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3310 W Big Beaver Rd Troy, MI 48084
Your heart is pounding and you feel like you can't catch your breath. You're dizzy and your vision blurs. Thoughts rush around your head so fast that you can't focus on any of them. You start getting afraid that you might faint- what would everyone think if that were to happen? Then you'd be the freak that fainted! Geez, you'd never live that one down!
Do you find yourself getting anxious for no reason at all? Or maybe when you have to talk with people you don't know you get so anxious that you can't talk and instead end up hiding in a corner, once again disappointed in yourself. Do you worry about what others are thinking about you? Are your panic attacks out of control and you don't even want to leave the house out of fear that you'll have one and embarrass yourself?
Or Maybe This Sounds Like You...
Maybe your anxiety focuses on a certain thing like spiders, flying, or germs. You certainly can't be around that thing! Heck, you can't even think about it without breaking out in a cold sweat. And it's keeping you from spending time with your family and friends, not to mention that it's very embarrassing! You can't help but ask yourself what's wrong with you that you can't just stop it! It seems like everyone else just effortlessly goes through life.
This anxiety is keeping you as an observer of your own life. You always are on the outside looking in, rather than being an active participant in your own life. Wouldn't you like to be in control for a change rather than being controlled by your anxiety?
The Different Faces
Anxiety can take many different forms and effects everyone a little bit differently. However, there are several different recognized anxiety diagnoses. These are some of the types of anxiety that I have worked with:
Generalized Anxiety- This is you if you have excessive anxiety, but it's not really about anything in particular and is in a number of different places and circumstances.
Social Anxiety- social anxiety is notable by the anxiety felt in social situations, or when you feel scrutinized or judged by people around you. It can affect you at work, when you are at play, or when you have to perform (like giving a speech or a presentation in front of others). If often is the fear that you will be embarrassed or rejected.
Specific Phobias- This is when a very specific thing triggers your anxiety, like a fear of flying, driving over bridges, spiders, or of blood.
OCD- or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is primarily an anxiety disorder that effects your thoughts (obsessions) and your behavior (compulsions). People with OCD have recurrent anxiety-producing thoughts which they attempt to control with repetitive, ritualistic behaviors that feel driven to do.
Panic Disorder- is a person who repeatedly has debilitating panic attacks that can make it difficult to live your life. It can often morph into a fear of having more panic attacks.
You Are Not Alone
If you have anxiety, then you know what it is like to feel completely alone and like no one understands you. However, the truth is that anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the US today. There are over 40 million adults over the age of 18 every year diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and there are perhaps many more who never seek treatment.
There are several different anxiety disorders including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Panic disorder. But no matter which type of anxiety you suffer from, they all share the fact that the anxiety can be completely disruptive to your life. All of these different anxiety disorders also tend to share a tendency to avoid whatever brings your anxiety on. Unfortunately, this avoidance can often make your anxiety worse.
Getting Your Life Back
The good news is that talking therapy can be very effective in helping you tame your anxiety. It is actually one of the most treatable mental health conditions. Many people are able to reduce their anxiety after just a few sessions, and most people are able to reduce or completely eliminate their anxiety after a couple of months. I like to use techniques from several different theories, a few of which I have listed below:
Treatments We Might Try Together...
CBT is one of the most studied and proven psychotherapies that we have available currently. There are several different techniques used in CBT to help with anxiety which focus on changing your thoughts and beliefs to effect a change in your feelings. Currently, this is the preferred therapy for anxiety because it is so effective and generally works faster than other methods. This is why I almost always include at least some CBT techniques when I'm working with someone who is experiencing anxiety.
Mindfulness therapy uses various exercises to focus your attention on the here and now. This can be particularly helpful with anxiety as anxiety is often caused by worrying about either the future or the past. Mindfulness techniques can help you learn to relax, decrease the symptoms of anxiety, and to increase your resiliency so you are better able to cope with all the things life throws at you.
Problem-Solving Therapy does just what you would expect! It helps you to clarify your issues and find various solutions to try until you find one that works for you. Together we can problem-solve different solutions that you will be able to use in your everyday life.
Relaxation and Stress Reduction in which you learn various techniques to calm the fight or flight response of your body, reducing the overall effects and sensations of anxiety. This helps to stop that anxiety spiral from getting out of control, allowing you to address the situation that brought on the anxiety.
EFT Tapping works on the principles of acupressure to calm your body and mind by applying pressure or tapping on various points while focusing on the stressful or traumatic situation.
Medications can often work well alongside talk therapy. If you want to explore this option, talk with your doctor or psychiatrist about your symptoms and your goals. Know that if you do decide to use medications that this does not in any way make you weaker. Anxiety is a very real psychiatric disorder with physical symptoms that can be aided by medications.
Questions You Might Be
Does going to therapy mean I'm crazy?
No, absolutely not! Your decision to start therapy shows that you are strong enough and brave enough to know when you need a little help and are willing to ask for it. People go to therapy every day for help dealing with problems they're having in their lives.
I'm worried that a diagnosis will follow me and hurt me in the future.
One of the advantages of offering therapy where you pay for it, and not your insurance, is that you do not have to be given a medical diagnosis. Insurances insist that all treatment is "medically necessary" and want a diagnosis to prove this, and this is why at times therapists are forced to give medical diagnoses. But once insurance is taken out of the equation, a diagnosis does not necessarily need to be given. Another advantage of not dealing with your insurance is that there is no need to share your records with anyone and they will be kept confidential following ACA guidelines.
Will I be forced to take medications?
Absolutely not! Medication can at times be helpful as an adjunct to anxiety therapy, but study after study has shown that therapy alone can be extremely helpful. I will follow your lead on this and respect your decision to either take medications or to not. When you start therapy with me, it is YOUR thoughts and feelings that take center stage. Therapy works at its best when we are able to work together as a team, and so I will never try to force you into something that you don't want.
So the question now becomes whether we are a good fit to work together. If you want more information about me, you can check out the about page here. Or, contact me today using the button below to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation so we can discuss this further. I look forward to hearing from you!
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