|Posted on August 20, 2019 at 9:55 AM|
What's the number one thing that I personally see that brings people into professional counseling? Anxiety and panic attacks. We are people burnt out, over-worked, inundated with news-feeds and the opinions and "highlight reels" of others. Social anxiety (fear of being judged) is unfortunately more and more common with teenagers. Teenagers are afraid to be themselves, worrying and becoming anxious about starting conversations, going into stores and talking to a clerk, or making a phone call.
If you are struggling with anxiety, I just wanted to say a few things. 1)You're not alone. Anxiety is brutal and it feels like an unwanted intruder that comes and visits daily. 2) Put light on your fears and worries. There is some relief and freedom that comes in just speaking them out loud to someone that cares. If you don't have someone caring and compassionate in your life- then please don't hesitate to reach out to me. 3) Don't accept that this is "just the way I am," or that "I've just always been an anxious person." There's things you can do to alleviate that anxiety! I've been there myself, and now I get to help people overcome their own anxiety and fears. I help develop a treatment plan to effectively cope with anxiety so that it doesn't have power over you anymore.
Lastly, if you are someone who is in relationship of any kind with someone who is struggling with anxiety- it is not helpful for that person to be told, "Just stop worrying." Trust me, they have probably tried, and if anyone wants to just stop worrying it's them. While tough love and challenging their irrational beliefs has its place and importance, it is first important to hear that person's heart and to meet them where they're at currently. Validating someone's feelings doesn't mean you agree with them, it just shows that you've heard them and reaffirms to them that you are by their side as they work through the things that are causing them to worry and fear.
Just a few thoughts, many more I could share on this silent, often hidden struggle that is taking over so many.
Christina Milazzo, Licensed Mental Health Counselor