Anxiety is one of the more common psychological conditions that afflicts us. Its symptoms can range from the mild to the severe. On the mild end, anxiety can take the form of feelings of nervousness, jitteriness, uncertainty, and vague fear. On the most severe side, anxiety can express itself in phobias (specific fears, such as fear of leaving one’s home) as well as physical symptoms including chest pain and shortness of breath. Accompanying these can be more specific fears such as one is dying or going crazy.

Where Does Anxiety Come From ?

There is no single cause for anxiety. Daily stress, eating and exercise habits, lack of sleep, substance use, genetics and family history, as well as individual coping strategies can all contribute to anxiety as a symptom. Fortunately, there are many ways of dealing with the immediate discomfort of the anxiety as well as its underlying causes.

Often, when we experience anxiety and its symptoms, we find that there is something in our lives that we’re avoiding. Perhaps it’s an unpleasant situation or a distressing memory, but the more we try to push it away, the closer and more insistently it comes towards us, creating worry, distress, or uncertainty. Of course, we avoid things for good reason, generally because we find the thing we’re avoiding to be threatening in some way. What psychotherapy can do is to help you to examine in a safe and secure place, just how threatening that thought, person, event, or memory really is and to come up with alternatives that fit better with your life and who you want to be.