How A Nashville Therapist Can Help You Manage Anxiety
If you have been struggling with your mental health since March of 2020, you are not alone. According to a survey from GoodRx, 63% of Americans who were coping with depression and/or anxiety before the pandemic report that their symptoms have intensified.
It’s no wonder why – a perfect storm of job losses, fear of catching COVID-19, and social isolation have hit families and individuals hard.
If you are struggling with anxiety, you don’t have to navigate it alone. A licensed mental health therapist in Nashville can help you chart a path towards better days.
Whether you are seeking counseling for panic attacks or for a generalized sense of dread you can’t shake, The Becoming can help.
What Exactly is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion that most people experience regularly. It is a feeling of apprehension or fear over future events. But sometimes, that natural emotion gives way to a more intense form of anxiety that does not dissipate on its own.
Garette Debord, a Licensed Professional Counselor with The Becoming, describes Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as your mind becoming “stuck” on a certain level of nervousness. When one’s anxiety level remains unusually high for six months, they may be dealing with GAD.
This kind of stress can be debilitating and interrupt one’s life. Sometimes, people begin to avoid people or activities because they fear the onset of anxiety symptoms.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a cycle where social isolation intensifies your anxiety. Social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia are two conditions that may cause one to avoid other people and withdraw from social situations.
Panic attacks can be an especially scary symptom of a larger problem. Many people mistake the symptoms for a heart attack and will rush to the emergency room for treatment.
Debord says that during a panic attack, a person feels “a sense of immediate danger with intense physical symptoms (like shallow breathing and a rapid heart rate).”
Panic Disorder is a condition that causes repeated panic attacks, producing significant stress.
If you deal with persistent anxiety that interrupts your daily life, you should consider visiting a licensed counselor. They can give you tools to mitigate the fear and tension that comes with anxiety disorders.
How Can a Nashville Therapist Help You Manage Your Anxiety?
Deboard says he likes to use grounding techniques and somatic therapy with his clients.
Somatic therapy is a holistic form of counseling that emphasizes the mind-body connection.
Some symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, chest tightness or pain, clammy hands, a racing heart, and a feeling of suffocation.
These symptoms can occasionally appear out of nowhere, triggering a “fight-or-flight” response in the mind. Somatic therapy uses a person’s awareness of these physical symptoms to diminish their psychological impact.
Debord likes to use meditation and mindfulness techniques in his sessions. He says:
“It is important to get in touch with one’s body because when we are in a state of anxiety, we can have shallow breathing, racing heart, and a number of other physical responses. Our prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision making, may not be fully-functioning. Fear is located in the hindbrain and amygdala, and mindfulness helps regulate that.”
Anxiety is not always clear-cut. A client may experience overlapping forms of anxiety, like PTSD coupled with Panic Disorder.
Your therapist will partner with you to determine your treatment needs and may combine therapeutic techniques, like EMDR Trauma Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, to address the root causes of your fear and manage symptoms.
But even more important than the techniques your therapist uses is your connection to them. Debord emphasizes how important it is to choose a therapist you feel safe with.
“Safety is key in dealing with anxiety trauma; you should look for someone you can open up to,” he says.
It can be intimidating to begin counseling, but Debord says that is normal:
“If you’re the client seeking therapy, you may feel anxious in your sessions since this is what you’re trying to work on, but know that by seeking therapy, you are putting skin in the game. It takes courage to take steps for yourself, despite the fear.”
Revolutionizing Anxiety Therapy Through Telemedicine
In the past, therapy had something of a high bar to entry. If you wanted to meet with a counselor, you had to search for a clinician, make an appointment, and travel to their office – all before you ever worked on your issues.
These days, telehealth counseling is transforming therapy. Once you find a counselor, you can meet with them from the comfort of your home, office, or even your car. Your sessions can happen wherever you have a confidential space that is most convenient for you.
Telemedicine can remove some of the barriers that might have stalled clients with anxiety from attending therapy in the past. Especially during a global pandemic, when many people are afraid of falling ill.
The Becoming’s main office in Sylvan Park is a convenient location for many of our clients. But if you are more comfortable attending telehealth therapy sessions, you should follow that instinct.
Nashville Therapist Near Me
If you are ready to tackle your anxiety, contact The Becoming. Our Client Coordinators can match you with one of our therapists for remote or in-person sessions in Nashville.
Call (615) 709-2020 or send us a secure message right now. Your mental health is too important to wait another day.