Anxiety, worry, rumination, panic.
Excessive anxiety and worry that's difficult to control is often associated with feeling restless, difficulty concentrating, thinking similar thoughts over and over (rumination), chronic tension in your muscles, headaches, irritability, being easily fatigued, difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep.
Anxiety can be about a specific object or situation (e.g., heights, certain animals), being in social situations where we fear being judged or evaluated by others, worrying about many different events or activities at the same time, or experiencing abrupt surges of intense fear or discomfort (panic attacks).
Evidence-based treatment for anxiety and panic involves the learning and practice of various skills to reduce anxiety (e.g., muscle relaxation, breathing skills), understanding how thoughts influence our emotions and behavior, learning and practice of new ways to more skillfully relate to our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations, and systematically facing situations that typically lead to anxiety so that new learning can occur.
Depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy is often associated with feeling hopeless, empty, episodes of crying, losing or gaining weight, changes in appetite, feeling agitated or slowed down, feeling guilty or worthless, difficulty falling or staying asleep, sleeping much more than usual, fatigue, and recurring thoughts about suicide.
Evidence-based treatment for depression involves the learning and practice of various skills to increase engagement with meaningful activities and social relationships, identifying, examining, and more skillfully changing our relationship to patterns of thinking that contribute to depressed mood, identifying our core values, and better aligning our behavior with values-based goals.
Post-traumatic stress (PTSD)
Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, sexual violence, or other extremely stressful experiences can lead to intrusive memories of the traumatic event, recurring nightmares, feeling like the event was happening again, negative emotions and physical reactions when you remember the event, changes in how you think about yourself and others, feeling distant or detached from meaningful relationships, persistent negative emotions like irritability, anger, fear, guilt, or shame, persistently assessing potential threats with difficulty relaxing, difficulty with concentration, and difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restless sleep.
Evidence-based treatments for post-traumatic stress involves examining our thoughts and beliefs about the causes and consequences of the traumatic event and gradually facing memories and situations that remind us of the trauma so that new learning can occur.
Strengthening relationships, building more meaningful, open, authentic lives.
Ongoing sleep disruption and chronic stress negatively impacts our mental health, physical health, and can damage relationships with the people we love. Over time, we may start to feel isolated, that our life is less meaningful, and that we aren't living in a way that is true to ourselves and what we care about most deeply.
Fortunately, there are evidence-based tools to strengthen and deepen our relationships, to be more present and in the moment with the people we love, to discover our values, and to commit to living in a manner that is more open, flexible, compassionate, and authentic.
If you're ready to finally find relief from chronic stress, to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling energized and refreshed, and to start living a more authentic, values-based life, schedule your free 15-minute consultation with Brian Curtis, Ph.D. today.