Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety is a normal and healthy response to stress. It can help us to focus, increase our concentration, improve motivation, cope with pressures at work or at home and to deal with difficult tasks. In its extreme forms though, it can become an immobilizing disorder. For those coping with anxiety in Thousand Oaks, choosing to work with an anxiety psychologist in Thousand Oaks can prove to be beneficial.

Anxiety disorders exhibit in many varieties.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Perhaps the most common and least recognized, GAD affects a large population. Physical symptoms include sweating, insomnia, headaches, muscle tension, shaking or trembling and general irritability. Other symptoms include unwarranted but frequent elevated worry regarding daily events.

Panic Disorder

Those suffering with panic disorder experience acute and unbearable episodes of terror which strike swiftly and without warning. Symptoms may include pounding heart, numbness, chest pain, dizziness, hot or cold sensations, acute nausea and are sometimes accompanied by a sense of unreality or a fear of imminent doom. A Thousand Oaks anxiety psychologist can help those with panic disorder deal effectively with situations which induce these responses.

Social Anxiety

This is usually characterized by an avoidance of some or all social situations due to an overwhelming fear of humiliation, scrutiny or embarrassment.

Phobias

Phobias are perhaps widely known to the public due to popular movies which have featured them. The fear of spiders was exploited in the movie Arachnophobia. The psychological thriller Copycat’s main character suffered with a heavy dose of Agoraphobia. What those with phobias have in common is an illogical fear of a thing or a situation which imposes strict limitations on a person’s life. Being confronted with the situation or thing about which one has a phobia usually produces extreme panic and terror.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD

OCD is usually characterized by unwanted and uncontrollable thoughts and rituals which are excessively repeated and tend to consume the daily life of those with this disorder. It is possibly the least understood anxiety disorder in the mind of the general public. OCD is an extreme form of mental obsession combined with compulsive action. The disorder is a combination of brain and behavior and produces severe anxiety in those who are affected.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD

PTSD results from experiencing a traumatic event. Events which are known to be common causes of PTSD are rape, abuse and war. Other common causes include natural disasters, surviving a plane crash and car accidents. Symptoms vary but usually include some combination of nightmares, flashbacks, depression, sleeplessness, panic attacks, unpredictability, emotional deadness and an inability to maintain concentration. Those with PTSD are often easily distracted, have a quick startle response and sometimes exhibit flash tempers.

Trying to deal with an anxiety disorder on one’s own may produce little or no result. Working with an anxiety psychologist in Thousand Oaks to gain effective tools and understanding for dealing with anxiety disorders can be beneficial for those experiencing them.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Group (Covered by many insurance plans)

A step-by-step approach for how to bring mindfulness into daily life.

What is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?

Benefits of this Group:

We will focus on how to replace stress inducing habits with mindful ones—skills that will last a lifetime. Stress and pain are nearly unavoidable in our lives. Stress can leave us feeling irritable, tense, overwhelmed, and burned-out. The key to a balanced response to stress lies in mindful, non-judgmental awareness of our bodies and minds. This can be learned in just a few short weeks.

Topics Include:

This isn't a therapy group; rather it is a focused topic to teach mindful awareness as applied to reducing stress.

Q&A

Q: Isn't mindfulness from Buddhism and isn't this a religion?

A: Many people think of Buddhism as a religion; yet I find it easiest to conceive Buddhism as an ancient psychology which continues to have much to say to today's stressed out modern world.

Q: What if I'm already on medicine for anxiety; will this still help me?

A: It is helpful to learn additional coping skills to better manage your anxiety and stress and thus maximize the effectiveness of any medication you may be on.

Q: What if I’m already seeing a therapist?

A: This program is intended to be an adjunctive treatment to anything you have already, or might be currently receiving of a therapeutic or medical nature. Check with your provider of service if you have any questions.

Q: What will happen in the group sessions?

A: You will learn how to bring mindful awareness into daily life.