Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress

How to Harness the Power of Anxiety (Stress & Panic Attacks)

In my private practice I see more patients suffering with anxiety issues than any other mental health concern. Anxiety is prevalent in my individual work, in my couple work and in my family work. An anxious spouse, child or co-worker can be difficult to relate to because their symptoms may be hard to understand. “Why can’t they just stop!” is a comment I often hear from a concerned spouse or parent. Oh, that it were that easy to accomplish! It may seem to onlookers like the anxious individual is being overly dramatic, needlessly turning molehills into mountains of worry. Sometimes they are accused of attention seeking behaviors. To be sure an individual‘s severe anxiety effects the entire family – it is true that when one suffers with anxiety everyone suffers.

Levels of anxiety and client concern regarding disruption of “normal” life function run the gamut from mild flurries of situational anxiety (such as nervousness prior to speaking before a group), to moderate anxiety (such as recurrent worries and ruminating thoughts that get in the way of focus and concentration), to severe, debilitating anxiety which gets in the way of life in general (such as inability to leave the house due to fear of what might happen or fear of panic attacks in public).

Anxiety when harnessed and controlled can be quite a good motivator. Think of the dedicated student who worries about good grades and dives right into homework instead of procrastinating with a video game for hours.

The key to harnessing and controlling anxiety is to attempt to understand its trigger by tracing it back to its original roots. This is the work we do in therapy.

How to Recognize Anxiety Symptoms as Manifested in the Physical Body

Anxiety training will teach you to become more in tune with your body. You’ll slowly be able to recognize and understand the first thing you feel when the initial twinge of anxiety strikes. By developing that awareness of what the very first physical symptom of anxiety feels like in your body, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to slow the anxiety down or control it entirely.

Some examples of early anxiety symptoms that you might feel in your body include:
  • Feeling a slight pressure in your chest
  • Realizing that you are speaking more quickly and more loudly than normal
  • Recognizing that your hands are shaking
  • Realizing that you are suddenly sweating
  • Becoming aware that you’re breathing rapidly
  • Realizing that your heart is beating faster than usual
  • Becoming flushed in the face
  • Suddenly feeling butterflies in your stomach

Learn Techniques for Stress Relief and Warding off a Panic Attack

In session we will talk about other interventions – from breathing techniques to consulting with the rational side of your brain, to putting the worry on a scale, plus many more useful strategies. Clients find these strategies to be incredibly helpful in reducing and ultimately controlling or harnessing anxiety

For information about treating anxiety, panic attacks and depression with psychotropic drugs, click here .