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West End Counselling Centre Anxiety Counselling

Anxiety Counselling in Vancouver

With multiple years of experience and training in the field of mental health, our counsellors can help you learn about the root of your anxiety. Together, you will dive deep into those experiences and teach you new tools to manage your anxiety and stress.


Book your free new client consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.

What are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives. But anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective treatments are available. Treatment helps most people lead normal productive lives.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder involves persistent and excessive worry that interferes with daily activities. This ongoing worry and tension may be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as restlessness, feeling on edge or easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension or problems sleeping. Often the worries focus on everyday things such as job responsibilities, family health or minor matters such as chores, car repairs, or appointments.

Panic Disorder

The core symptom of panic disorder is recurrent panic attacks, an overwhelming combination of physical and psychological distress. During an attack several of these symptoms occur in combination:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart or rapid heart rate

  • Sweating

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Feeling of shortness of breath or smothering sensations

  • Chest pain or feeling constricted

  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed or faint

  • Feeling of choking

  • Numbness or tingling

  • Chills or hot flashes

  • Nausea or abdominal pains

  • Feeling detached

  • Fear of losing control

  • Fear of dying

Because the symptoms are so severe, many people who experience a panic attack may believe they are having a heart attack or other life-threatening illness. They may go to a hospital emergency department. Panic attacks may be expected, such as a response to a feared object, or unexpected, apparently occurring for no reason. The mean age for onset of panic disorder is 20-24. Panic attacks may occur with other mental disorders such as depression or PTSD.

Phobias, Specific Phobia

A specific phobia is excessive and persistent fear of a specific object, situation or activity that is generally not harmful. Patients know their fear is excessive, but they can't overcome it. These fears cause such distress that some people go to extreme lengths to avoid what they fear. Examples are public speaking, fear of flying or fear of spiders.


Agoraphobia is the fear of being in situations where escape may be difficult or embarrassing, or assistance might not be available in the event of panic symptoms. The fear is out of proportion to the actual situation and lasts generally six months or more and causes problems in functioning. A person with agoraphobia experiences this fear in two or more of the following situations:

  • Using public transportation

  • Being in open spaces

  • Being in enclosed places

  • Standing in line or being in a crowd

  • Being outside the home alone

The individual actively avoids the situation, requires a companion or endures with intense fear or anxiety. Untreated agoraphobia can become so serious that a person may be unable to leave the house. A person can only be diagnosed with agoraphobia if the fear is intensely upsetting, or if it significantly interferes with normal daily activities.

Social Anxiety Disorder (previously called social phobia)

A person with social anxiety disorder has significant anxiety and discomfort about being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected or looked down on in social interactions. People with this disorder will try to avoid the situation or endure it with great anxiety. Common examples are extreme fear of public speaking, meeting new people or eating/drinking in public. The fear or anxiety causes problems with daily functioning and lasts at least six months.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

A person with separation anxiety disorder is excessively fearful or anxious about separation from those with whom he or she is attached. The feeling is beyond what is appropriate for the person's age, persists (at least four weeks in children and six months in adults) and causes problems functioning. A person with separation anxiety disorder may be persistently worried about losing the person closest to him or her, may be reluctant or refuse to go out or sleep away from home or without that person, or may experience nightmares about separation. Physical symptoms of distress often develop in childhood, but symptoms can carry though adulthood.

Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety:

  • Feeling restless

  • Reduced sex drive

  • Headaches & Pain

  • Overthinking & Rumination

  • Obsessive Compulsive tendencies (OCD)

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Procrastination 

  • Excessive worrying

Anxiety can feel and look like different things for different people. Therefore, on's journey to healing and the tools to help you get there are unique.  Anxiety may manifest itself in many ways including symptoms such as:

  • Palpitations

  • Hyperventilating

  • Feeling lightheaded or Dizzy

  • Sweating

  • Nausea

  • Unable to maintain balance

  • Pins and Needs

  • Difficulty sleeping

Take the First Step Today

Let us support you in your journey to healing.

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