Living with anxiety is a tremendous feat. When people seek me out for services they often feel as if they are “stuck” and are finding it difficult to function with the symptoms that they are experiencing. Anxiety symptoms can be terrifying…and confusing. Anxiety can affect many facets of our lives including our work performance, relationships, and sense of personal peace. It is estimated that 9% of the population will be affected by an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, making anxiety disorders some of the most prevalent mental health disorders that we experience in society today. It’s important that you understand that anxiety disorders, while incredibly distressing, scary, and intrusive, are also very treatable. Treatment for anxiety is not “cookie cutter” and really requires an experienced therapist that can teach you evidence based treatment methods, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Based Interventions, and Mindfulness Based Stressed Reduction in a way that works solely for you. Different individuals respond differently to certain treatment methods and a trained eye can recognize this and guide you in the right direction to get your symptoms under control. Choosing the right therapist for you is so important in this journey, as a good therapist will be there to educate you, guide you, and tailor treatment for you. You should feel as if you and your therapist are working as a team towards improving your symptoms. Many people attempt to treat their anxiety symptoms solely on their own, but a frequent issue with this is that we do not have the ability to be completely objective with ourselves. Having a professional to point out to us where we can change our behaviors, how we could get more improvement or to help us change our thinking patterns can be invaluable for the treatment of anxiety. Without appropriate treatment, anxiety disorders are often progressive, meaning that they can worsen over time. One of the primary reasons for this is the practice of avoidance that often accompanies symptoms of anxiety, where we begin to avoid situations that we feel have triggered us in the past or that have aggravated our symptoms. Over time, this can actually lead to an increase in anxiety symptoms and isolation which often makes the symptoms harder to treat. This is one of the reasons that early intervention is so crucial.