COUNSELLING FOR ANXIETY
Some of the issues that might cause anxiety to develop
Some of the symptoms you may be experiencing with your anxiety:
Is your anxiety panic or anxiety based?
They stress that it is possible to experience both panic and anxiety-based disorders at the same time.
• Lasts for minutes
• Shaking or trembling
• Chest pain
• Hot flashes
• Sense of detachment
• Gradually builds
• Can last for months
• Muscle tension
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you are experiencing PTSD, this will have been triggered by a terrifying event and may have developed a few weeks after the event, but may not develop until years later.
- being easily startled
- suicidal thoughts
- feeling disconnected
- guilt and shame
- self-destructive behaviour
- being quick to anger and many more
How will I work with your anxiety?
It is often a ghastly cocktail of the worst of the hurts from childhood with some unpleasant adult experiences thrown in. These beliefs determine how the person reacts in day-to-day events. If I tell myself I am unlovable or a failure, I will have memories of feeling that as a child and perhaps the disdain on a parent’s face and I will probably reprimand myself in the tone of that adult.
If I go into a social situation, I will be monitoring myself for failures. If I am unable to complete a task about which I am phobic, I will bully myself after. When I get home, I will rewind and play back those perceived failures and berate myself in the tone of the critical parent (and anyone else who I perceive as having negative feelings for me).
This will go on until the next perceived failure happens to me and I start to ruminate on that. As such, the thought of putting myself through a social situation or trying to make myself do something fear inducing becomes unbearable.
What can we do about this in counselling?
When we meet for a consultation, we can talk about the kind of anxiety you have. It doesn’t matter if you have a diagnosis, whether you have been anxious for your whole life or if it is a recent adaptation. If you decide to work with me, we will begin the process of investigating why it has been necessary for anxiety to develop for you. We will discover how you are talking to yourself and challenge that approach.
We will work at improving your relationship with yourself so that you begin to accept yourself and like yourself more, which will lessen the anxiety that you are experiencing.
Read on if you are interested in theories of the brain and anxiety, but don’t worry if you don’t want to – it really isn’t necessary to the work we will do.
- Mammals did not evolve from reptiles, but rather both evolved from a shared fish-type ancestor https://drsarahmckay.com/rethinking-the-reptilian-brain/ https://allyouneedisbiology.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/amniota-evolution/
- Numerous studies have found that reptiles do in fact have an amygdala (or at least regions of the brain that operate in the same way as the amygdala) and that they are capable of emotional learninghttps://www.intechopen.com/chapters/41591. Damage in these areas, leads to changes in aggression, avoidance, reproductive behaviour and parental care. This undermines the understanding that it is the lizard part of the human brain, devoid of emotion, that is responsible for behaviour thought to be unreasonable. Furthermore, a number of studies have found that reptiles do feel emotions.
- Neuroscientist Dr Lisa Feldman Barrett, conducted a meta-analysis, analysing data from all published neuroimaging studies on emotions over a 20-year period, to establish whether any particular area of the brain consistently demonstrated activity in relation to a particular emotion. When participants were experiencing fear, only 25% showed amygdala activity and in studies regarding perceived fear, only 40%.
- Furthermore, Barrett’s meta-analysis showed that the amygdala was activated by a variety of situations, such as when learning new information, perceiving pain and meeting new people.