10 Signs You Would Benefit from Anxiety Counselling Calgary

It is natural to experience fear and worry about the future. This is ‘little a’ anxiety, which we use to describe a feeling. It is not a natural feeling to have to: Engage in compulsive behaviours to try and feel safe; or to have physical symptoms like heart palpitations, sweating, or dizziness; or to have a consistent sense of impending danger or doom. These experiences are more emblematic of ‘big A’ Anxiety. Anxiety is a mental health disorder with defined symptoms and types (as not all anxiety is created equal). 

Some key facts about anxiety from the World Health Organization:

  • Anxiety disorders are the world’s most common mental disorders, affecting 301 million people in 2019
  • More women are affected by anxiety disorders and likely to seek out anxiety treatment than men
  • Symptoms of anxiety often have onset during childhood or adolescence
  • There are highly effective treatments for anxiety disorders
  • Approximately 1 in 4 people with anxiety disorders receive anxiety treatment 
My Anxiety Experience-Insight from an Anxiety Counselling Calgary Professional

My own experience with anxiety started at a young age. I remember going on a fieldtrip in kindergarten to a local firehouse and being invited to come into the back of the ambulance. My little 5 year old self panicked and adamantly refused to get into the ambulance. The response was so pronounced that the teachers were questioning my family about any potential past negative experiences with an ambulance or health issues (which there had been none). This is a great example of anxiety: A strong response that comes up towards a stimulus that you could not have predicted. From there, my journey with anxiety continued. Trouble sleeping, especially on nights before the start of the week or big events (or just because); worrying about the future-finances, health, safety; paranoia about being in parkades or other environments that felt threatening; and an overall nervous and anxious energy inside. I am happy to report that, today, my anxiety feels manageable and does not have much impact in my life and functioning. This journey evolved thanks to good tools and supports, including things like meditation, boundaries, journaling, physical exercise, safe people, CBT and cognitive reframing, anxiety counselling Calgary and LOTS of changes to self-talk. 

Recovery and health while living with anxiety is more than possible, but you may need help, including anxiety counselling Calgary or in your area, to get there. 

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Anxiety Counselling Calgary Tips: Understanding the Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders that may benefit from anxiety counselling and anxiety treatment: 

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder. With GAD there are not necessarily specific triggers for the anxiety, it can come randomly and be there for prolonged periods of time for no discernable external reasons)
  • Panic disorder (being vulnerable to panic attacks)
  • Specific phobias (like heights, death, needles, throwing up, etc.)
  • Agoraphobia (which is a fear of public or large spaces)
  • Social anxiety disorder (primary fear is being around other people)
  • Separation anxiety disorder 
  • Selective mutism (has anyone watched ‘Big Bang Theory’? Think of the character Raj and how he could not talk around women. This is a popular culture example of selective mutism).

With anxiety disorders, the general distinction between that and ‘little a’ anxiety is that the fear is disproportionate to the situation and results in significant impairment in functioning. People may benefit from anxiety counselling and anxiety treatment whether they are struggling with acute or chronic stressors. 

What we have noticed in providing Anxiety Counselling Calgary is that there may be some general patterns and warning signs that indicate the possible presence of an anxiety concern. While these are not all part of the diagnostic process, if you are experiencing more than one of these signs, it is an indication that you may benefit from further assessment and possible anxiety counselling Calgary. 

