Do I have attachment related anxiety? 10 Questions to ask yourself
Five Towns Attachment Focused Therapy in Long Island, NY
Last blog discussed attachment and anxiety that you have that may be related to an attachment injury or attachment trauma. For more clarity, ask yourself the following questions to see if you may have attachment related anxiety:
Attachment related anxiety? 10 Questions:
Do I have nightmares about bad things happening to me or my loved ones?
Do I neglect my basic self-care routines, and prioritize the “other person” in relationships, work, family relationships?
Do I act snappy, distant and impatient with loved ones when I really wish to feel close to them?
Do I expect the worst case scenarios to happen in my life and relationships, often waiting for the “other shoe to drop”?
Do I have a strong inner critic that makes me feel insecure in my skin? (ex: chronically second-guessing myself)
Do I get irritable and fearful when someone tries getting close to me?
Does my anxiety cause me to feel numb or spaced out and “dissociated”? And does this happen when I’m trying to connect with family or be intimate with loved ones?
Do I feel insecure, worried, unsafe and doubtful when engaging in relationships, where there is not apparent danger?
Do I find it difficult to say NO or to set realistic boundaries?
Do I have physical symptoms of anxiety? sweating, quickened heart rate or trembling or shaking?
If you answer yes to a few of these, you may have anxiety related to attachment. It’s important to note that not everyone who has experienced an attachment injury will develop anxiety, but if you do have some anxiety symptoms, I want you to know that you can experience relief.
You body is doing its job by being anxious, because anxiety is your body’s way of telling you it needs some help. When you are carrying negative beliefs, or go through an attachment wound, the experience gets locked in your mind (brain) and body (nervous system). Memories that are stuck need to find a way to release, and experience healing so you can have relief (Ogden, Minton & Pain, 2006).
how to treat anxiety related to attachment issues?
There are many methods of treatment. Often we get to understand your attachment patterns by administering an adult attachment survey. This helps us understand what kind of patterns you have learned and have been using when engaging in relationships.
Some of these patterns have been helpful in developing relationships, and some aspects may be harmful, or be blocking true intimacy in your current connections with others. We get to know the beliefs you’ve been carrying that have helped you move through life. We identify the underlying negative beliefs that are the cause of the hum of anxiety you’ve been carrying.
In anxiety treatment with your therapist, you’ll get to process and work though events or experiences that left their mark, either with fears, worries, doubts or concerns. As you work through the pain, your body can let go of the tension and begin to feel stronger. You’ll begin to feel better and access newfound flexibility in navigating life, love and transitions.
methods of treatment
One of the trauma informed methods of treatment I often use is EMDR. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a therapy modality that I have found extremely helpful in helping clients who have struggled with anxiety for years but have not had success with regular talk therapy. EMDR helps the client get to the root of the presenting issues, worry or anxieties and helps the body process memories, beliefs, physical sensations and stuck emotions (Shapiro, 2001).
Another method I often use is Expressive Arts, where we help you express the pent up anxiety by use of art work, collage, as well as drawing a timeline of your life where we creatively identify events that birthed negative and positive beliefs. We strengthen the good ones and replace the old ones! We also utilize Parts Work and Trauma Informed Therapy where we identify and often draw inner parts of self that need a method of expression beyond talk therapy. Somatic Psychotherapy has also been helpful in processing attachment related anxieties, on a mind-body level (Van der Kolk, 2007).
Using these creative healing methods, clients often experience deep level healing and a reduction of the intensity of their anxiety symptoms. When your anxiety is in a healthy range life feels so much more enjoyable. Relationships feel more rich, you have more energy to give, receive and experience love…..and that is priceless.
Are you ready to improve your overall health, well-being and increase your sense of calm? Are you ready to do the work to let go of the anxiety? Pave a better tomorrow and Schedule your consultation here.
Ogden, Minton & Pain (2006) Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) 1st Edition
Shapiro,R (2001): Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures, 2nd Edition Second Edition
Van der Kolk, B (2007):Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society 1st Edition