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Anxiety disorders are a class of mental health disorders that induce overwhelming anxious feelings and fear.

They include a family of six major disorders and are considered the most common mental health disorder:

  1. Panic Disorder
  2. Agoraphobia
  3. Social Phobia
  4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Freda Doyle, MA, is a registered psychologist at Cornerstone Counselling. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan and Athabasca University and completed a master’s degree at Yorkville University.

Although she has experience in many areas, she says her main specialty and passion is working with youth trauma and anxiety. She has training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, and Person Centred Therapy.

Freda says that therapy is where she is meant to be. She remembers back to her youth when she was the one that everyone told their problems to, so naturally she was drawn to counselling psychology and found a passion for helping others.

She is also very passionate and involved with trying to remove barriers to counselling. She believes that everyone deserves unconditional access to mental health services that are not dependent on any factor or circumstance. She believes that nothing should stand in the way of receiving the proper support that everyone deserves. This is a big reason why she was so attracted to Cornerstone Counselling because we offer a sliding scale, which is a huge help for removing these said barriers to mental health services.

Freda kindly gave some insight into the topic of trauma and anxiety.

Trauma and Anxiety

With unequivocal certainty, Freda explained that many instances of trauma lead to anxiety and anxious feelings. She gave the example of someone who experienced childhood neglect.

Childhood neglect is a very traumatic experience and can lead to many emotional and behavioural issues for years to come. It is characterized when parents fail to address a child’s emotional needs. This is oftentimes accompanied with the child witnessing, or maybe even experiencing, different forms of violence.

Freda explained that because the individual experienced trauma, this leads them to constantly be on the lookout for another dangerous moment to arise in the form of increased Autonomic Nervous System arousal (our fight or flight response). This increased nervous system arousal is a key symptom of anxiety disorders.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxious feelings come with common physiological arousal such as:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Increased release of stress hormones.

All of these factors combined can lead to many physical health complications that should not go unnoticed.

Although a healthy dose of anxiety isn’t always a bad thing, especially in dangerous situations (it helps prepare our body for certain situations where we need to act fast), it can impact one’s quality of life.

If you feel your anxious feelings have become overwhelming and are spilling over into other parts of your life, this may be a sign to seek help. Freda, along with numerous other mental health professionals at Cornerstone Counselling, are available to help you with your anxious feelings and any other concerns that you may have!

 

Blog post by Ethan Andrews, Volunteer.

References

Section B – Anxiety disorders. (2012, January 30). Statcan.Gc.Ca. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-619-m/2012004/sections/sectionb-eng.htm

Holland, K. (2021, September 9). Childhood emotional neglect: What it is, and how it can affect you. Healthline.Com. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/childhood-emotional-neglect