Are you feeling anxious?

For many excessive anxiety can a debilitating problem. Feelings of CONSTANT DREAD hang like a dark cloud or malevolent shadow clinging to every though and every mood.

For some unshakable FEELINGS OF IMPENDING DOOM, that something terrible is about to take place, and/or that you are in serious danger.

IRRATIONAL FEARS that you know don’t make sense nevertheless leave you ill at ease perhaps even tormented.

On a good day you find yourself TENSE, EDGY, AND RESTLESS WAITING FOR THE “SHOE TO DROP…” WORRYING ABOUT WEATHER ANXIETY WILL RETURN OR NOT and then… there it is… that inexplicable ominous sense of doom, your anxiety has returned.

On a bad day some feel an INTENSE URGE TO ESCAPE. For many sensations run the gamut from SKIN BLANCHING TO BLUSHING AND BURNING SENSATIONS, FROM CHOKING TO TIGHTNESS IN THE CHEST OR AROUND THE HEAD TO HOT OR COLD CHILLS, NAUSEA, DIARRHEA, STOMACH ACHE, TINGLING, NUMBNESS OR SHOOTING PAINS THROUGHOUT THE BODY.

Some spend HOURS METICULOUSLY PERFORMING A ROUTINE in order to ensure that nothing goes wrong to trigger that sense of dreadful unquenchable fear. For others ANXIETY IS TRIGGERED BY A SPECIFIC EVENT… WORK PERFORMANCE, A FAMILY EVENT, PERHAPS A SOCIAL OUTING OR NIGHT AT HOME ALONE.

Stay with me there is help below!

For many anxiety just seems to pop up for no reason at all. Many experience anxiety with feelings of CONFUSION, DETACHMENT FROM ONE’S BODY (OR EMOTIONS), A SENSE OF UNREALITY, DIZZINESS, AND OR LIGHT HEADEDNESS.

ANXIETY IS OFTEN VERY UPSETTING often leaving you with a fear of going crazy, and a SENSE OF LOSING CONTROL AND COMPLETE INABILITY TO CALM YOURSELF.

For some anxiety can leave the sufferer SLEEPLESS AT NIGHT. Others may have hyper sensitive FEAR OF DEATH, SICKNESS, FLYING, HEIGHTS, SPIDERS or some other state of being or experience.

CONCENTRATION on work, recreation and social relationship CAN BECOME DIFFICULT or nearly impossible. It’s as if there is no energy left over to enjoy other people or life. Many people with anxiety find themselves REPEATING CERTAIN TYPES OF THOUGHTS over and over and over.

Almost there!

For some its NEGATIVE SELF-TALK, I’m bad, I suck, I never get this, life (or a job or a relationship or a conversation) will never go well. For others it’s REHEARSING a difficult conversation, job interview or uncomfortable task over and over and over PLANNING OUT ALL THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES. Many can’t seem to dislodge the repetition of a past negative experience. Anxiety sometime shows its self in EXCESSIVE PROCRASTINATION, or FASTIDIOUS PERFECTIONISM, or OVERBEARING CONTROL preventing you from completing tasks in a timely manner and damaging relationships.

Anxiety can also pop up spectacularly on the form of an undesirable PANIC ATTACK. Irrational overwhelming fear seizes the individual, their heart pounds, they feel tense panicky or perhaps even twitchy. Their heart races pounding like a drum in their ears leaving them feeling blocked or stuffed.

DIFFICULT WITH BREATHING ACCOMPANIED WITH SHOOTING PAIN THOROUGH THE CHEST, NECK, SHOULDER, HEAD AND FACE AND TIGHTNESS IN THE CHEST MIMIC THE SENSE OF A HEART ATTACK FURTHER AMPLIFYING THEIR SENSATION OF FEAR. SWEATING, TREMBLING, THE URGENT DESIRE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM can often accompany a panic attack. Sometimes accompanying sensation of nausea escalate into vomiting.

Clearly even some of this is more than a little uneasiness or passing worry….

Most people experience anxiety at various points in their lives. People are designed to worry it helps us avoid truly dangerous situations. Part of the problem of anxiety is that it is not truly appropriate for your current situation, your life is not truly in danger. If you were being chased by a bear many of the symptoms above might be temporarily helpful. This displaced fear is often a signal of either unresolved trauma or unreasonable beliefs/expectations of the self and reality. The harder we try to avoid or “fix” feelings of worry or anxiety, the more pronounced the feelings become.  This is because our mind is trying to tell us that something is wrong. Excessive anxiety is like a warning bell. Although some degree of anxiety affects nearly everyone,

ANXIETY NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED WHEN YOU START SPENDING MORE TIME WORRYING ABOUT BEING ANXIOUS THAN YOU DO ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE THAT MAY CAUSE ANXIETY.

Anxiety also needs to be treated when it causes intense negative feelings that SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE YOUR ABILITY TO FEEL AND FUNCTION WELL IN WORK, RELATIONSHIPS AND LEISURE EXPERIENCES. When anxiety and fear monopolise your life, finding help through counselling can be very helpful and even life changing.

So why is working with you different?

