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Why am I so Anxious?

Feelings of anxiety are normal.

People who are not normally anxious may be experiencing some changes in their lives that can contribute to anxiety. A move, a job change, concern for the future, a change in family obligations, or a change of family members are all examples of normal life changes that can evoke feelings of anxiety and distress.

If you are experiencing any (but not limited to) the following symptoms, perhaps it is time to assess whether anxiety is beginning to play a bigger role in your life than you realize.

Examples of how anxiety is beginning to wear out its welcome in you can look like:

  • Crying and depressive symptoms
  • Physical pain/symptoms (headaches, racing heart, upset stomach, tics)
  • Inability to complete tasks and concentrate

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is especially helpful when a person encounters excessive anxiety. This type of therapy enables the client to collaborate with the therapist about what
thoughts and dysfunctional methods of thinking contribute to feelings of anxiety. These reasons can be anything from long-standing family of origin issues, trauma, or can be related to contextual situations the person is currently experiencing. For more information about anxiety-related disorders, visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. If you would like to begin therapy for excessive anxiety, call us at our Northshore (Mandeville) or Southshore (Metairie) locations to make an appointment.

Micah P. Hatchett, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC
Clinical Director, Northshore & Southshore Counseling & Wellness

‘Tis the Season to be… Managing holiday stress

December is the month for many things: gift giving, family reunions, parties, and a general message that this is a time where people should be happy.  However, for some people it can be a lonely time, and one when the conviviality of others reinforces a sense of isolation.   It can also be a challenging time for people who just don’t have the money to meet either their own feelings of generosity or the pressure created by the marketing of consumer products.  Despite all the idealized wishes for everyone in the family to get together and get along, there can be an underbelly of tension as some relatives rediscover why they don’t see each other that often throughout the rest of the year as well as some wishing to recapture feelings (real or fantasized) of how things were “back in the old days”.

People are used to having normal routines and the human mind craves regularity which may not mesh well with the increased obligations of the holiday season. Suggestions to cope with holiday stressors are to first realize that the stress and pressure of holidays are real, and that it will soon pass.  It’s OK to feel temporarily blue, but try not to fall into a rut.  It’s also important not to isolate yourself and to acknowledge that you may need more support during the holidays. It’s also a good idea to be moderate in daily activities, including shopping, socializing, eating, and drinking, and to continue to participate in typical activities such as reading or working out. Anticipate the season, pace yourself, and give yourself permission to put breaks in your schedule.

Kristen UnKauf, PhD