We all encounter anxiety from time to time. It’s an important part of our lived experience along with other emotions such as sadness and joy. However, sometimes anxiety can grow into an ever present experience that leaves us feeling scared and insecure. We often feel we have to put on a brave face and suffer in silence, which can make us feel isolated and alone. Believing that we are the only ones who feel this way it seems that everyone else is more confident and happier than we are which further amplifies our anxiety and isolation.
Anxiety like this can become all consuming. It can keep us stuck, feeling very vulnerable and render us unable to function as we would like to. Our relationships can suffer as well as our career and our general sense of well being. Panic attacks, insomnia, use of drugs and alcohol, withdrawal and depression can be some of the symptoms. However, it doesn’t have to be like this. Through exploring our experiences and the potential causes we can learn to master our fears rather than being overpowered and controlled by them.
This may take some time but therapy for anxiety can create a safe space in which to face our fears, to understand where they might be coming from and what we can do about them.
When anxiety forms from within the family dynamic or through the school experience it can develop into social anxiety/social phobia. This is the fear of people, social situations and performance related scenarios such as public speaking and being in the spotlight. Many people struggle with stress and personal discomfort for years without understanding they might be experiencing social anxiety. One to one therapy and group work can help with social anxiety and there are many great group projects now running all over the country. For more information please visit my resources page.