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  • Anxiety

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    Anxiety is a normal human reaction to the stressors life presents. We all worry or feel nervous at certain times in our lives. We also need (some) anxiety to help us perform at our best at sporting events, performances, public speaking, or when we go on that date.

    But if we have too much anxiety, and it persists, then it can become hugely problematic.

    Anxiety disorders can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day life. People can struggle with school, work, social situations, or indeed everything they do. Prolonged anxiety can also seriously impact our relationships with friends and family.

    While anxiety medications can (potentially) have some short-term benefits, they are limited, and can also have potential negative side-effects.

    To the contrary, psychological treatment is highly effective at treating anxiety.

    Psychologists work alongside clients to explore the underlying cause of anxiety, and then treat the factors maintaining it. This can, and does, lead to dramatic improvements in life.

    At Now in Colour, we specialize in the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders. We can help you to manage Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD); Social Anxiety Disorder; and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    GAD - Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic, excessive, and uncontrollable worry. People with GAD can feel on edge, be easily fatigued, have difficulty concentrating, feel irritable, experience muscle tension, and have problems sleeping. People who have symptoms of GAD are more likely to experience burnout.

    GAD is one of the most common anxiety disorders. Canadian data suggest that one out of every 12 individuals will suffer from GAD at some time in their life. It can be mild, or it can contribute to unemployment and serious family and social problems.

    GAD can also lead to other problems such as fear of meeting people (social anxiety disorder), severe panic attacks (panic disorder), and depression. If left untreated, those with GAD are at greater risk of developing medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

    Social Anxiety Disorder

    Social anxiety disorder is characterized by feeling very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations. Individuals with social anxiety worry a great deal about doing something embarrassing and others thinking badly of them. They tend to be very self-conscious.

    While some people with social anxiety fear lots of different social situations (e.g., meeting new people, going to parties, starting conversations, being the centre of attention, ordering food in a restaurant, etc.), some people only get anxious in very specific situations (e.g., public speaking).

    When faced with feared social situations, individuals with social anxiety tend to experience negative thoughts about themselves and how others will think of them; they have intense feelings (anxiety, fear, embarrassment, shame); body reactions (sweating, blushing, trembling, shaking, racing heart, upset stomach, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, choking sensations, dry mouth); avoid social situations and use safety behaviours to try and lessen the anxiety in social situations (e.g., avoiding eye contract, saying very little, using alcohol or drugs).

    OCD - Obsessive-Complusive Disorder

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by unwanted thought intrusions called obsessions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent intrusive thoughts, images or impulses that are unwanted, personally unacceptable and cause significant distress.

    Even though a person tries very hard to suppress the obsession or cancel out its negative effects, it continues to reoccur in an uncontrollable fashion.

    Obsessions usually involve upsetting themes that are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems but instead are irrational concerns that the person often recognizes as highly unlikely, even nonsensical.

    The most common obsessive content involves thoughts of contamination; the loss of control and harming others; and orderliness or symmetry.

    Compulsions are repetitive, somewhat stereotypic behaviours or mental acts that the person performs in order to prevent or reduce the distress or negative consequences represented by the obsession.

    Individuals may feel driven to perform the compulsive ritual even though they try to resist it.

    Typical compulsions include repetitive and prolonged washing in response to fears of contamination, repeated checking to ensure a correct response, counting to a certain number, or repeating a certain phrase in order to cancel out the disturbing effects of the obsession.

    Depending on the severity of the symptoms, OCD can have a profound negative impact on functioning.

    In severe cases, obsessive thoughts and repetitive, compulsive rituals can consume one’s entire day.

    Like other chronic anxiety disorders, OCD often interferes with jobs and schooling. Social functioning may be impaired and relationships can be strained as family and close friends get drawn into the individual’s OCD concerns.

    Dr. Corrick Woodfin is our OCD specialist. Contact him today to find out how he can help you.