6.8 million Americans are currently seeking treatment for anxiety 1. How many do you imagine are not? It seems like everyone struggles with anxiety nowadays, in fact, it’s the most commonly diagnosed mental illness in the US. So many people have that sinking feeling in their gut that stops them from living life to the fullest and being the best version of themselves. Anxiety holds us back from taking risks, having difficult conversations, and taking that next step in life.
Thankfully, anxiety therapy can help you overcome the things that are holding you back. Our team of licensed therapists will help you understand the underlying causes of your anxiety, learn how to manage your symptoms, and develop healthier coping skills. We will help you get back on your feet and move forward once again. Online therapy for anxiety will help you break free from paralyzing fear by challenging your negative thoughts and beliefs. After working with your team you’ll be more confident, capable, and finally feel comfortable in your own skin!
At its root, anxiety is fear. It is fear of failure, fear of judgment, or fear of death. When anxiety prevents us from moving forward our fear has won. Now, some fears are founded, the world can be a dangerous place. But, most fears stem from a misfiring of our amygdala – a center of emotion in our brains. See, our brains are old hardware, they evolved when danger and death were everywhere. From violent predators to poisonous plants and disease, ancient humans had many valid reasons to be afraid. But now, when the world is a much safer place, that old hardware can pattern itself onto social and emotional triggers. Saying the wrong thing to your boss or the person you have a crush on can feel like life and death.
It’s an uphill battle to rewire the brain and to create a trustworthy feeling of safety. To do this it takes a holistic approach – both changing our external environment to support safety and building internal confidence that we can carry into every situation. Doing this often means going back to the past where fear was born.
For some of us that can be an acute incident – an accident, a breakup, or a divorce. For others it can be a long-term state – an abusive parent, a battle with addiction, or a chronic illness. These traumatic experiences shape our brain and our perspective. We start to see the potential for disaster around every corner. Anything that reminds us of our past trauma can trigger anxiety.
Truly curing anxiety takes courage. Courage to dig into the darker areas of our mind and face our demons head on. We have to look back and reprocess the memories and events that terrified us. We have to talk about and air out the moments that we’ve kept secret for so long. By speaking them aloud and listening again with adult ears we can start to rewire our brains. By reexperiencing terrifying memories in a safe place we dissolve their power and reclaim our lives.
There’s an old saying in the therapy world – “when it’s hysterical it’s historical.” What this means is when we have an overblown reaction to something that isn’t that big of a deal it indicates that our past trauma is being triggered. When we live in that triggered place we are not present in reality. Our brain is being hijacked and the fear wins. Although it takes some mindfulness and introspection to be able to detect a trauma trigger when it happens it is usually very clear in hindsight. Through online therapy for anxiety, our team of experienced psychotherapists will work with you to process these triggers and develop coping mechanisms that will put you back in charge.
If you find yourself living in anxiety and being consistently triggered you may have an anxiety disorder. All this means is that fear has the upper hand. But, worry not, there is a clear way out of anxiety. Online therapy with the dedicated team at Men’s Therapy Online will help you dismantle your fears and regain control of your life.
This is a blanket term for an individual that feels stuck in anxiety. At first glance their anxiety doesn’t seem to have a specific trigger or identifiable cause. People that experience GAD report that they feel anxious “all the time” or just simply identify as an “anxious person.” However, that is just an illusion – the experience of anxiety prevents people from pausing and looking closer. With the help of a therapist we can examine your anxiety and push beyond the smoke screen of GAD to identify patterns and trace them to the root causes. Once those causes are identified and worked through you’ll not only have a better sense of yourself but you’ll be free of the lingering feelings of fear.
The root cause of social anxiety is often a fear of judgment, humiliation, and ultimately, abandonment. When entering a social scene our brains can jump to the worst case scenario. We can become fixated on not saying the wrong thing, talking to the wrong person, or being judged and expelled from the group. Most people with social anxiety avoid social situations altogether which reinforces their feelings of being an outsider. Social anxiety can cripple lives. It can prevent us from making friends, finding love, or speaking up at work. We can stay stuck in a place of fear, unable to express ourselves.
At MTO our licensed clinicians will help you to find your voice. By speaking to our counselors and participating in our men’s groups you’ll be able to practice social skills and take emotional risks in a safe environment. When you’ve built your confidence you can take all that you’ve learned out into the world and start experiencing the power of community.
