Let’s talk about anxiety.
According to Statistics Canada, there were approximately 3 million adults in Canada who reported a mood or an anxiety disorder as of 2013. This number is astonishing, especially when considering that this number only accounts for those who likely received a formal diagnosis for disordered anxiety. When you take into account all of those who do not have a diagnosis, I would wager a guess that the number would be double or more.
We all have anxiety.
Anxiety has an evolutionary function in humans. It gets our body to respond to a real or perceived threat by getting us to fight the threat, flee from the threat, freeze to reduce the harm done to us and more. Often clients come to me and state in their goals that they want to get rid of their anxiety. To this, I explain that anxiety has a purpose and a function that is needed for our survival. Often what clients mean, is they want to manage their anxiety. When anxiousness starts impeding on a person’s ability to engage in other facets of their life, anxiety crosses the threshold from being adaptive to maladaptive.
As a trauma therapist, I often find that the root of the anxiety is based on painful past learning. For example, an adult who is experiencing anxiety may have encountered bullies growing up or had an abusive relationship. Perhaps someone was involved in a car accident years ago and still struggles with driving or being driven.
What can I do for myself?
Therapy can be a fantastic resource for those who want to understand and work through their anxiety. A trauma therapist can help you uncover where the anxiety came from, what it's purpose was, and ask you if it serves its function in your present day life. In my next blogpost, I will share some techniques in which you can start using today to help you get through moments of heightened anxiety.