Hi… My name is Chester McNaughton, as I work with you I combine a number of uniquely valuable qualities that you need for your healing. Fist I have recovered and healed from a diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder with panic attacks. I know what it feels like to be uncontrollably anxious, I know what it feels like to take medication, and I know what it feels like to search and search and search for an answer. This experience gives me a powerful empathy for those who struggle with anxiety and the challenges of life. I know that you are hurting and I care. I know that you need a safe place free from demands and expectations. I use this understanding to create a safe place for you where you will not feel condemned, shamed or judged for what you are experiencing in your life.

So How Can I Help You Begin to Feel Better?

In my process I develop detailed assessment of your current situation and thorough review of your personal history. This helps me understand how much anxiety you experience, what causes it and how it affects your life. I help you to understand how certain types of behaviors, feelings and thoughts that contribute to and maintain your Anxiety. I also help you understand and figure out how your life experiences, your personal views and/or ongoing stressors may be contributing to your anxiety.

As a Christian counsellor I approach the healing of anxiety from a faith based perspective. I combine practical therapeutic strategies (coping methods and problem-solving skills) with the power of healing prayer. My process will equip you with ways to combat the underlying causes of anxiety and restore emotional strength, and zest for life. We will re-discover your strengths and use them to begin to move you forward in your life. In areas where change is needed we combine practical solutions with God’s healing power to move you from debilitating fear to peace, hope, and wellbeing. Part of the healing process is sorting through realistic beliefs and expectations and accepting what you can and cannot change. Additionally, I will help you develop practical and healthy strategies around stress management, exercise, eating habits, relational/social resources, and self-care practices

Now let me address some of the things that may be crossing your mind…

“I’m not sure anxiety counseling can help me. I talked to somebody once and nothing happened. Now don’t know if anything can help me.”

Anxiety often feels unpredictable and uncontrollable, however, the truth is actually really the opposite. The underlying thought process and historical experiences that cause anxiety are identifiable and treatable. Many people have recovered successfully from anxiety conditions and counselling was a significant factor in their healing. This is confirmed by large body of research that shows anxiety counseling is very effective. I know from personal experience that the idea of counselling may feel useless or ineffectual, it seems impossible to change how you feel. However, I personally have recovered from generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks using the steps and processes I teach my clients. Healing and hope are possible. Taking the first step to healing is often the hardest, with anxiety conditions you need an external rational anchor point to guide you through the healing process. You need the help of a counsellor

“I’m afraid that seeking help for my anxiety will just make me seem weak. Shouldn’t I just be able to ‘get over it’?”

For many people this idea is part of a belief system that actually plays a significant role in their anxiety. All human beings need to be surround by other people who care. We need to share both the good and difficult parts of our lives.  It takes courage and honesty to ask for help. If “waiting it out” was going to help you anxiety improve chances are you would not be reading this article.  Admitting you need help can be very frightening for some, and to ask for it seem to risk being exposed as needy. The truth is we all need help with something. If you could just ‘get over’ your feelings, chances are you would have by now. Feeling shameful about your struggles only makes them worse. Anxiety counseling will give you the tools to truly work through your feelings and provide real healing.

“If I seek help for anxiety, people might think I’m ‘crazy.’”

The truth is our culture has some “crazy” ideas around emotional health. No one would imagine living their entire life without consulting a doctor or a dentist. And yet somehow we believe our emotional health is less real. Your emotional wellbeing (and everyone else’s) is real and from time to time we all need emotional care just as we need physical and medical care. Like any other medical professional counsellors are bound by confidentiality. So if you really don’t want others to know what you’re discussing they won’t. You have control over what you tell the counselor (and others).

“I don’t want to take anti-anxiety medication.”

Medication is a tool just like a crutch or a pacemaker or a prescription for antibiotics. The truth is there is no shame in the treatment. If side effects is concern then you must remember that symptoms of you anxiety condition (described above) are almost always worse than the side effects of medication. For both those who take medication and those who don’t want to take them it’s important to understand that anti-anxiety medication is only part of the treatment. Changing how you think, act and live is the key to healing anxiety conditions Often medication can help with this.

“I already feel bad, I’m concerned that talking about difficult emotions might make me feel worse.”

In some senses this is a legitimate concern. Often the path to healing involves dealing with difficult emotions and past experiences. However there is a difference between your past negative experiences and a therapeutic conversation. Your past traumatic experience may have been similar to being held down and force fed with a funnel. On the other hand the therapeutic conversation is like being offered a bowl of sour candies. You can say no to the candies or you can take just one or two. You are in control of what you talk about and how deeply you engage in difficult conversations. Many people report a sense of relief and release after talking with a skilled and caring counsellor.

Finally I incorporate a uniquely Christian spiritual perspective in the therapeutic process. I do this by helping my clients ask God for help through the act of prayer. In your process with me I will help you ask God for the power to change negative patterns and heal past wounds that until now you have been powerless to change.

Now it’s time for you to take action.

The door is open. Don’t stay alone in the dark and cold. Come in where it’s warm and safe and let’s begin, together, the journey to hope, freedom, and wellness.

I offer a free 30-minute (telephone or in person) consultation. This is a risk-free way for you to get to know me and ask any question you would like. The contact but at the bottom right hand to the page will allow you to request a time for the call.

If you are ready and now is the time you can also set up full appointment with me. Again click the contact tab below and select “in office appointment” and you will be guided through the process of setting up an appointment.

If you just like to call me my number is 587 879 7064. If for some reason I am unable to answer I will respond to the messages you leave me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Chester McNaughton

Registered Professional Counsellor