person_trapped_anxiety Ellis

Learn how to embrace your anxiety

person_trapped_anxiety Ellis


Who does anxiety affect?

Anxiety Disorders affect 12% of Canadians in any given year: 9% men; 16% women.

What are the common symptoms of anxiety? 

  • Chest pain/palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness/feeling light-headed
  • Excess energy/feel like you can’t relax
  • Racing mind/thoughts
  • Trembling/shaking
  • Heightened fear (e.g. fear of being in public/alone/heights/others, etc)
  • Excessive worry
  • Trouble focusing
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Feel closed in/under pressure all the time
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Teeth grinding
  • Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep

Types of Anxiety:

There are 6 main Anxiety Disorders in adults, and 7 in children and youth.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

GAD is exaggerated or irrational worry over a period of time (usually 6 months or more), disproportionate to the source of worry.

Specific Phobia:

Persistent fear of a given situation or object, for example, flying.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

PTSD derives from psychological trauma, for example, a threat to one’s life. Common symptoms of PTSD is re-experiencing the traumatic event by nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of original stimuli, exaggerated arousal, etc.

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia):

Social anxiety is characterized by intense fear in social situations, often causing impairment in normal functioning.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

Is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions).

Panic Disorder:

Involves the occurrence of unexpected panic attacks which commonly consist of: heart palpitations, chest pain, sweating, trembling, sensation of shortness of breath, nausea, fear of losing control or dying, numbness, etc.

Separation Anxiety:

Separation anxiety is characterized by excessive fear or anxiety in being separated from home or a person one has an attachment to, e.g. a child to a parent.

What can you do?

When anxiety attacks we go into a fight or flight response. Either response tends to amplify anxiety symptoms. The alternative response is to accept the anxiety. Most people feel anxious about getting anxious! But, if anxiety is accepted or even embraced like accepting your eye colour or your need to wear eyeglasses then anxiety moves from something that you’re afraid of to something that is manageable.


“Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Bourne

Ellis Nicolson, MDiv, RMFT
Private Practice, Mississauga

About Ellis

ellis-nicolsonEllis Nicolson is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.Ellis has expertise in the area of couple and family relationships. Ellis gives couples and families the tools to have great relationships with one another. Ellis has been working with couples and families for the past seven years with great success!

Ellis has hosted live call-in television programs geared towards healthy relationships, and his expertise has been sought in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Sympatico, Vitality Magazine, and Sage Magazine.

Ellis, along with his associates has a thriving practice in Mississauga where relationships are being healed, families are working together, and people are better able to cope when triggered. Ellis teaches his clients how to have safe, secure and intimate relationships.

June 11, 2017