You worry about everything: things that might happen, things that already happened, worst case scenarios. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t focus or make decisions, and you feel frozen by the fear of “what if?” You wish you could just turn your brain off sometimes—if not throughout the day, then at least at nighttime. A decent night’s sleep would be nice, because you are absolutely exhausted!
You decline invitations to social events for fear that you’ll somehow make a fool of yourself. After any social interaction, you find yourself replaying the conversation over and over in your head, wondering just how awkward you must have sounded. Could everyone tell how much you were sweating? Did you say something offensive or stupid? You’d love to speak up or participate more, but even the thought of all eyes on you makes your heart race, skin flush, and stomach hurt. At night, you lie awake reliving every uncomfortable moment, wishing you could just stop this critical voice that will not let you live your life.
Many people suffer from social anxiety, though often they believe they are just shy. If your symptoms are impacting your quality of life, leading to physical illness, or keeping you from doing things you know you’d enjoy, then I'm here to tell you there’s help. Therapy can assist you in quieting the negative voice and achieving your goals.
Some people who struggle with social anxiety may find the idea of talking with a stranger to be a daunting task. I hear you, and I will work with you to make this experience more comfortable as we get to know each other. And worst case, we can embrace each other’s awkwardness!
Seemingly out of nowhere, your heart starts racing. You feel short of breath, sweaty, and shaky. Your vision starts to blur and you’re filled with overwhelming fear and dread. The first time it happened, you thought you were dying: is this what a heart attack feels like? You know now that it’s another panic attack, but you have no idea how to stop this from happening. And what’s worse, you find yourself living with the fear that it’s going to happen again: what if you panic in front of people? What if you lose control? And if this keeps happening, could it cause some kind of medical problem?
Panic attacks sometimes start after an identifiable precipitating (and sometimes traumatic) event, but sometimes we are not able to pinpoint a trigger. This does not mean you cannot minimize, or even eliminate, panic symptoms. If it feels like panic is in control of your life, know that it does not have to be this way. Panic attack therapy can help you identify triggers, learn coping skills for how to decrease panic symptoms, and how to stop a panic attack once you are already there. Isn’t it time to show panic disorder it’s not the boss of you?
You may worry that talking about panic may make an attack more likely to happen. The opposite is actually true, though: when we stop avoiding panic and acknowledge it for what it is, we actually take away some of its power. And if you are concerned about having a panic attack in session, please know you’re with someone who has both professional and personal experience with panic. We’ll get through it together!
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