I had a client who struggled with panic attacks for while before we began working together. When I met him, he had just dropped out of college and things were bleak. The first few weeks were tough, and honestly I didn’t know how it would turn out. But he was determined. After experiencing how effective one simple breathing strategy could be, he came back with renewed hope and began soaking up even more strategies for relaxing his body and brain. He was super teachable after that and learned all about the nature of his anxiety. In the end, he began to no longer fear it. I think that’s what ultimately turned it into such a smaller problem.
The Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
Everyone experiences difficult emotions from time to time: worry, sadness, anger, or lack of motivation. But for some, negative emotional experiences can become so intense and/or last for so long that significant interference occurs in your life. Your relationships suffer, and your work or school performance is compromised. Eventually, your own internal sense of joy or satisfaction is all but gone.
Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety
When stress ratchets up to an actual anxiety disorder, emotional and mental symptoms such as the following may occur:
- Worrying about many things, which seems impossible to control
- Anxiety for an event that is strongly out of proportion
- Difficulty concentrating or staying focused
- Worsening problems with indecision and uncertainty
- Over-thinking plans and solutions, though never moving forward
- Increased perfectionism, fear of failure
- Fixation on worst-case-scenario results, despite being very unlikely
- Racing or obsessive internalized thoughts
- Compulsive behaviors that seem out of control
The Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
In addition to these emotional and mental challenges of anxiety, many of the following physical symptoms also occur when anxiety is a significant problem:
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle aches & physical tension
- Headaches, nausea, diarrhea
- Worsening fatigue
- Feeling restless, keyed up or on edge
- Increased Irritability
- Panic attack symptoms
In addition to these difficult symptoms, untreated anxiety often leads to the experience of depression, which only magnifies the interference with life and distress you may feel.
Anxiety Treatment and Counseling can help
Fortunately, decades of research show that it really is possible to overcome challenges of anxiety and experience greater emotional health. The best kept secret about problems of anxiety is that effective treatment exists, with counseling being one of the most valid approaches.
What to expect from Anxiety Treatment
Medication may or may not be a part of the treatment process, but counseling with a trained clinician can offer proven strategies that help you feel more how you’d like to feel and live more how you’d like to live. One of the first components for effective anxiety counseling includes developing helpful coping skills to help with the fear. We work with our clients to build a “toolbox” of tailored strategies that bring them confidence and peace – something that has likely been missing for a while.
Second, once a person is growing in the use of effective coping skills, it’s crucial that they also begin to face their actual fears. Paradoxically, experiencing these difficult emotions and situations in new ways (rather than avoiding them) is what brings a deep emotional growth and change. For many types of anxiety, this is referred to as some type of “exposure” therapy. Our brains and bodies have an amazing ability to re-calibrate and adjust toward feelings of safety and security, rather than anxiety and fear. For other clients whose anxiety is related to important relationships, facing their fears may include taking emotional risks with their spouse, parent, or friends, in order to create more secure and strong connections.
Begin Anxiety Counseling in Greenville SC
We are committed to staying up to date on the best strategies to help our clients achieve their goals, especially when anxiety gets in the way. Our skilled counselors use clinical strategies that have the best evidence behind them, including Cognitive-Behavior therapy (CBT), and interpersonal (relationship-based) approaches, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). If you are ready to begin the journey of overcoming anxiety and finding greater emotional health, reach out to Wellspring Counseling today to learn more about individual counseling services at our Greenville, SC counseling clinic.
Other Counseling Services at Wellspring Counseling
Wellspring Counseling is a counseling clinic in Greenville, SC focused on being a source to children, teenagers and adults for improved emotional health and relationships. Therefore, we offer a wide range of mental health services, not only including treatment for anxiety, but also depression treatment, christian counseling, trauma therapy, marriage counseling, parent consulting, family counseling and counseling for teens & children.