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En Terapia: Procesando Ansiedad (Parte 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Bienvenidos a la parte 2 de “En Terapia”: Procesando la ansiedad. En esta entrada me gustaría hablarte acerca de los factores de riesgo, las causas y consecuencias de la ansiedad. Al finalizar, te dejaré algunos consejos que puedan ayudarte en aquellos momentos, cuando te sientas agobiado por la ansiedad


 

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Algunas causas de la ansiedad podrían ser más obvias que otras. Algunas podrían ser psicológicas, ocasionadas por un suceso traumático, tal como un suceso particularmente estresante, como un rompimiento amoroso. Otros podrían ser de naturaleza más inconsciente, los cuales exploraremos cuando discutamos las terapias psicodinámicas para tratar la ansiedad. Otras causas podrían ser médicas o genéticas. Vamos a explorarlas brevemente a detalle:

Factores neurológicos

Brevemente hablaré acerca de cada uno de estos factores. Debido a las limitaciones de espacio y al lenguaje técnico utilizado, he decidido resumir los puntos más importantes de esta sección. Puedes encontrar información más detallada en el siguiente link.

Los factores neurológicos, incluyen factores anatómicos, hormonales y genéticos.

Los factores anatómicos se refieren al sistema límbico, el cual podría estar afectado, por problemas estructurales y hormonales. El hipocampo es parte del sistema de respuesta al estrés, y si ésta área no está trabajando bien, los síntomas de la ansiedad podrían aparecer.

Los factores hormonales y farmacológicos que podrían llevarnos a los trastornos relacionados a la ansiedad incluyen: la función anormal de los receptores GABA, niveles bajos de serotonina, una activación anormal de los circuitos del miedo en el cerebro, así como también unos niveles anormales de la noradrenalina y dopamina, y una función anormal de las mismas.

Los genes pueden afectar la habilidad de una persona para lidiar con el estrés y la ansiedad. Algunos genes específicos han sido vinculados con la ansiedad, los cuales usualmente afectan el eje hipotalámico-hipofisario-suprarrenal (HHS) y la señalización monoaminérgica (¡Sigue el link anterior para saber qué es lo que éstos hacen!). La interacción de los genes y el entorno pueden llevarte a la ansiedad y a otros trastornos emocionales.

Condiciones médicas

La ansiedad puede ser un indicador de una afección médica subyacente. Algunas de estas condiciones incluyen:

  • Enfermedad cardiaca
  • Diabetes
  • Problemas de tiroides
  • Asma y otros trastornos respiratorios
  • Abstinencia de alcohol o drogas – prescritas o no prescritas –
  • Dolor crónico
  • Síndrome de colon irritable
  • Algunos tumores
  • Algunas veces puede ser ocasionada por los efectos secundarios de un medicamento prescrito.

Algunos de los factores psicológicos y sociales que podrían llevar a alguien a sentir ansiedad, incluyen los siguientes:

  • Trauma ocasionado por abuso en la niñez o por un suceso traumático
  • Estrés relacionado a una enfermedad
  • Estrés no tratado que se suma a través del tiempo, a otros problemas
  • La personalidad puede hacer que algunas personas sean más propensas a desarrollar ansiedad
  • Otros trastornos mentales podrían aparecer con ansiedad (por ejemplo, la depresión)
  • El uso de alcohol y drogas puede cambiar la forma en que una persona se comporta, piensa y actúa.

Risk Factors and Possible Causes of Anxiety


  • Otros problemas de salud mental, tales como la depresión, comportamientos compulsivo obsesivos
  • Uso y abuso de sustancias
  • Desórdenes del sueño, tales como el insomnio
  • Desórdenes digestivos, tales como el síndrome de colon irritable
  • Migrañas, dolores de cabeza, dolores de espalda
  • Aislamiento social, miedo de salir o miedo de situaciones en particular
  • Dificultades en el trabajo o la escuela – perder el enfoque, no asistir a clases, o faltar en días de trabajo
  • Dificultad de cuidar de ti mismo – problemas de salud emocionales y físicos, tales como descuidar el cuidado personal y los hábitos saludables de alimentación
  • Irritabilidad
  • Problemas en las relaciones con amigos y familia
  • Suicidio

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– ¡Lo mejor que puedes hacer por ti mismo, es buscar ayuda temprana, de tus amigos y de profesionales! Hacer esto, hará más probable la prevención de que algunas de las consecuencias mencionadas anteriormente puedan convertirse en realidad, y tú estarás mejor, incluso si te es difícil pedir ayuda.

-Encontrar actividades que disfrutas y que te resulten gratificantes. Esto afectará a tus hormonas y a tu cerebro de una manera positiva, y te mantendrá saludable y menos ansioso.

-Mantente acompañado de personas que sean comprensivas, positivas. Tener una buena red de apoyo, significa no te sentirás solo. Tienes a personas en quienes confías y que te escucharán y apoyarán a través de tiempos difíciles.

