When anxiety doesn't fade - it persists

When anxiety doesn't fade, and it persists, even when undertaking counselling or therapy, you have to weigh up your options. The likelihood is that you are creating anxiety within yourself, not purposefully of course, but maybe unconsciously.


Are you going to continue to persist with this for the rest of your life?

How about seeking out the psychological disturbance within you? If it is not a chemical imbalance and you have experienced life events or situations that have caused the anxiety, then you know why? That is half the battle!

Anxiety is manifested through the fight or flight mechanism and as such you get into habitual ways of coping. Something is causing the anxiety, it is not a figment of your imagination and you are not going mad, it is being caused by something that doesn't sit comfortably with you. The cause is usually established through a counselling relationship, that you have not been aware of until you attended therapy. However, once you realise its cause it doesn't always then disappear as we would wish. You have to constructively take action. Following, are several things to consider when faced with anxiety.

Finding the cause of anxiety

You must ask yourself some sensible questions:

  • Who are you now, compared to who you were before feeling the anxiety?
  • What are these differences that are causing you to feel this anxiety?
  • Has your mindset changed causing you to judge yourself harshly?
  • Have you done something you would now say is out of character?
  • Did somebody violate you? Is that your shame to be carrying or could you share out the responsibility of who is the cause of the experience?
  • What is it about you now that you cannot accept this 'thing', that is causing the anxiety?

Ways to manage anxiety

Create a pie chart of responsibility, sharing out the factors identified above that caused this to happen, whether it was done to you or something you did. You will see you are not fully responsible for what happened.

In your mind talk to yourself, if you are going to accept negative self-talk, you will continue to feel anxious, however, if you make the decision to talk to yourself, positively and compassionately it can alleviate some of the anxiety. Develop a balanced perspective of the experiences, by thinking of alternate ways of looking at the situation, i.e. a more realistic view.

Have faith in yourself as you have been given your life to live and do something with - what is your purpose? What is the bigger picture? How can your past experiences direct your decisions for your future?

Look forward, be present as the past has gone. It is only you who is holding it close. Make that decision and let go, change, accept, be who you were meant to be!

Confidence comes through building the muscle in the brain. By using it and strengthening it by taking action and seeing results, your confidence will develop. Of course, building confidence is sometimes difficult to do on your own from a place of low self-esteem so seeking some support from a professional therapist might be something to consider. 

Just remember, confidence and anxiety don't go hand in hand - seek out the former not the latter and you'll be heading in the right direction. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, CF37
Written by Paula Howel, MBACP (accredited) Trained Counsellor, Supervisor & Coach
Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, CF37

My counselling background is in the humanistic approach. I also use CBT to work in a more solution focused way with clients.
My qualification is in Person-Centred Counselling and I have undertaken some CBT training, I also hold a BSc in Behavioural Sciences and a Life-Coaching Diploma.

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