There are many different forms that anxiety, worries and fears can take. Below are just some of the different kinds of anxiety that I work with. Click on the heading links below to get more information about each one.
A variety of treatment approaches have been shown to work with the various forms of anxiety. When we meet feel free to discuss with me which one(s) might be right for you.
If you have generalized anxiety disorder you get worried and stressed about many things almost every day. You have a hard time controlling your worry and may often worry about money, family, health, or work. You may often experience uncomfortable physical symptoms, including fatigue and sore muscles, and you may also have trouble sleeping and concentrating. (additional sources: AnxietyBC and MyHealth.Alberta)
If you struggle with perfectionism you may be often praised for your abilities, but being constantly anxious about details can hold you back and keep you from reaching your full potential. This perfectionism is a chronic source of stress, and may often leave you feeling that you are a failure. This constant expectation is a source of stress and contributes to unhelpful ways of coping. Perfectionism involves inappropriate levels of expectations, intangible goals (i.e. perfection), and a constant lack of satisfaction, regardless of your performance. (additional source: "When Perfect Isn't Good Enough" by Martin Antony)
If you struggle with Pure Obsessions Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Pure O - OCD) you suffer with a special type of unwanted thought intrusion called obsessions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent intrusive thoughts, images or impulses that are unwanted, personally unacceptable and cause significant distress. Even though you may try very hard to suppress the obsession or cancel out its negative effects, it continues to reoccur in an uncontrollable fashion. Often the compulsive rituals involved in soothing the distress these intrusive thoughts cause does not involve the classic ritualistic repetitive actions we often see associated with OCD (hand washing, knocking, counting, etc.) but can involve checking and rechecking with yourself, analyzing and reanalyzing yourself, and repetitively and cyclicly seeking reassurance from others. (additional sources: AnxietyBC and IntrusiveThoughts.org)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop after an individual has experienced, witnessed or been repeatedly exposed to a major trauma. If you have PTSD, along with many other possible symptoms, you may experience panic attacks, which are sudden feelings of fear or worry that something bad is about to happen. You may also become extremely upset or feel very anxious whenever you are confronted with a person, place, situation, or conversation that reminds you of the trauma. You may also feel on guard all the time. PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not happen until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. (additional sources: AnxietyBC and MyHealth.Alberta)
Phobias are intense, persistent fears about specific places, situations or things. If you have a phobia it may be hard for you to go to places you would like to go or do things you would like to do. This may be because you find yourself doing whatever you can to avoid the uncomfortable and often terrifying feelings that occur when you are faced with your phobia. If you have a phobia, you may feel a wide range of intense emotions, from mild anxiety to very severe panic and terror when confronted with your phobia. If you are struggling with a phobia the focus of your fear is often anticipated harm or danger related to the situation or object, or fear of losing control and having anxiety- related physical sensations. (additional sources: AnxietyBC and MyHealth.Alberta)
If you struggle with health anxiety you experience fears of having or developing a serious illness or disease (such as cancer, heart disease, or MS). If you experience health anxiety you may have high levels of worry, with a substantial focus on bodily symptoms, repeatedly check yourself for signs and symptoms related to your health concerns, focus on death and dying, and engage in frequent efforts to get reassurance from family members, friends, or health care professionals. Your worries may be triggered by experiences such as everyday symptoms (a skipped heartbeat, a headache), a frightening experience such as finding a breast lump, or coping with illness or death of a loved one. Your anxiety may also be triggered by stories about health issues in the community or media. (additional sources: AnxietyBC)
A panic attack is a sudden, intense fear or anxiety that may make you short of breath or dizzy or make your heart pound. If you've experienced panic attacks you may feel out of control, believe you're having a heart attack or are about to die. Panic attacks can be scary and be so bad that they may get in the way of your daily activities. Panic attacks usually lasts from 5 to 20 minutes, but may last even longer, up to a few hours, with the most anxiety about 10 minutes after the attack starts. If these attacks happen often you may have what is called a panic disorder. More women than men get panic attacks. (additional sources: AnxietyBC and MyHealth.Alberta)
Social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety. If you experience social anxiety you may tend to feel quite nervous or uncomfortable in social situations. You may feel very concerned that you will do something embarrassing or humiliating, or that others will think badly of you. As a result you may likely feel very self-conscious and constantly "on stage." If you experience social anxiety it can occur in any situation in which you and at least 1 other person are present. You may experience your social anxiety in either performance situations (i.e., public speaking, participating in classes or meetings, eating in front of others, etc.) and/or interpersonal interactions (i.e., meeting new people, talking to friends or coworkers, dating, being assertive, etc.). (additional sources AnxietyBC and MyHealth.Alberta)