Healthy Anxiety vs. Toxic Anxiety
It is perfectly healthy to experience some form of anxiety throughout life. Healthy anxiety keeps us alert, in tune with our surroundings, and does not interfere with our lives. Healthy anxiety does not let fear overstay its welcome. However, all forms of anxiety (including healthy anxiety) have elements of fear. Fear is defined as an emotional response to an authentic or perceived threat. It is associated with the autonomic arousal, which helps the body to either “fight or flight” when immediate danger is present. If anxiety persists beyond normal parameters and interferes with our lives, it can develop into toxic anxiety.
Toxic anxiety is when you feel anxiety even if there is no perceived threat. It disrupts your life, and creates isolation. Toxic anxiety creates physical reactions (i.e. heart palpitations, tight throat, nausea, headaches, sweating), psychological reactions (i.e. impending doom, feeling out of control, difficulty concentrating, agitation), and behavioral reactions (i.e. perfectionism, constant comparing, child-like fantasies, mild paranoia). When toxic anxiety isn’t taken care of individuals often develop an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is defined as the anticipation of future threat. It differs from normal fear because it is excessive, and persists beyond normal periods of time. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, such as separation anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.
In my practice we will work together on devising your specific plan. I firmly believe that you are unique and deserve a plan that is realistic and will result in the highest level of recovery. A treatment plan may involve a blend of muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, identifying triggers, revealing unhealthy relationships and unhealthy relationship patterns, actively building or adding to your social support system, developing a balanced lifestyle, and (if needed) a referral to a specialist that can introduce medication.