PSYCHOTHERAPY: ANXIETY DISORDERS, NEUROSES, STRESS, PSYCHOSOMATIC SYMPTOMS
Today’s world puts strong pressure on us and sets many challenges. We expect that we will make a regular progress, achieve new successes and more demanding goals in many areas at the same time (work, home, exercise, hobby, personal development, health, social activities and charity). A rapid pace of life introduced by cultural and social standards, living in large anonymous groups as well as abundance of goals we set to ourselves – all these result in growing pressure, anxiety and stress. Many of us cannot cope with high level of pressure continuing for a long period of time. Many people seek assistance from GP doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists regarding various disorders caused by psychological reasons, mainly stress and fear, which often give somatic symptoms.
In common language, such problems are called simply neuroses, but psychiatrists and psychologists classify them nowadays as “neuroses related to stress and giving somatic symptoms” and single out numerous forms of neuroses, including phobias, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders, posttraumatic stress disorders or adaptation disorders.
Treatment of anxiety disorders (neuroses)
Psychotherapy, sometimes paralleled by pharmacotherapy, is an effective method of treating most of anxiety disorders. At my psychotherapeutic office, during initial psychological consultations (intake), with the client’s support, I recognise the problem and propose further working method – usually a psychotherapy designed for a definite (longer) period of time. If the situation requires pharmacotherapy, I propose consultation with a psychiatrist, who will help the client to select appropriate drugs and dosing, and then will monitor the efficiency of the drugs and further need of using them. If additional medical testing is needed, I advise contacting other specialists: a GP doctor or a medical specialist. For example, before working on the client’s continuous headache during psychotherapy physical reasons should be excluded.
During psychotherapy with clients experiencing different disorders related to anxiety or stress (commonly called neuroses), I work towards:
- easing the symptoms: before beginning deep psychotherapeutic work, first the most disturbing symptoms need to be taken care of. I present the client different methods and teaches specific techniques, encourage to try them (also in my office)
- recognising the causes of the client’s problems: identify situations in which the symptoms are intensified and the client’s mood deteriorates, or identify which earlier or current situations in life caused the client to feel worse and find it difficult to function in a satisfactory way
- identifying the emotional and cognitive patterns influencing the difficulties the client encounters (neurosis, reactions to stress, psychosomatic disorders), name the fixed disadaptational reactions consisting in emotions, meanings attributed to situations and behaviours of the clients
- seeking possibilities of change: better, more adaptational method of managing the situation by the client; the client may together with me work on different solutions depending on specific problems and situations
- implementing the solutions into the client’s everyday life: the role of the psychotherapist is to motivate and support the client so that the change does not only happened in the client’s head, but also in client’s real life. This allows the client to function better and the neurotic symptoms will cease to reccurr.
Psychological or psychotherapeutic assistance may prove beneficial
Anxiety disorders often make people function in life significantly worse than they could if they had been able to cope with pressure, anxiety or stress. Their disorders limit their potential, often make it impossible for them to achieve significant goals in their life, make them resign from some activities or make them so exhausted that they cannot take care of many things in their life.
Difficulties caused by anxiety and stress (neurotic disorders in broad sense) lead to so called “secondary problems”, including:
- low self-esteem, inadequately low self-esteem
- lost joy of living
- difficulties in performing family roles: wife and mother, husband and father, partner, adult child
- overuse of or even addiction to pharmaceuticals
- social isolation (lack of friends or avoiding friends, acquaintances, lack of contact with family members)
- fear of death, mental illness or lack of control
- health issues
- feeling tired or exhausted, low immunity
- deterioration of professional performance (problems with concentration, problems in achieving set goals, problems with building professional relationships) or school performance
If you encounter any problems related to neurosis I invite you to use a psychologist’s assistance. If you experience anxiety (neuroses), excessive stress or psychosomatic symptoms, using psychotherapy or psychological assistance may help you to develop new, more effective and tailored to the current circumstances and limitations and possibilities methods of managing the situation. The psychological assistance will also help to eliminate or significantly reduce the current symptoms of anxiety or stress as well as the secondary issues.
Set up a meeting
If you need psychological help, contact me.