Anxiety Disorders

The Counselling Corner – Martensville, Saskatchewan
Child, Youth, Adult, Couple, & Family Counselling

Anxiety Disorders

Submitted by Wendy Kritzer BSW MSW RSW

Anxiety is part of everyone’s life to a certain degree. However, some individual’s lives are affected immensely by anxiety so they cannot lead a healthy and productive life without help.  Anxiety to this degree is called Anxiety Disorder and can be a result of biological, psychological, and environmental difficulties or a combination of any of these areas.  For some families, anxiety disorders can have a genetic component.  In this case, the disorder will be found in many generations of the family.  There are also various medical conditions that can contribute to anxiety disorders, such as anemia and thyroid difficulties.

Anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness that can disrupt an individual’s quality of life. A person suffering from this disorder can be dealing with overwhelming worry and fear that seems to be ongoing and overtakes their daily life routines.  Many individuals, with treatment and counselling, can utilize strategies or tools and manage the anxiety.

There are a few types of anxiety disorders:

Panic disorder can have an individual suddenly feeling panic combined with chest pain, sweating, palpitations, and an intense feeling of not being able to breathe.

Social anxiety disorder also recognized as a social phobia is another type of anxiety disorder. This particular type of anxiety disorder affects the individual with extreme worry and self-consciousness about ordinary social situations. Many individuals struggling with social anxiety tend to avoid social situations.  The individual becomes isolated and is unable to participate in day-to-day activities.

Finally, there is a generalized anxiety disorder, exaggerated unrealistic worry combined with extreme tension. Usually, this individual has little to no difficulties in their lives, but the anxiety still escalates.

There are various symptoms that coordinate with the specific type of anxiety disorder but the broad symptoms are: shortness of breath, feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness, difficulties sleeping, dry mouth, cold or sweaty hands or feet, heart palpitations, nausea, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, and dizziness. As well as, chest pain, headaches, stomach upset/nervous stomach, fear of impending doom, and burning of skin to name a few.

Treatments – It is important for an individual that thinks they may have an anxiety disorder to visit a family doctor to have a complete physical examination to rule out any non-anxiety based physical conditions.  When it has been determined that anxiety disorder is a diagnosis then a discussion with a family doctor will direct the possibilities for treatment.  The doctor and patient will decide whether pharmacological or psychological treatments are the best avenue towards wellness. There are various health professionals and counsellors that have specialized training to work with an individual experiencing an anxiety disorder in order to help the individual gain strategies or tools to cope with everyday anxiety.

(Material from Canadian Mental Health Association)

If you have further questions in regard to Anxiety Disorders, please email me questions at

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Until next time –

From The Counselling Corner







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