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We had such an overwhelming response to our radio show on anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia I thought it would be useful to post this article here as well. For anyone suffering any of these issues I highly recommend you take a listen, you’ll be sure to get something out of the show. But in case you prefer to read, rather than listen here’s the basics…
First things first – You are not alone. Unfortunately, a lot of people suffer anxiety related issues. The good thing about this is that awareness, acceptance and help are ever expanding. There are so many ways for you to find relief these days, making overcoming anxiety issues easier than ever before. Even 10 years ago there wasn’t nearly the amount of information and people specialized in helping you overcome these issues as there are today.
If you read my personal story you’ll know I have extensive personal experience with and knowledge of anxiety and the toll it can take on your life. Because of this, I am extremely passionate about helping others overcome anxiety related issues. I believe first and foremost that knowledge and true understanding is highly empowering. Simply understanding that what you’re suffering has a name and that your symptoms are actually common can be enough for some people to feel such a level of relief that the anxiety is immediately cut down to a manageable level. So I want to give you the basic symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks and agoraphobia.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Feeling keyed up much of the time
• Being easily startled
• Being easily fatigued
• Difficulty concentrating
• Brain fog
• Brought to tears easily
• Restless sleep and/or insomnia
• Muscle tension
Panic Attack symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Racing heartbeat
• Feeling like you’re being smothered or are choking
• A sense of impending doom
• Feeling like you’re about to go crazy
• Dizziness or giddiness
• Derealization – Feeling like nothing is real, or that you’re in a dream-like state.
• Depersonalization – Feeling like you’re living the moment outside of your body or feeling a disconnection from part or all of your body.
Agoraphobia symptoms include:
- Fear of leaving the house
• Fear of being in social situations you can’t easily get out of (ie – Being in a movie theater, riding on public transportation, being in a meeting or classroom setting)
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, you first need to get a full physical to make sure the symptoms you are experiencing are not caused by something other than anxiety. Ruling out physical causes first thing will give you a certain level of inner peace straight away. Once you are sure it’s anxiety you are dealing with, then you have to figure out which option you are going to take for treatment.
- Self-help books. While I absolutely recommend you get a book or two on the particular type of anxiety you’re dealing with, I don’t recommend trying to simply read a book and get through it on your own. Most of the time the quickest and most effective way to treat anxiety related issues is with the assistance of someone who specializes in this subject. Having a good book on anxiety at your side for those times when you’re needing some reassurance can be a very powerful tool. So even if you are certain you are going to seek out professional help, get yourself a book or two as well. I highly recommend any of the anxiety books by Claire Weekes.
- Self-help programs. There are now countless programs out there designed to help you work through your anxiety issues on your own, in the privacy of your own home. While I think they may have some useful information, again, I don’t recommend working alone through this. Anxiety is only made worse when you feel all alone with the struggle or try to keep it a secret from the people closest to you. So please, share with your family and closest friends what it is you’re dealing with and ask them to be patient with you while you work through it. If you are lucky they may even offer to do what they can to help, if they do, accept the help! So you may want to try one of these DIY programs, but use it in conjunction with professional support.
- Find a therapist, psychologist, counselor or coach to help you work through it. This is by far the best option for quickly overcoming anxiety related issues. Someone who really understands and specializes in helping people with anxiety will be well equipped to help you quickly resolve your anxiety/panic/agoraphobia. If you don’t think you can afford it, you can. There are county run mental health programs all over the U.S. that provide low-cost and no-cost counseling/therapy. It may not be as easy, within these channels, to find a specialist but they’re out there. Just be sure when you call to see about getting help that you explain you want to be assigned to someone who works with anxiety related issues. I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer my own services. I have extensive knowledge on anxiety and have helped countless people overcome anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia. I absolutely offer low-cost services for those suffering anxiety related issues. So if you visit my website and see my coaching prices, don’t let that put you off. I have a special place in my heart for this subject and will do what it takes to work with you on the cost of my services so you are able to get the help you need and deserve.
You do NOT have to continue living with anxiety. You CAN heal and totally overcome it. I’m living proof. And I’m here to help you. If you don’t request my help, please just get help somewhere. No one needs to suffer anxiety/panic – It is totally treatable.