Anxiety But Not the One for Counseling

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Alright, so I’m 19 and for a while now I’ve been realizing that I have bad anxiety. I actually know a few people that are on different anxiety medicines and had the same symptoms as me and it really has made a difference for them. Two of them goes to therapy and one doesn’t…my problem is i am not at all the type of person for therapy and that’s what keeping me from going to any doctor at all.. i don’t want them to try to force me to go when i KNOW that it won’t work for me, i just already know by my personality. i have small panic attack over the smallest things.. during them i usually get dizzy/lightheaded and start feeling really sick, which is usually accompanied by a headache. Also i have HUGE mood swings for no reason , where i can be having a good day then just feel overwhelmed and anxious. i can barely ever focus on anything and if i do for too long i tend to just blank out sort of. and sleeping has became a huge problem for me too, i can be out and busy all day then come home and still be wide awake. i don’t know what to do… i know medication isn’t the first option but i know counseling isn’t for me . my question is will the psychologist give me an option ?

A. If I understand you correctly, you don’t want to go to the doctor because you’re worried that he or she will recommend psychotherapy and you don’t think you can handle it because of your anxiety. You also don’t think therapy will work for you because of your “personality.”

Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling. People want to avoid it and often find ways to do so, to their detriment. For instance, I imagine that each time you consider seeking help, your anxiety level rises. When you feel highly anxious, you might then abandon the idea to seek help and your anxiety level reduces. This might seem counterintuitive, but in that scenario your deciding against seeking help (inadvertently) worsens your anxiety problems.

You know from other people, who sought help, that treatment works. I know it’s difficult but you should try to be open to seeking help; it’s your first step in overcoming your anxiety disorder.

You should start by making an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she could prescribe medicine to reduce your anxiety. Once your anxiety is more manageable, you might then be open to psychotherapy.

You might ultimately find that medication works and you don’t need psychotherapy. Psychotherapy in combination with medication is the most efficient way to treat anxiety disorders; however, not everyone needs or utilizes both. You will have to see what works best for you.

Finally, you don’t think that psychotherapy would work for you but it is unclear why you believe this. It might be that you’re simply not open to it and in this case, it probably would not work. Psychotherapy works best when people are open to receiving help.

Seeking professional help for mental health problems should be no different than going to the dentist for a cavity or consulting a lawyer for a legal problem. Just like a dentist is an expert in dental problems and a lawyer in legal problems, so too is the psychotherapist an expert in mental health problems. Why not consult the professionals who underwent years of rigorous training to learn how to treat the very problems with which you are struggling? The alternative is to continue to suffer with what is a highly treatable condition. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Aug 2014

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2014). Anxiety But Not the One for Counseling. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/08/20/anxiety-but-not-the-one-for-counseling/