What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a common issue that many people in Kelowna, Vernon and the Okanagan struggle with. If you feel stress or overwhelmed with life or certain activities, you are not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association, roughly 30% of the population experience an anxiety disorder at some point of the year. Anxiety, according to the American Psychological Association, can be defined as “emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” If you identify with this description, you are not alone.
Anxiety effects us all in different ways. For around 8% of the population, it comes in the form of a specific phobia, a fear of something in particular, may it be elevators (small spaces) or supermarkets (open spaces). For another 7%, it occurs in social situations. Finally, for 1-2% it occurs as General Anxiety Disorder, characterized by long-term worry that affects day-to-day functioning. Panic attacks, which come swiftly and can simulate symptoms of a heart attack, are also a signifier of anxiety. For many others anxiety is experienced at a level that, while not diagnosable, is something that they want to overcome.
Anxiety Treatment Options & Helpful Links
There are three proven strategies to help people cope and deal with anxiety. The first is psychotherapy or counselling. Counselling, particularly the Cognitive-Behavioural Method that all Freedom Counselling employees are trained in, has proven again and again to be an effective method of symptom relief. The second is medications, which can be used as either short-term or long-term solutions. If you are experiencing severe anxiety symptoms, it is recommended that you talk to your family doctor. Finally, mindfulness techniques, to keep one grounded such as deep-breathing or sensory stimulation, can be helpful as well.
Helpful Links for Anxiety
Anxiety Canada is a registered non-profit that seeks to provide free resources to Canadians. Read more about their story and learn more about anxiety here.
Government of British Columbia
The BC Government has done good work in putting together a webpage with resources and services that can be accessed by anyone in the province. Learn more here.
Canadian Mental Health Association
If you are wanting more information on what anxiety is and how to deal with it, the British Columbia webpage of the Canadian Mental Health Association is a good place to start. Click here to learn more!