What is an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety Disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse/dependence, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the Anxiety Disorder. Unlike the relatively mild and brief anxiety caused by a stressful event, Anxiety Disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if not treated. If you think that you may have an Anxiety Disorder, it is recommended that you seek assessment and treatment right away.
At HUM, we provide Calgary anxiety counselling for anxiety disorders of all types. All of our clients go through a comprehensive assessment, which includes an anxiety screening. We will discuss any family history of anxiety or other mental disorders, and take a thorough inventory of your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health. We will discuss when your symptoms started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether they have occurred before and if so, how they were treated. The team will also ask if you are using alcohol or drugs, as this can create symptoms that mimic Anxiety Disorders and/or exacerbate your experience of anxiety.
Anxiety Disorders Include:
- panic disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)
- specific phobias, and
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but all of the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear and dread. Effective treatment for Anxiety Disorders is available and can help people lead productive, fulfilling lives. Typically treatment includes psychotherapy, with or without medication, depending on the individual. The aim of psychotherapy is to allow individuals a safe space to process their emotions and experiences, while learning healthy and effective ways of coping with their symptoms and stressors.