Anxiety is an unpleasant combination of emotions that is often accompanied by physical sensations such as heart palpitations (irregular heart beat), nausea, angina (chest pain), shortness of breath, tension headaches, and nervousness which makes it hard for most people to relax. In some cases anxiety can lead to panic attacks.
Anxiety is different from stress, because stress lasts only a few hours to up to a day while anxiety may last up to six months.
What causes it? An underlying medical condition, trauma, medication and nutritional deficiencies are some of the causes of an individual’s anxiety.
What are my treatment options? Often, anxiety disorders are treated with medications, specific types of psychotherapy, or both. Medications are not always needed however. The treatment choices depend on the symptoms and individuals needs, these are based discused not only with your doctor but also a related health care practitioner such as a psychologist, psychotherapist or naturopathic doctor.
The Psychotherapeutic Approach:
In psychodynamic therapy, stress and anxiety are seen symptoms of an underlying conflict. This conflict can be triggered by a current experience but linked to past experiences, unresolved conflicts or traumas from your family of origin and childhood.
These unresolved struggles and conflicts currently aren't immediately accessible to you. In working through these kinds of conflicts and unresolved struggles, bringing them into your awareness, the idea is that you can reduce your anxiety over time. Also learning techniques to help reduce anxiety and stress management.
Psycho-emotional therapy approach is to help the individual bring awareness to the underlying cause of the anxiety and to teach techniques to help manage and reduce stress and anxiety through:
* Awareness of initial signs of stress/anxiety reaction. How to identify when you are experiencing the onset of the anxiety/stress. How does your body respond/react.
* Relaxation/grounding techniques through deep breathing techniques, Guided imagery/Meditation, progressive relaxation techniques, Cognitive techniques
* Relationship review: Includes a review of past hurts, explores forgiveness options, communication of feelings and the ability to listen.
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