Anxiety Therapy in San Diego
Every year, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million Americans from age 18 and up, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). That’s 18.1% of the population. There are many forms of anxiety, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Phobias, such as agoraphobia and social phobia
- Dual diagnosis disorders (co-occurrence with depression or substance abuse)
In fact, anxiety is one of the most common dual diagnosis disorders and psychological problems afflicting Americans. The ADAA has found that most people with anxiety have more than one anxiety disorder, while Generalized Anxiety Disorder afflicts approximately 6.8 million adults in the U.S. each year, with a median age of onset of 31. Anxiety affects mental and physical health, not to mention a person’s spirit and ability to do their best in life.
Treatment of Anxiety
Fortunately, anxiety is a treatable condition. An anxiety disorder therapist can manage your symptoms so you can lead a normal life without feeling disaster is waiting at every turn. At Matthew Bruhin & Associates, we specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in San Diego, which provides effective relief. Also, if you need additional anxiety therapy, such as medication, we can refer you to our in-house anxiety therapist.
Anxiety can arise for different reasons. Its origins are usually genetic. However, events in our busy, chaotic lives often contribute to anxiety disorders. We typically have no control over such circumstances except to learn to cope. This is where CBT comes into play; it uses systematic training that involves:
- Identifying Your Fears: Whether it’s a fear of public speaking, heights, or insects, our therapists help you recognize what your phobias are. Even if your feelings of anxiety are more generalized and you don’t know what triggers them, our counselors can quantify your fears by helping you assign a rating to each of them.
- Exposure: Avoiding situations that trigger anxiety doesn’t resolve the problem. With gradual exposure, our therapists work to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety; these exposure exercises take you through small steps at a time. If dating gives you anxiety, the process might involve imagining being on a date, followed by having a simulated one, and, ultimately, going on a real date.
- Addressing Cognitive Distortions: Extreme anxiety tends to distort a person’s thoughts. As a result, they have negative feelings and imagine the worst outcomes. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety can help replace these thoughts and feelings with more realistic possibilities. It also focuses on distracting oneself from such thoughts and learning to tolerate feelings of anxiousness.
- Relaxation Techniques: Believe it or not, it’s possible to calm yourself through relaxation techniques. Those feelings of indigestion, dizziness, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and even migraines may just be symptoms of your anxiety. By recognizing them and using techniques such as guided imagery (peaceful landscapes can be very powerful relaxers), progressive muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises, you can gain control over your emotions and energy.
Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Our therapists are trained and experienced in CBT for generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, phobia, and social anxiety treatment in San Diego. If a loved one or you are suffering from anxiety or experiencing its symptoms but not sure what’s causing them, we can help. Call 619-683-3774 to learn more about our anxiety therapy and its potential benefits.