What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural response to stressful or threatening situations. In life, it is a healthy emotion that allows us to respond to threats and take action to avoid danger. However, anxiety disorders are different from normal anxiety because they involve unrealistic fears and worries that interfere with daily life. These fears may not be based on anything specific but are usually associated with everyday events such as going to work, attending social functions, or managing finances.
Counselling for Anxiety
If you're suffering from anxiety, you may feel like it's impossible to get out of the cycle of worry that keeps you stuck in an anxious state of mind. But with the support of a professional anxiety counsellor, you can learn to recognize triggers and challenge the unhelpful beliefs that cause your anxiety. Also, counsellors provide helpful coping strategies so you can start making positive changes in your life.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
People with generalized anxiety, also called GAD, are often anxious about many things in their life as opposed to just one specific thing. It can also be called "free-floating" anxiety because it doesn't seem to have a specific trigger.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by a fear of being in unfamiliar social situations and being around other people. The individual may worry about being judged or seen in a negative light.
Individuals with performance anxiety have a fear of performing in public settings such as school, work, or theatre. They often fear public speaking, exams, or performing in front of an audience which is also called stage fright.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by intrusive and unwanted thoughts and feelings known as obsession, as well as the compulsive behaviours meant to relieve anxiety associated with those obsessions.
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When someone has a panic attach, they experience a surge of panic and anxiety that cause physical symptoms. These attacks can be triggered by certain situations or objects such as tight spaces, crowds and even confrontations.
A phobia is an irrational fear that causes an individual to actively avoid certain situations or places. Phobias are often linked to a traumatic event in the person’s past such as a car accident or being attacked by an animal.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
What is GAD?
Generalized anxiety is typically characterized by excessive worry, tension, and restlessness. It's not unusual to feel anxious when you have an important test coming up, are meeting someone new, or are in the middle of moving to a new city. But, GAD is different in that it happens on a regular basis even when there aren't any specific events or stressors going on in your life. It can be difficult to manage on your own and is often accompanied by other mental health concerns, such as depression.
Counselling teaches people how to manage their anxiety with techniques that will help them relax and calm down throughout the day. Counsellors also help individuals recognize and challenge the unhelpful beliefs that exacerbate the anxiety. The goal of therapy is not only to reduce symptoms but also to help find ways to make life feel more manageable in the long term.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
What is SAD?
Social anxiety disorder, or SAD, is a type of anxiety disorder that causes intense fear, worry, and self-consciousness in social situations. It's normal to feel some nervousness or anxiety when you're in a new situation, but with social anxiety disorder, these feelings are so overwhelming that they interfere with day-to-day life. You may be afraid of saying something inappropriate or fear being judged by others. This might cause you to avoid work and school because you're afraid of being in front of other people.
Counselling can help you understand yourself better, build confidence in yourself and your abilities, and give you the tools necessary for making lasting changes in your life. It can be a great way to learn how to cope with your fears so that you can start feeling more comfortable interacting with others and live a more fulfilling life!
What is Performance Anxiety?
Performance anxiety causes you to fear performing in front of others. You may fear being evaluated, judged, or embarrassed. This fear can make it difficult to perform tasks that involve public speaking, singing, acting, or performing in front of others. Performance anxiety is commonly associated with stage fright, but it's not limited to performing in front of an audience. It can also affect people when writing an exam, giving a speech, or presenting at work or school.
If you suffer from performance anxiety, it is important to understand what causes this fear so that you can better manage it. A counsellor will work with you to identify the root cause of your performance anxiety and develop strategies for overcoming it. They may also help you identify any negative thought patterns that contribute to your anxiety and help you change them.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
What is OCD?
Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a kind of anxiety disorder that is often characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are repetitive, intrusive thoughts that trigger strong feelings and anxiety. Compulsions are the behaviours meant to alleviate that anxiety. OCD can be as simple as repeatedly washing your hands, or it can be more complex, like spending hours each day organizing and reorganizing your bookshelves.
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Types of OCD
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a spectrum with varying levels of severity. Some people experience occasional symptoms and can still function at a high level. However, others have symptoms so debilitating that they are unable to work or complete day-to-day tasks. Regardless of the severity, OCD usually falls within one of the following categories:
The most common form of OCD involves the fear of contamination. This can be triggered by coming into contact with germs, dirt, or anything that could be contaminated. A person with this form will often feel compelled to wash their hands frequently or use hand sanitizer to prevent getting sick.
Some people compulsively check whether their doors are locked or stove burners are turned off. They check because they are plagued with intrusive thoughts of bad things happening if they don't. They often worry that they didn't check enough, so they check over and over again just to make sure they didn't forget.
Hoarding is a form of mental illness that is characterized by the compulsive collection and difficulty discarding items. They may believe that the items might be useful in the future. Even when there's no space available in their homes or offices, they experience severe distress if the items are removed.
Some people experience a compulsive need to ensure that items are symmetrical and orderly. This can include everything from the arrangement of chairs and tables to the positioning of food on the plate, as well as many other things.
In some cases, people experience obsessions surrounding superstitions or religious beliefs. When triggered, compulsive behaviours can include prayer, tapping, counting, or self-harm to relieve the fear that something bad will happen.
People who have disturbing, unwanted thoughts of violence may find relief through mental rituals. These rituals can be as simple as counting or repeating a words. This can help keep the person from acting on their violent impulses.
What is Panic Disorder?
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that causes frequent and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks involve feelings of intense terror and anxiety that strike without warning. They are often accompanied by physical symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, and nausea. It's important to note that these feelings are not dangerous and will pass once the panic attack has run its course. However, they can feel very distressing for the person experiencing them.
Therapy for panic disorder helps you learn how to recognize your triggers and manage your symptoms so that you can get back to living your life. Therapy will teach you coping skills and give you tools for keeping anxiety and panic at bay. It will also help you develop strategies for managing stressors in your life so that they don't trigger an episode.
What are Phobias?
A phobia is characterized by an irrational and extreme fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. For example, someone with a fear of heights may refuse to ride in an elevator, and someone with arachnophobia might be unable to sleep if they see a spider crawling on their wall. Phobias can be very debilitating and they can make it difficult to do everyday tasks like go to work or school. However, there are treatments available for people who suffer from phobias such as exposure therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.
We all have fears, but when those fears take over our lives and make us feel powerless, it's time to get help. Counselling is a great way to work through the root of your phobia and find solutions that work for you. It can help you understand why you're afraid and what triggers your anxiety. The goal is to help you get to a point where the subject of your fear has no more power over you.
Anxiety Disorder Therapists
Virtual and In-Person
Registered Psychologist M.A.C.P
$220 per hour
Arian has over 10 years of experience providing counselling to adult individuals and couples with anger issues, anxiety, trauma & PTSD, relationship issues, depression, identity concerns, low self-esteem, work-related issues, and more.
Virtual & In-Person
Mental Health Therapist MSW, RSW
$200 per hour
Michelle works with individuals who are living with anger issues, anxiety, childhood trauma, codependency, domestic violence, grief & loss, personality disorders, PTSD, self esteem issues, and more.
Virtual & In-Person
$200 per hour
Dailyn works with individuals, couples, and youth with a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, developmental disorders, depression, trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, gender and sexuality, families, trauma and more.