Anxiety is one of the most common mental health challenges that affect men and women of all ages. Although it has dozens – sometimes even hundreds – of symptoms, it is usually described as a feeling of nervousness and worry that comes with physical symptoms such as jitteriness, sweating, rapid heartbeat, etc.
There are many different ways that we define and diagnose anxiety. But today, I want to describe anxiety to you the way that my mentor described it to me:
My mentor taught me that anxiety can be viewed as the fear that something that is hidden is about to be exposed.
For example, if you have negative feelings about a situation that you have worked hard to deny and you are trying to hold those feelings in, the person tends to experience anxiety as a result, because the emotions, feelings, and thoughts are hidden trying to come out.
What’s being “held in” may not even be a conscious thought. But there is something inside that your mind is trying to keep in, and that it manifests into anxiety symptoms.
What Anxiety Treatment is For
As a psychologist on Long Island, I approach those that seem like they’re struggling with this type of issue by attempting to bring these feelings into conscious awareness so that they are no longer hidden. We want to make sure that you are able to bring whatever thought is afraid to reach the surface to the surface safely. That way we can both:
- Explore what that thought is.
- Learn to manage those emotions.
Very often, once we can set free the emotions that are being held inside, the anxiety tends to both reduce over time and become easier to control, and in the end the person is able to see relief from their stresses and a focus on an anxiety-free future.
Not everyone’s anxiety is going to fit this idea. But I have always appreciated this mentor’s explanation of anxiety, and I have seen in it work in my practice. I have two offices available on Long Island, in Garden City and Rockville Centre, NY, so that I can be conveniently available if you need me.