Peace of mind is possible.
Many people don’t know that anxiety, whether it takes the guise of PTSD, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder or insomnia, is extemely treatable.
Many, many people suffer from one or more types of anxiety. The best treatment for anxiety is comprehensive and integrative in nature. It is important to address the symptoms, such as racing heart, trouble sleeping, or chronic worry - but it is also important to discover the “root cause” or driver of the anxiety. Otherwise, the symptoms are likely to return or some other set of symptoms may arrive to take its place.
Many people start feeling better within two to three sessions through improved breathing, sleep hygiene and muscle relaxation techniques. Some stop at this point, not engaging in the admittedly the more arduous work of deeply understanding the reason that the anxiety emerged to begin with. This is entirely OK; often it is enough to feel better in your daily life.
However, sustaining the motivation to continue using the anxiety techniques learned can often be difficult. Sometimes, without a deep understanding of the roots of the problem, anxiety returns or some other set of symptoms arrives to take its place.
I specialize in treating anxiety from a perspective that focuses on both real-time change for immediate relief and deep understanding for lasting change.
Perfectionism and perfectionistic anxiety
Many people with anxiety, particularly in Washington DC, have a "Type A" or perfectionistic flair. You might be extremely successful and accomplished, and maybe in some ways you attribute this to your perfectionism.
But, if you feel that you must be perfect all of the time you will almost certainly be plagued by anxiety. People are not perfect. Ever. There is no person alive who has not made some mistake or who does not have some flaw. So if you're a person (and I suspect you might be) and you keep telling yourself that you need to be perfect, it will never ever be good enough. Also, although it may seem counterintuitive, perfectionists are less effective in their relationships, at school and at work.
Working with a therapist can help you to understand the real impact of your perfectionism and find better ways to sustain achievement without sacrificing your mental health. Please reach out if you feel that this describes what you need.
Do you find that your thoughts bounce from one worried topic to another?
Do you feel as though you can't turn your mind off, even when it is clearly time for rest and relaxation?
Are your muscles often tense and strained? Do you have trouble sleeping at times?
These are signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a condition that is highly treatable with psychotherapy.
Please reach out to discuss how to rid yourself of chronic worry and reclaim a life of ease and peace.
For some, anxiety is related to a event or series of events. This might be a one-time occurrence such as a car accident or fire, or it may be the result of childhood experiences that trained your brain as though the world were a generally unsafe place to be.
This doesn't have to mean childhood abuse or neglect, although certainly sometimes it does. But it could be due to a number of things such as early caregivers having their own mental or physical illnesses, political and social events that have negatively impacted your parents (or grandparents), needing medical interventions as a child, living in a dangerous or unstable community, lack of financial resources in childhood or deaths in the family during formative years. If you believe that your anxiety may be linked to insecurity in your past, please reach out to talk about how the therapeutic relationship can heal these wounds and establish new neural networks based on security and trust.