Anxiety Therapy in Toronto: Different Causes of Anxiety Drive Choice of Anxiety Treatment

“Worrying (anxiety) carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie Ten Boom

I think the quote above illustrates well the toll that anxiety and worrying take on your daily life – it doubles your daily load.  I have often heard the expression that anxiety is a disease of the future.  We accept that this ongoing worrying and anxiety is just part of life, part of the human condition. But it doesn’t have to be this way.  What if I told you that there are many anxiety therapies that can change your approach to anxiety and minimize your suffering? I do anxiety therapy in the Toronto area and can assist you in person or by phone in helping you manage your symptoms.

Like most mental health challenges, we can look at how anxiety develops through a bio/psycho/social lens. It is more than likely that anxiety disorders are not caused by one factor but can be seen as a combination of a few factors.  Below is a list of the most common causes of anxiety:

●      Medical factors: Anxiety can be caused by an underlying medical condition such as effects of meds, or a symptom of a disease such as anemia, anxiety from adjusting to a medical condition – such as cancer or chronic pain.

●      Brain chemistry: Early attachment trauma, or trauma from an accident or any other event perceived as stressful, can alter brain structure and function to react more vigorously to triggers and create a feeling of hypervigilance (always being on guard with the perception that something imminent terrible is about to happen)

●      Environmental factors: Financial stress, illness of a family member, divorce, children, school worries, employment worries, relationships.

●      Genetics: Sometimes certain people are more at risk because of their genetics.

●      Maladaptive coping skills:  Sometimes we develop mal-adaptive coping skills.  We can look to deny, minimize, avoid or escape feeling anything.  Because feeling is uncomfortable itself.  Sometimes it is the coping skill you have used on a long-term basis that causes your anxiety.

●      Use of or withdrawal from an illicit substance: Substances, although, creating a short-term relief from anxiety, may contribute to a longer-term anxiety disorder as well as substance abuse problems

It is important to try to understand the origin of your anxiety to make sure that targeted anxiety therapy is addressing the root cause of the anxiety.  If not, you may be treating anxiety symptoms – which will keep coming back. If it is medical- based, you need treatment from a Dr. to stabilize the chemistry supporting the anxiety.  If the anxiety is a symptom of trauma or Post-traumatic stress disorder the approach must be a trauma-based approach to treating anxiety.  If environmental factors are triggering the anxiety then we need to work with stress reduction and mindfulness techniques and if it is maladaptive coping skills we need to work on adaptive coping skills that work better for you. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, substances like marijuana and alcohol, may reduce anxiety temporarily but cause rebound and long- term anxiety.

Don’t waste today’s mental resources and strengths by leaving your anxiety untreated.  Toronto has many anxiety therapists. For relief or your anxiety, please contact me.