-Toma un tiempo fuera. Si estás en la escuela, el trabajo, o en una reunión social y sientes que la ansiedad empieza a merodear, ve al baño, o afuera para tomar un poco de aire fresco. Tómate diez minutos o el tiempo que necesites, para calmarte, utilizando los métodos que has aprendido en la entrada de la semana pasada – respira despacio, contando lentamente hasta 10, háblate a ti mismo en una manera positiva y recuerda que ésta sensación desaparecerá en un par de minutos.


Hasta la próxima semana…


Nota: alguna de la información utilizada para esta entrada ha sido tomada de la Clínica Mayo y de la página web de NCBI – los links de referencia aparecen dentro de la presente entrada y en la versión en Inglés.


22830972_10154754698267237_1487302927_o Traducción por Mayra Alarcón.


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In Therapy: Working through anxiety (part 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to part 2 of In Therapy: Working through anxiety. In this post I would like to talk about the risk factors, causes and consequences of anxiety. At the end I will leave you with some tips that might be helpful in those moments where we are overcome by anxiety.


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Some causes of anxiety might be more obvious than others. Some might be psychological – caused by a traumatic event, such as a particularly stressful life event like a relationship breakdown. Others might be more unconscious in nature, which we will explore when we discuss psychodynamic therapies for anxiety. Other causes might be medical or genetic. Let’s briefly explore these further.

Neurological factors

I will briefly talk about each one of these. Due to space constraints and the technical language used, I have chosen to summarise the main points for this section.  More in-depth information can be found by following this link.

Neurological factors include anatomical, hormonal and genetic factors.

Anatomical factors relate to the limbic system, which might be affected – by structural and hormonal issues. The Hippocampus is part of the stress-response system and if this area is not working well, then anxiety symptoms might occur.

Hormonal or pharmacological factors that might lead to anxiety related disorders includes an abnormal function of GABA receptors, low serotonin levels, an abnormal activation of the fear circuits in the brain, as well as abnormal norepinephrine and dopamine levels and function.

Genes can affect the person’s ability to deal with stress and anxiety. Specific genes have been linked to anxiety – usually affecting the HPA axis and monoaminergic signalling (follow the link above to find out what these do!) The interaction of genes and environment can lead to anxiety and other mood disorders.

Medical conditions

Anxiety might be an indicator of an underlying medical condition. Some of these conditions include:

  • heart disease

  • diabetes

  • thyroid problems

  • asthma and other respiratory disorders

  • drug – prescribed or recreational – or alcohol withdrawal

  • chronic pain

  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • some tumors

  • sometimes can also be caused as a side effect of a prescribed medication.

Psychological and social factors that might lead someone to experiencing anxiety include:

  • Trauma caused from childhood abuse or a traumatic event

  • Illness related stress

  • Unprocessed stress that adds up across time and to other issues

  • Personality might make some people more likely to develop anxiety

  • Other mental health disorders might appear with anxiety (depression, for example)

  • Drug and alcohol use might change the way the person behaves, thinks and acts


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  • Other mental health issues such as depression, obsessive compulsive behaviours
  • Substance use and abuse
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia
  • Digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraines, headaches, back pain
  • Social isolation, fear of going out or fear of particular situations
  • Difficulties at work or school – loosing focus, not attending class or missing work days
  • Difficulty in looking after yourself – emotional and physical health issues such as neglecting personal care and healthy eating habits
  • Irritability
  • Relationship problems with friends and family
  • Suicide

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– Getting help early from friends or professionals might be the best thing that you do for yourself! It will most likely prevent some of the consequences mentioned above from becoming a reality, and you will be better off even if it’s difficult to ask for help to start with.

– find activities you enjoy and find rewarding – this will affect your hormones and brain in a positive way, and keep you healthy and less anxious.

– keep yourself surrounded by people that are supportive, positive. A good support network means you don’t feel alone. You have people you trust and that will listen and support you through difficult times.

– Take time-out. If you are at school, at work, or at a social gathering and feel anxiety lurking, take yourself to the toilet, or outside for fresh air. Take ten minutes or however long you need, to calm down using the methods we learned in last week’s post – breathing slowly, counting to 10 slowly, talking to yourself in a positive manner and knowing that the feeling will go away in a few minutes.


Note: some of the information used for this post has been taken from the Mayo clinic and the NCBI website – reference links are found throughout the post.


Until next week…


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In Therapy: Working through…Anxiety (part 1)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to In Therapy: Working through…

In the next few posts, we will be discussing anxiety, what it is, its causes, consequences, and therapies that help work through anxiety issues.

I will also be leaving you with some tips on how to work through anxiety in daily life.


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Anxiety can be defined as a feeling of worry or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is something that happens to all of us at different points of our lives. It can be triggered by a variety of situations, both external (social or life situations) and internal (thoughts, feelings).

Anxiety has a history. In the days of cave-people, anxiety was helpful in keeping our fellow man alive. If there was danger, the person would get an increase in adrenaline, which would allow him to run faster or to defend himself from that danger.

Nowadays we don’t have the same kinds of dangers, but our bodies are still very similar to that of the caveman. Adrenaline still kicks in when we are in a situation we might consider frightful or dangerous, and our fight or flight (others include freeze, flop) mechanisms might kick in.

