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Everyone has worries now and then, but what happens when those worries get out of control? When they start to impact the quality of your life? From heart palpitations to panic attacks, the stress and worries of life can take a physical toll on us. That is what professionals call anxiety.

Statistics found that anxiety impacts nearly five percent of Canadians. However, with the global pandemic, that number rose to 20 percent.

While a small dose of anxiety can be beneficial and actually help us to do things better, too much can be debilitating.

Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety usually begins with worries and stress. When our thoughts about how we are going to solve a problem or what to do about a situation consume most of our mental capacity, it can cause a lot of tension.


That tension and stress can result in physical symptoms in our bodies, such as:

  • Feelings of tension or nervousness

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Rapid breathing rate

  • Trembling

  • Dizziness

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Difficulty controlling thoughts

  • Sleeping troubles

  • Digestive complaints


Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). These reactions are out of balance with the level of danger the situation poses. Unfortunately, they can be difficult to control and get in the way of your daily life.

Sometimes anxiety can turn into a disorder, which is when you have regular episodes of anxiety, fear, or terror that turn into panic attacks.


Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are different types of anxiety disorders that people can suffer from, including:

  • Agoraphobia – when you have a fear of places or situations that may make you feel trapped or embarrassed.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder – persistent anxiety and worry over activities, including routine ones. The fear is out of proportion to the situation. Generalized anxiety disorder can accompany other anxiety disorders and depression.

  • Panic disorder – repeated episodes of intense anxiety or fear that result in panic attacks. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations, feelings of doom. If you suffer from panic attacks, you may also have anxiety over when and where these episodes may happen.

  • Selective mutism – when children cannot speak in certain situations, like school, even if they are capable of speaking in other situations like at home with family. Selective mutism can cause trouble at school or in social situations for these children.

  • Social anxiety disorder – a high level of anxiety or fear over social scenarios. Those who avoid social settings because they are concerned about embarrassment or being judged negatively suffer from a social anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can also be caused by medical conditions, phobias, and substance abuse.


Who Can Get Anxiety?

There are no age restrictions when it comes to anxiety. Even children can suffer from it. Whether you are 80 or 8, anxiety disorders can disrupt your life.

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety can be caused by a combination of biology and the environment. Stressful events can trigger anxiety, but stress itself does not always cause anxiety. It can run in families, so if your parents struggled with anxiety, there is a good chance you will too.

What to do About Anxiety?

Sometimes people avoid others or situations that cause their anxiety to get worse. For others, this is not an option. Anyone who suffers from anxiety can find relief through counselling and psychotherapy treatment. At Catharsis Counselling & Psychotherapy, our practitioners will listen to your concerns and help find the right clinical interventions that can help you cope with your worries and fears. Every individual is unique, and how you manage your stress and anxiety will be unique too. We rely on treatment that has been proven effective through proper research procedures. Our counsellors will be happy to work with you in person or through virtual meetings. Contact us to start your journey today.

Are you living with panic attacks? Do you have excessive anxiety regarding your daily life? Are you feeling stressed? Anxiety is a common mental health concern in Canada. Although a healthy level of anxiety is important to our functioning and survival, many people experience overwhelming worry and stress that interferes with their daily lives. Anxiety symptoms can sometimes take the form of physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate, sweating, trembling or hyperventilation. The common mental signs of anxiety can be a feeling of restlessness, having a sense of impending danger, having urges to avoid certain events in our lives, or having difficulty controlling our worries. At Catharsis Counselling & Psychotherapy, we use clinical interventions proven effective through research to help you cope and reduce your stress, worries and fears. 

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