10 Signs of That You May Benefit from Anxiety Counselling Calgary

  1. You find yourself turning to substances and/or behaviours to escape and provide relief. Often people describe that they’ve been “self-medicating” with drugs, alcohol, or behaviours like gambling, spending, work, sex, food, etc. to cope with their uncomfortable feelings of anxiety. For some people, these anxious feelings come out of these compulsive behaviours whereas for others, the anxiety preceded these behaviours and they become an attempt at coping
  2.  You feel that your level of worry and fear is higher than others. Based on what you hear and see those around you talking about, you may identify that your thoughts are more extreme, frequent, and/or debilitating which may be a cause for concern. 
  3. Your soothing mechanisms have progressed and become problematic too. This may be with substances or problem behaviours as outlined in #1, but may also include things like repetitive compulsive behaviours: Repeatedly checking lights to make sure that they’re off, looking out the window to check for danger, or any behaviour that has become interruptive of your life and functioning may be a sign of an anxiety issue.
  4. You have experienced a single event or multiple events in your life which still impact your thinking, feeling, and/or behaviour today. Not all brains process things in the same way and some people notice that they continue to have memories, flashbacks, recall, nightmares, and/or emotional disturbance from an event(s) that happened in their past. This may be a sign of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is not an anxiety disorder according to the psychiatric classification system, but can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety if left untreated. Anxiety Counselling Calgary can support these trauma related symptoms.
  5. Anxiety has taken over your life and is impacting functioning. If you feel consumed by worry and fear to the extent that you cannot function as you did in the past, this is an obvious sign of anxiety and needs to be treated seriously.
  6. Your experience comes and goes, but as it continues to come back it feels like it’s getting worse. Typically anxiety disorders are not constantly present and disruptive and have some periods of remission. However, if it is an untreated anxiety disorder, generally what will happen is that symptoms keep coming back and the cycle gets gradually worse over time, or suddenly worse with certain external stressors or events. You do not have to live in this type of suffering. Anxiety treatment is available. 
  7. You have difficulty settling and relaxing. People with anxiety tend to feel more “on edge” a great deal of the time and may struggle with sitting still, introspective tools like meditation, and prefer to match their internal energy by always being busy. This is exhausting, however, and does not help with positive health outcomes. Feel free to read our other blog posts on ‘Why Is It So Hard to Relax’ and ‘20 Quick and Easy Relaxation Strategies’ to support you in your anxiety counselling Calgary journey. 
  8. You have thought about seeking anxiety treatment. You do, ultimately, know yourself best and if you have been worried about anxiety or another mental health condition for awhile now, I would encourage you to seek out supportive resources rather than wait and wonder. Mental health issues are progressive and anxiety treatment can be a bit more difficult if we wait and you owe it to yourself to have the life you deserve today.
  9. Others have expressed concern. Sometimes we may be ignoring internal warning signs about an issue but others have noticed that we are not ourselves or seem to be struggling. While our loved ones are likely not trained professionals, they do know us and may have a good sense of when it might be worth further exploration and potential anxiety counselling Calgary exploration.
  10. You have specific, limiting symptoms and fears. Specific phobias that prevent you from doing certain things is a common indicator of an anxiety issue. Whether this is a phobia, panic, agoraphobia, or other anxiety condition, it would be worth exploration of anxiety counselling.
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With anxiety treatment, you can explore self-guided resources like meditation, workbooks, workshops, exercise, reading/education and more to support yourself. This would likely be best done in conjunction with professional support, whether from a medical professional and/or a mental health professional who can help you explore medication and/or tools to address symptoms and lead to an improvement in quality of life.

Anxiety Counselling Calgary

At Sana Psychological, we use an eclectic blend of evidence-based methods to treat anxiety, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy which helps us restructure unhelpful thoughts, Dialectical Behavior Therapy which helps us navigate uncomfortable emotions, Exposure Response Prevention which helps with repetitive, compulsive behaviours, and more. These therapies all help address underlying roots of anxiety in different ways leading to an improved quality of life.

We invite you to learn more about our team here and their areas of specialty. 

If you are not able to access anxiety counselling Calgary or Airdrie, we offer virtual services in other areas or we encourage you to seek out treatment in your local area. 

There is Hope with Anxiety Counselling Calgary

Anxiety is a very treatable condition and this can lead to an improved quality of life. Imagine being less restricted by the fears that your brain keeps throwing at you and, instead, being able to live happily, joyously, and freely into the future. This is possible with anxiety counselling Calgary.

Paige Abbott is the owner and one of a team of Registered Psychologists at Sana Psychological. This small group specializes in Addiction and Mental Health and provide anxiety counselling in addition to other services. We are here to help improve your quality of life. 

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