Is anxiety holding you back? Often symptoms of anxiety start small but end up snowballing and before we know it, they seem to be taking over our well being. For some of us, just getting out of bed in the morning can be a hurdle. When we feel anxious or afraid, it can be difficult to de-escalate the feelings that are bombarding us. We feel overwhelmed and exhausted. It can be hard to remember what it was like to feel “normal.” Maybe you have felt this way since you were young and even “normal” is becoming too much. You can’t sustain feeling anxious or afraid any longer.
Have you found that:
You wake up fearful and in panic?
You’re scared of things others don’t seem to be scared of, e.g., driving, going to work, walking into class late, dealing with difficult personalities (boss, coworker, family member)?
You feel like there’s too much happening to manage? You’re overwhelmed and spinning?
Falling asleep is difficult or you struggle to stay asleep through the night?
Your temper is shorter and you end up snapping at your kids or spouse?
You crave substances to alleviate your anxiety like sweets, carbs, alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco?
You’re forgetting details or assignments? Is the quality of your work suffering?
You have difficulty relaxing and are feeling burned out?
You cry or tear up easily?
You experience panic attacks or avoid activities because you fear a panic attack?
You have obsessive thoughts that keep negatively affecting your self esteem?
You worry and feel uneasy often?
If you've experienced any of these, you're not alone. Everyone experiences some level of anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five Americans has experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year and one in three Americans will experience one in their lifetime. Anxiety is something we all work to manage and professional help can be a huge catalyst to feeling good again. If symptoms are impacting your sleep, appetite, mood, work, job, or relationships, it’s time to get anxiety treatment.
Anxiety starts for a variety of reasons, ranging from relationship issues to difficulty at work to a past event that still causes pain (e.g., a break up, authoritative parent, sexual assault, etc.). Sometimes it starts with low self esteem and not feeling successful in relationships or work. These can lead to negative obsessive thoughts that keep us feeling bad about ourselves.
Life can feel easier. When you’re in a place of feeling overwhelmed, it is hard to imagine how to feel better. The great news is that you can feel better. There are tools and ways to work through the difficulties you are experiencing. It is possible to feel good in your body and trust the world is a safe place for you. In my experience, the most difficult part is that first call to a therapist. By the time you are done with your first session, you should already be feeling some relief.
Therapy is very effective for anxiety. SSRI’s (like Zoloft or Lexipro) are only effective for 6-24 months and then the brain develops a tolerance for them. They begin to deplete the brain of serotonin, and they often stop working. Therapy either with or without medication gives a person the opportunity to look into the source of the anxiety so that they can understand it and change it. Sometimes our brains can create “false moods” when we’re lacking in one of the four major neurotransmitters and supplementing our diet with amino acids to boost these can help bring relief as well. The great thing about using amino acids is they help your body create a reservoir for the depleted amino acids so most people do not need to use them long and there are no withdrawal symptoms. I am able to help you figure out which amino acids could help restore a more balanced mood.
What is a typical session like? I have been naturally empathic since I was very young. A strength of mine is creating a safe place where people feel seen and understood. Each person who I support is unique and so I work with each person differently. Given the ample research on the benefits of mindfulness and ways it changes our brain patterns, I typically introduce or use mindfulness techniques with clients. I work with bodily sensations--where we may be holding anxiety as well as thoughts that feed anxious feelings. Additionally, we look at belief systems and how they influence our thoughts and feelings. And to people who are interested, we can look at the brain chemistry using amino acid therapy. Using your goals, we create a treatment plan that works for you. I also offer ideas of things to try outside of therapy to integrate the work we do faster. But… there are so many therapists in Boulder, what makes you the best choice for me? Great question! It can be difficult in a town like Boulder to find someone because it is hard to know where to start. I always encourage people to trust their intuition. If you feel any sense of connection while reading this, give me a call or send me an email now. I find most people discover over the course of our call whether we are a good fit. Research has shown that what makes therapy most effective is the connection you feel with your therapist. You may be reassured to know:
My clients tell me they have felt immediately at ease and safe working with me. They consistently express appreciation for my warmth, empathy, and non-judgmental nature.
I have been specializing in anxiety treatment for over 12 years. I have had my own struggles with it, and I can offer ways to manage it so you feel like you have a life again.
I focus on the root of the issues to help you find solutions in a timely way. I offer exercises to try outside of therapy to help you integrate what you do with me to expedite lasting change.
I’m trained to use amino acid therapy so we can eliminate false moods and focus on the real issues at hand.
How can seeing a therapist really help? When we are anxious, we are not present in the moment. We are typically worried about the future while our negative thoughts run rampant. This creates a loop in our brain, which triggers more anxiety. The great news about neuroplasticity and the brain, is that long-term change is possible. Unfortunately, we are not taught in school to manage our thoughts and feelings and so by the time we reach adulthood, we have many negative beliefs that automatically start steering our focus. Once we learn how to become aware and change negative cycles, we can fully live without being held back by anxious thoughts and feelings. I’m afraid that talking about anxiety will make it worse. It can be difficult to discuss anxiety. However, just beginning a conversation about it with a professional can help alleviate some of the critical thoughts that we have been saying to ourselves that makes it worse (such as, “There’s something wrong with me,” “Why can’t I figure this out on my own?”). What you’re doing now isn’t working. So why not try something different that works for millions of people?
Let’s connect! Investing in treatment will help your quality of life and pay dividends. Look at how much anxiety has already cost you in time consumed thinking about something, sleep lost, relationship issues, and the ability to experience joy and freedom. If you’re ready to have a life that is free from inner turmoil and focused on your highest self, I invite you to give me a call or send me an email right now.