Has Worry & Anxiety Taken Control of Your Life?
- Does excessive worrying make it difficult for you to focus and stay present with friends and family members?
- Are you constantly nervous, under stress or feel on edge?
- Do you suffer from muscle tension, soreness or fatigue due to stress?
- Do you wonder if your thoughts and feelings are magnified and blown out of proportion?
- Are you so focused on the future that you cannot enjoy the present moment?
- Do you wish you could quiet your mind and find peace?
Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Everyone struggles with elevated stress and worries sometimes. However, for some people, normal stress crosses the line over into anxiety. And, anxiety is far more common than you may think. Anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million Americans each year.
Generalized anxiety can impact all aspects of your life. You might find that uncomfortable, looping thoughts and feelings keep you from focusing and staying present. Perhaps reasonable worries become magnified in your mind, or maybe what might be an appropriate reaction in the moment continues to cause you stress long after the threat has passed. For instance, you may worry about your child crossing the street well after he or she has crossed safely. GAD can be debilitating, causing you to worry most of the day, most days. You may have physical symptoms, too, such as muscle tension, TMJ, neck and back soreness, tension, irritability and jumpiness. You may feel alone, like you are the only person who worries this way. But, GAD is very common—and very treatable.
There is often a genetic component to GAD, and you may notice similar symptoms in family members. In fact, you may even have become accustomed to worry as a way of life and not realize that things could be different. GAD can also be triggered by high-stress situations or bad experiences, and if you have found yourself suddenly overcome with worry, you may think, “I never used to be like this.”
Constant worrying and living with anxiety can prevent you from doing what you need to do. It may be difficult to concentrate because you are constantly preoccupied. You may find that your mind is always moving, but that incessant worry takes the place of useful thinking. You may struggle at work due to concentration difficulties. In relationships, you may find that you have a hard time staying present. You may find that when worry pushes you into the future, it poisons the present moment. If all this sounds familiar, rest assured—there is hope. With generalized anxiety disorder treatment, you can learn to manage and even free yourself from anxiety and enjoy your life again.
Therapy for Anxiety & Worry Can Help You Quiet Your Mind and Focus on the Present
The anxiety therapists at Eddins Counseling Group can help you better understand the impact of your anxiety. Treating generalized anxiety disorder can involve different steps depending on your symptoms. Using tried and true calming techniques, mindfulness skills, coping strategies, supportive, interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapy, we can teach you how to effectively respond to the uncomfortable thoughts, feeling and body sensations that characterize anxiety. Rather than experiencing situations as threatening, you can learn to see them more realistically and respond with confidence, rather than fear.
Because GAD is often accompanied by physical symptoms, from tension to shortness of breath, we may teach you physical coping strategies as part of your treatment for GAD. Behavioral skills and relaxation techniques can also help to reduce symptoms and help return you to the present moment. Practicing these skills in therapy sessions makes it easier to implement them in everyday life. Instead of getting hooked by anxious thoughts, you can learn how to unhook yourself and watch the worries pass by without engaging them.
Other Generalized Anxiety Treatment Considerations
People living with GAD can also experience related symptoms such as depression, other anxiety symptoms such as panic or anxiety attacks, or substance use.
Sometimes, generalized anxiety can function as a distraction from an underlying emotion. As we begin to explore the roots of your anxiety, other issues may emerge. If that’s the case, your therapist can gently and compassionately help you address underlying concerns, from depression to problems in childhood. Other treatment options for generalized anxiety include medication, which can result in reduced anxiety and depression symptoms. Our anxiety disorder treatment plans are personalized, and we will work with you as an individual, responding to your specific needs and concerns.
With generalized anxiety disorder treatment, you can calm your anxious thoughts and stay present with yourself and your loved ones. It is possible to live a life that isn’t controlled by fear and worry. When you learn to relax into the present moment, you can find joy in your life and discover the balanced energy necessary to pursue your goals, strengthen your relationships and appreciate life.
You may still have questions or concerns about generalized anxiety disorder treatment…
I’m afraid treatment for GAD won’t help.
Part of anxiety is the feeling that it will never stop, that this is just the way things are and there is no possibility of change. Fortunately, GAD is treatable, and treatment of generalized anxiety frequently leads to significant reduction in worry, as well as promotes a sense of well-being and increased confidence. In sessions, you can learn skills for handling anxiety when it does arise. Armed with tools and strategies for responding to anxiety symptoms, you can handle the challenges that your mind (and the world) throws at you. Having the ability to cope with worry and stress creates a positive feedback loop—when you’re not worried about worrying, you are free to focus on living a life that is productive, joyful, and peaceful.
Shouldn’t I be able to deal with this on my own?
Your friends and family have a hard time understanding your GAD. They may minimize your symptoms, not understanding that the anxiety you struggle with is different than the everyday worry that most people experience. Perhaps you even downplay your symptoms yourself, trying to power through your day. And, if family members also struggle with untreated anxiety, your experience may seem normal to you. All of this can make it seem unnecessary to seek help. But help is available, and there is no need to suffer alone. Our therapists can help you better understand the effects GAD has had on your life and work with you on ways to feel and function better. You deserve a life that’s not limited by anxiety, and treatment for GAD can help you achieve that.
It seems that I worry all the time—how can one anxiety therapy appointment a week help?
Your therapist can provide you with skills that you can put into practice immediately. You can take what you learn in therapy with you out into the world to cope better with your daily life. In addition to teaching coping skills and exploring emotional issues, your therapist can help you look at all the factors in your life that may be contributing to your anxiety. For instance, many people who are prone to anxiety often have lifestyle habits that exacerbate their GAD. Your therapist may talk with you about changes you can make, such as cutting back on caffeine, which can reduce anxiety symptoms. Therapy for anxiety is a small investment in time that can transform your life.
Get Help for Generalized Anxiety & Worry
Learn skills to cope with your anxiety. Give us a call at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online. You can also contact us to find out more about anxiety disorder treatment in Houston.