We might not have a cheetah looking at us like we’re their next dinner, but seeing that person that has bullied us in the past might give us the same feeling. Sometimes we might feel anxious over every day events, such as taking a test or going for a job interview.

Anxiety is normal, even though sometimes distressing. There are ways to work through it and find the coping mechanisms that will make it more manageable and less debilitating.


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As with self-esteem, which we looked at in the past few blog posts, the symptoms of anxiety might be physical, psychological or behavioural.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate and palpitations

  • Increased muscle tension

  • Feeling wobbly on the legs

  • Breathing more quickly or having difficulty breathing

  • Feeling the need to use the toilet more often

  • Feeling sick

  • Feeling tight chested

  • Headaches or migraines

  • Increased sweating

  • Feeling flushed or blushing

  • Dry mouth

  • Shaking

Psychological symptoms include:

  • Thoughts

    • “I am losing control”
    • “I am going mad”
    • “I am going to die”
    • “I am ill”
    • “I am going to have a heart attack”
    • “I am going to be sick”
    • “I am going to faint”
  • Feelings

    • “Why are people looking at me”

    • “People know I’m anxious”

    • Feeling surreal – detached from their surroundings

    • Feeling like things are going much slower or faster than they actually are

    • Flight

    • Feeling tense, restless, high-strung, hyper

       Behavioural

      • Avoidance of situations and people that we believe cause us anxiety. This might be real or imagined causes.


3


The list of anxiety disorders is extensive, and we won’t have time to go through them all individually. If you want to find out more, please go the Anxiety UK Website (the list below is taken from this website). If you would like me to write more in depth about any of these, and how I might work with them in session, please leave me a comment below or send me an email and I will include this in future blog posts.

  • Agoraphobia
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Claustrophobia
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Trichotillomania
  • Health anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Social phobia
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobias
  • Depersonalisation disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Separation anxiety disorder

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  • One way of working through anxiety when it gets overwhelming, or even to prevent it, is looking after yourself in different ways. Click here for my series on self-care, which might give you some ideas into how to do this.
    • Have a bath
    • Spend time with friends and family
    • Find time to be on your own
    • Find a hobby or activity that you enjoy
    • Keeping fit
    • Get in touch with nature
    • Honour your feelings and set healthy boundaries
  • Meditation techniques might also be helpful
    • Breathing
    • Yoga/pilates
    • Mindfulness
  • When the thoughts or feelings that cause anxiety show up, challenge them with different, more positive ones. This might take a lot of work, depending on how anxious you get. We will discuss a bit more in the next few blog posts.

Until next week….


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mix matched families.

This post is so fitting with the topics I’m discussing…it is a bit of self-care for those of us out there who might not fit in with our family “status quo” and a reminder for those trying to fit us into a certain mold.
Enjoy! I sure did.

Counselling for Individuals + Couples in Winnipeg

Sometimes, we grow up and look at the family we came from and we are filled with fondness and a sense of likeness, and there is a spirit of camaraderie and similarity – and we looks at the faces of our people and know that with them, we are home.

Sometimes, we have a person in our family who we connect with better than others. A sibling or parent who really “gets” us, and we look at them – and in spite of maybe not connecting quite as easily with other members, we know with this person, we are home.

Sometimes, we look at our family and find this fondness and affection and similarity in all but one person. The majority of the family may share a lens and a way in which they experience the world, and then there is the other. In spite of the differences with that…

View original post 1,306 more words

About Me

 

Welcome!

Let me tell you a bit about myself…

I was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, where I lived for the first 25 years of my life. As you can probably tell by my name, it sounds very German! I am the descendant of a German great-grandfather who moved to Guatemala in the early 1900’s. So I have influence of both Latin American and German styles of thinking, feeling and being (you will see what I mean when you meet me and spend some time with me!).

The German/European influence is probably what brought me back to Europe in 2006. I have lived in the South of England, in many towns, doing many jobs, since then.

I am now settled  in Brighton and Hove, which I love – I have access to the countryside, the city, the sea, and a melting pot of cultures and activities. This is where I have started my journey into Counselling Private Practice, as well as delving deeper into my love of languages and teaching – Spanish, English, Psychology, Counselling/Psychotherapy.

I really enjoy everything that I do, and I never do anything or continue doing something that I don’t enjoy and might cause me unhappiness or frustration. Of course I will see it through to the end and complete what I’ve started.

I don’t think I will ever get unhappy or frustrated with Counselling or Teaching, there is always something new to learn from books, training, but more importantly from my clients themselves.

It is such an honour to be allowed into people’s worlds and be there for the realisations – sometimes good, sometimes not so good – about themselves, their upbringing, their experiences, and see lasting change happen – gradually – so they can continue a happier, healthier life, with a more robust approach to challenges and whatever else life might bring.

I hope this allowed you to get to know me a bit better…do contact me if you want to know more or are looking for a Counsellor, Supervisor, Spanish/English Teacher!

 

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