As we engage in counseling services, the symptoms that initially motivated one to seek counseling can worsen. This can be frightening. Learning how to look at anxiety as “something we have” compared to “something we do” takes time. Learning how the more our lives center around ridding ourselves of anxiety symptoms may free one from further entangling themselves with more fruitless avoidance (drugs, alcohol, electronics, work, etc).
What is the anxiety paradox?
How is it possible that anxiety treatment and results can conflict? For example, your physician or psychiatrist might prescribe an anxiety support medication when experiencing panic attacks. Certain medications will lower the intensity of anxiety and panic, but may also possibly interfere with being present in the moment, or the ability to form memories as a possible side effect. This relief from anxiety/panic can be wonderful, but the inability to feel in-the-moment or make memories can make this relief less desirable.
Sometimes this exchange of anxiety symptoms for memory/presence doesn’t interfere in life enough to worry or create a bind. If it does interfere and you do feel stuck, speaking with your physician and your counselor about how to compliment medication with professional counseling can balance and strengthen your approach to anxiety treatment. Therapy such as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) – can dramatically improve anxiety’s cost in our life with more skills, awareness and boundaries.
Balance Enjoying Life and Minimizing Anxiety
We may not realize how much avoiding anxiety has cost us until pain forces us to look — and it can be overwhelming or trigger feelings of shame. Counseling helps us with awareness, resources and hope when one feels lost in what feels like an unwinnable avoidance war with anxiety. Often the more we don’t want anxiety the more we have anxiety over time. The solution to anxiety is as paradoxical as the irrational fears and unwise avoidance behaviors of anxiety.
Our team of experienced, professional counselors is here to help you manage and minimize your anxiety. Learn more about our team and request an appointment today.