Treatment for Anxiety
You don’t have to struggle with anxiety – help is available. Effective treatment for anxiety does not need to take months or years.
Get help for your anxiety
Anxiety is a very common mental health condition, you are certainly not the only one. However, whilst everybody feels anxious and worried from time to time, high levels of anxiety over a long period can impact your mental health and wellbeing.
The good news is that anxiety is treatable. Many of my clients find relief after the very first therapy session. Panic attacks disappear. The physical symptoms of anxiety go.
If you suffer from anxiety, you know how damaging it can be.
Is this you?
Grey Matters Therapy’s treatment for anxiety makes panic attacks and fear a thing of the past. You regain control of your life so you can start leading a happy, fulfilling life.
Do you require anxiety treatment?
Anxiety disorders like General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) can have a positive or negative impact on your life. It can help you to focus and be alert and produce adrenaline to help you, for example, to win a competition. But it can also create chaos within your life, limiting social interaction, activities, relationships, education, and work. If anxiety is taking over your life, it is time to seek anxiety treatment.
What is anxiety?
Everyone experiences fear and anxiety; certain situations can cause people to feel in a dangerous situation. For example, a large dog running towards you or a thunderstorm blowing large branches towards the house.
Types of anxiety disorders
As an anxiety specialist, I see many people experience symptoms of more than one type of anxiety disorder. Quite often, people experience depression too. Anxiety can start to take over your life, and symptoms may not go away on their own.
There are different types of anxiety. The most common are:
A person feels anxious on most days, worrying about lots of different things, for six months or more.
A person has a severe fear of being criticised, embarrassed, or humiliated, in everyday situations, like speaking publicly, eating in public, being assertive at work, or making small talk.
A person is very fearful of a particular object or situation and may go to great lengths to avoid it, for example, a fear of certain animals, having an injection, or travelling on a plane. There are many different types of phobias.
A person has panic attacks: intense, overwhelming, and often uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with physical symptoms. Someone having a panic attack can experience dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, chest pain, and excessive sweating. Sometimes, people suffering a panic attack think they are about to die or to have a heart attack. If a person has repeated panic attacks or frequently fears having one for more than a month, they’re said to have panic disorder.
A person has on-going unwanted, intrusive fears and thoughts that cause anxiety. Although the person may acknowledge these thoughts as non-rational or silly, they often try to relieve their anxiety by carrying out certain rituals or behaviours. For example, a fear of germs and contamination can lead to constant washing of hands and clothes.
PTSD can occur after a person experiences a traumatic event where they feel overwhelmed and helpless. Symptoms can include difficulty relaxing, upsetting dreams or flashbacks of the event, and avoidance of anything related to it. PTSD is diagnosed when a person has symptoms for at least a month.
Understanding the difference between anxiety and fear
Anxiety is a complex emotional response that feels similar to fear. Both are the result of identical brain processes and result in similar physiological and behavioural reactions. Fear comes from a clear, present, and identifiable threat, anxiety comes from a situation where there is no current danger, you may experience a sense of discomfort, but you are not in actual danger.
Two pathways can create anxiety: one path travels the detail-orientated circuitry of the cortex and eventually send the information to the amygdala, which then produces an anxiety response. The other pathway runs directly from the thalamus to the amygdala. Each path can cause the amygdala to create anxiety; however, each path is constructed of circuitry so that you can change that circuitry with different techniques. If you understand how the wiring works, you can rewire/retrain your anxious brain so that you experience less anxiety.
Watch this short video on the difference between anxiety and fear.
I suffered from severe anxiety and PTSD for over 30 years, had CBT, group therapy, and counselling which only made things worse. I tried to cope by drinking. My friend recommended Venka; it was my last attempt at treatment. She gave me a safe place to be myself, and she fixed me, glued me somehow back together in three sessions with ‘homework’ in between. Powerful stuff that changed my life.
EMDR was recommended to me by a couple of people. I was at a crisis point and felt backed into a corner with nowhere else to go. So I figured that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I was dealing with recurring nightmares and anxiety around two frightening incidents in my life. Both were affecting my day to day life, and both were affecting my relationship with my boyfriend.
I had tried conventional therapy. It didn’t help because my pattern of thinking never changed, instead, I would over complicate the issue by talking non stop about it. It would throw up feelings and thoughts that were not helpful to me.
I was skeptical but open-minded to try Venka’s method of Bi Lateral Analysis Stimulation Technique (improved EMDR). It was deceptively simple. I followed instructions, answered honestly, and relaxed into the process. And I wanted it to work; I didn’t want to fight the process or try to outsmart it. After the first session, I feel less frightened. My heart doesn’t race in the middle of the night, and men don’t scare me the way they did. I can sift through negative thought patterns and think a lot more clearly now. A past experience is no longer crippling me—no more panic attacks.
It took longer and was more expensive to run from my past than it was to confront it and heal from it.
I saw Venka to help me overcome my PTSD from a serious car accident as traditional counselling only made it worse. Venka was very reassuring and calm. The treatment took about 1.5 hours, and I left feeling completely different, relaxed, and lighter. I no longer have flashbacks.
I had been seeing a psychotherapist in Bond Street previous to making an appointment with Venka. The first session was a deep-dive into my limbic system, and Venka was a calm, empathetic, and professional guide. She adapted the session to suit my needs. I left feeling lighter, yet more grounded.
The problem I contacted Venka for was anxiety-related, with significant life changes coming up and a new relationship that caused me anxiety as well. At worst of times, the endless “thinking loops” caused me sleeping issues where I couldn’t fall asleep as well as waking up a lot during the night. These sleeping issues started a few years ago when I had some other life changes going on, so it seems to be a recurring thing that I don’t seem to be able to relax when stressed or in times of uncertainty. I had tried CBT before when I had sleeping issues.
I always felt good after a session, and it certainly helped me to be more aware of my thinking patterns. However, I didn’t think that I had any useful tools in an acute crisis when overthinking. Venka was very welcoming, she made me feel comfortable, and we had an initial chat about the problem I’d like to tackle. After the session, I had a weird sensation in my body – I felt exhausted but incredibly relaxed and relieved at the same time.
It’s tough to describe. The exercises Venka taught me, particularly the one where I’m “parenting myself,” has an impact on me to this day, and I revisit this thought whenever I feel lonely or anxious. It has a soothing effect on me, and I calm down more quickly.
Watch this video from Hannah, explaining how quickly we treated her anxiety