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Counseling for Anxiety


What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can be experienced as racing thoughts, excessive worry, or even express itself as physical symptoms  such as chest pain. If you are suffering from anxiety in the Lake Norman area, you are not alone. Anxiety is the most common mental health issue plaguing Americans. Every year, thousand of people end up in emergency rooms feeling that they are about to die, only to later find out they were having a panic attack.

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
  • Feelings of panic or dread
  • Difficulty focusing or thinking clearly
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • A strong desire to avoid things that trigger anxious feelings

Anxiety IS treatable!

There are many different kinds of anxiety. All of us have most likely experienced anxious feelings in our life. For some people, though, these feelings rarely go away. If you are distressed by your anxiety, it interferes with daily living, or you are using drugs or alcohol to cope, then you should reach out for help! Some people suffer from General Anxiety Disorder, meaning they experience near constant worry and anxiety about everyday activities and events. Other people suffer from Social Anxiety  when required to be in large groups of people or when the focus of attention in a group. Some people experience intense Panic Attacks or have Obsessive Compulsive symptoms and others do not. Once any of these types of anxiety is identified, it can be treated through counseling, and when necessary, a referral for medication management. The first step is an accurate diagnosis after thorough assessment. Your counselor will ask questions to identify when symptoms first began, how long they have gone on, and how they are impacting daily living. Jennifer Coleman has a decade of experience in identifying and treating mild to moderately severe anxiety and panic disorder in adults and adolescents.

Jennifer has experience helping clients with anxiety get back to wellness.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proven to be one of the most effective methods for dealing with anxiety, but there are many lifestyle changes that help as well. Avoiding caffeine and nicotine and getting plenty of sleep can help. Jennifer understands that treating anxiety successfully is a multi-step process that involves changing our thinking, our activity, and ultimately, our biochemistry. Often, treatment begins with small concrete steps and ends with lasting change. Sometimes this means changing what we are saying in our heads. Sometimes it means learning to tolerate mild physical symptoms and finding our calm space instead of triggering panic. Sometimes it means practicing mindfulness and curiosity about what our anxiety is telling us.

No matter what the issue beneath your anxiety, Jennifer can help.

Anxiety can be situation-triggered, or it can seem like our “default” setting in living. Even if some level of anxiety is the way we are hard-wired biochemically, we can have an effect on our own biochemistry by exercising, eating well, using appropriate medication, and even by changing our thinking. You can check this out for truth based on your own experience. If you’ve ever gotten a runner’s high, you changed your own chemistry. If you’ve ever felt calmer & less stressed after a workout, ditto. The same thing applies to thinking: If you have a scary or stressful thought, stress hormones and corticosteroids flood your bloodstream. Telling ourselves negative messages on a consistent basis leads to high levels of stress hormones and the experience of chronic stress. On the flip side, experiencing praise from people we love (including ourselves) and getting “warm fuzzies,” feeling relaxed and confident leads to serotonin release and the physiological experience of contentment. While we may not have control over the way we are hardwired from birth, or over certain life experiences that can contribute to anxiety and depression, we can learn to manage our own contribution. Learning to regulate our own “self-talk,” and speak to ourselves with kindness, compassion and respect is an important part of this.

No matter what the source of your anxiety, Jennifer can help. Don’t suffer alone or “wait for it to get better.” Contact Jennifer today – you can have a free 20 minute phone consultation and find out for yourself if you think her services would be a good fit for what you are going through.