhelpful thought patterns and develop effective coping strategies. Sometimes, a therapist will encourage clients to acknowledge situations that provoke anxiety, such as social gatherings or public speaking. Research suggests that CBT is the most effective form of treatment for anxiety disorders and can help with challenging unhelpful thinking and learning skill to managing stressful situations that could contribute to your anxiety (DiMauro et al., 2013). CBT is a time-limited, focused treatment approach that usually involves 12-20 sessions. However, the length of treatment is dependent on the client and the severity and complexity of their symptoms (CAMH, 2020).

Other ways a therapist can help you is to help you develop skills and strategies such as relaxation, meditation, and stress management techniques.

Working with a therapist is a collaborative process and that can provide a supportive environment to explore stressful and traumatic life events, biological factors, and psychological factors that could be contributing to your anxiety.

At Toronto Talk Therapy, you can get professional guidance, provided by our trained professionals that you need to help you manage your anxiety.

 

References

Centre of Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) (2020). Anxiety Disorders. Website. Retrieved from (https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/anxiety-disorders on September 10, 2020.

DiMauro J, Domingues J, Fernandez G, Tolin DF. Long-term effectiveness of CBT for anxiety disorders in an adult outpatient clinic sample: a follow-up study. Behav Res Ther. 2013;51(2):82-86. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2012.10.003

Stress at work, in our personal lives, and everything in between can trigger emotions of anger, especially in the stress-driven society in which we live.

Why Manage Your Anger? 

While anger is an innate human response, one must learn to express this emotion as overly angered  or aggressive behavior can be disruptive to one’s day-to-day life. Research by Staicus et al., shows  anger can have a various negative impacts on one’s health.  

Anger can be expressed in various ways such as acting out on others through threat or violence, it can lead to poor problem solving, having poor relationships and at times we can direct anger at ourselves to being overly self-critical. 

 

Red Flags That Indicate You Have Anger Management Issues 

Although feeling angry over someone or a situation is normal can be normal, there are warning signs that suggest you are not managing your anger in a healthy way. These include the following:

  • Easily frustrated
  • Repetitive negative thoughts and seeing the bad sign in every situation; 
  • Feelings of irritation, and impatience
  • Small disagreements escalate into full-fledged arguments 
  • Having an urge to throw or hit something 
  • Resorting to destructive behavior  driving recklessly
  • Coping with substances such as alcoholAvoiding talking about your anger
  • Feelings of guilt

If you are concerned about your anger and experiencing any of these  indicate a need to speak to a professional before your anger escalates and you  hurt  yourself or someone you love.

How Does Anger Management Therapy Help You? 

Anger management therapy can help you acquire the tools and skills required to better understand and to be able to manage your anger. In their meta-analysis review , Del Vecchio et al., showed that Cognitive Therapies has produced moderate to high effect size for treating various anger presentations. 

While anger management therapy does not stop you from feeling angry, it allows one to recognize the signs of negative behaviour and find effective strategies to process and manage your anger. After all, anger is a healthy and perfectly normal emotion, but it’s up to each individual to identify and manage their anger before it can affect your personal health and important relationships. 

 

What Can You Do to Manage your Anger?

Many can agree that leading a hectic and fast-paced lifestyle can be stressful and frustrating and over time can lead to anger and negative outcomes.

If you’re looking for ways to better manage your anger you can reach-out to Toronto Talk Therapy who can work with you in identifying unhealthy thinking and behavioural patterns that may contribute to your anger.

Here at Toronto Talk Therapy, we understand that solutions often require individualized approaches, which is why we offer online talk therapy to tailor the right anger management approach that best suits your individual needs. With our help, you can learn to respond better to your feelings, so don’t hesitate to reach out and see what we can do to help you manage your anger. 

 

References

Staicu, Mihaela-Luminiţa, and Mihaela Cuţov. “Anger and health risk behaviors.” Journal of medicine and life vol. 3,4 (2010): 372-5.

 

Del Vecchio T, O’Leary KD. Effectiveness of anger treatments for specific anger problems: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review. 2004;24:15–34.