Some people have very specific phobias: needles, spiders, heights, etc. These phobias are another manifestation of anxiety. Phobias are often rooted in trauma. There is likely an event that occurred in early childhood that embedded the phobia into your psyche. By sharing stories about your past with an anxiety therapist you will start to unravel the threads of memory and trace the phobia to its root cause. Then, our clinicians will help you to reprocess that memory in order to remove its emotional charge. This can take a variety of forms and often culminates in a customized therapeutic ritual at one of our retreats that will free you from your phobia once and for all.
For many, anxiety can manifest as procrastination – the avoidance of difficult things. At the root of procrastination is often a fear of failure or difficulty feeling “dumb” or “lost.” While procrastination can be helped by learning time management and motivational skills there is often an emotional wound that must be attended to first. Without working on the emotional side all the coaching and self-help books in the world won’t help to break the cycle. Your therapist will help you to uncover the source of your procrastination and help you to make progress in your life. Showing up for life and adulting can be difficult but it’s the only way to build contentment and peace. Our online habit-tracking tools will help to hold you accountable to your commitments and our supportive community will motivate you to keep up the positive momentum in your life.
Men are under a lot of pressure to perform. Whether it’s at work, with our family, or in the bedroom. There’s pressure to be the best and to not show weakness. Many men who we talk to feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Men often feel trapped by their roles, they feel imprisoned by the expectations of others. In order to break free for performance anxiety one must start to tear off the mask. They must do the hard work of self discovery and honest living. Men have to learn how to communicate openly and honestly. This can look like setting boundaries in or ending relationships that don’t work, speaking up and asking for help at work, or being vulnerable with a loved one. The secret to overcoming performance anxiety is to stop performing and start being yourself.
In more extreme cases anxiety can manifest as OCD – a deep seated and sometimes compulsive need to control. When we feel out of control in our lives we can hyperfixate on the minor things in our life that we can control. For example, overly stressing about cleanliness, security, or fitness. Men can double down on these areas and push away everything else in their world. OCD is similar to an addiction as the brain starts to create hard-wired pathways around behavioral repetition. In the short term, this can be soothing and even empowering but, over time, it can become completely automatic. Then, what we were trying to control starts to be a source of chaos in our lives. If you are struggling with OCD our licensed therapists will help you unwind the knot of triggers, compulsions, and anxiety in order to help you stabilize your life and start moving forward again.
Even though Anxiety is extremely common, it is underreported in men. Our whole lives we are conditioned to project strength and never show fear. Of course, this is an impossible task. But, it results in many of us hiding our anxiety from the world. We learn how to “toughen up” and “muscle through.” While this can work in the short term it just procrastinates the anxiety – leaving more for us to work with in the future. Over time, our fears can twist and warp into phobias and mental illness. We can start to forget what we were actually afraid of and develop an overarching fear of the world. Our anxiety therapists will teach you and walk alongside you as you face your fears one by one. Together, we’ll challenge your limiting beliefs and help you to conquer your anxiety once and for all.
At Men’s Therapy Online we offer wrap-around services that can help you to tackle anxiety through a variety of different modalities.
Our online individual counseling fits with your schedule, allowing you to regularly see your therapist on your time. Additionally, you’ll be able to contact your therapist 24/7 through our Slack Channel so if an anxiety trigger pops up you can get in-the-moment support and advice. Many of our clinicians are trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that provides research-based solutions to anxieties and phobias. We know that men want concrete solutions to their problems, CBT will help you to get a handle on your emotions so they won’t rule you any longer.
Our men’s groups will help you to dispel the stigma around anxiety. Hearing about what other guys are working through can normalize the process and reduce any shame you may have around your anxiety. Your group members will support you and hold you accountable in facing your fears and breaking free from anxiety.Learn More
Lastly, our men’s retreats will challenge you beyond your limits and shatter your negative talk. Not only will you be encouraged to face your fears in the moment but you’ll be supported by a band of brothers that will cheer you on every step of the way. Leaning into the MTO community will mean that you’ll never be alone in your anxiety. We have your back.Learn More
Harvard Medical School, 2007. National Comorbidity Survey (NCS). (2017, August 21).
Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27. PMID: 15939839
Merikangas KR, He JP, Burstein M, Swanson SA, Avenevoli S, Cui L, Benjet C, Georgiades K, Swendsen J. Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication–Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Oct;49(10):980-9. PMID: 20855043
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