Category: <span>Anxiety</span>

Understanding Anxiety, Treatment for it, and how to Support: A Resource for Family and Friends

If you're reading this it's probably because someone you know and care about has been struggling with some kind of disordered anxiety.  Perhaps they're in therapy - or are considering therapy - and you're wanting to better understand what's going on, how therapy can help, and how you can help.  Disordered anxiety goes above and beyond the "normal" anxiety we all experience from time to time and can be really challenging (in the most extreme cases, crippling) for people in the throes of it. 

I often hear from people I work with that one of the most difficult aspects of struggling with anxiety is that other people just don't "get it".  Although the physical symptoms of anxiety are VERY real, anxiety isn't something you can see. It often manifests itself in changes of behavior that just might not make sense to people not dealing with an anxiety disorder of their own. I hear about responses from family members that range from extremely supportive (but enabling) to downright dismissive.  Wherever you land on this spectrum, this resource is intended to provide some basic education not only on the anxiety itself, but ways in which you can be supportive and most helpful to the person you know who is working on getting better.  I'll answer some common questions and cover symptoms, types of anxiety disorders, what to expect, and how to help. 

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Floating, Anxiety

Video: 4 Steps for Dealing with Panic

In this video, you'll learn 4 easy steps for dealing with Panic attacks while they are happening.  You'll find that the best approach is often to "float" with your anxiety while taking slow, measured breaths.  Anxiety can be counterintuitive.  When we resist the anxiety, avoid situations that cause anxiety, or run away when panic symptoms begin, we unknowingly reinforce the anxious response and make things worse.  We decrease the fight/flight/freeze response by teaching our brains through our behaviors that there's no real danger in most situations that cause our anxiety to spike. 

Disordered anxiety is what we refer to anxiety that has become problematic - anxiety that starts to get in the way of normal everyday functioning.  The great thing about anxiety "disorders" and panic attacks is that they are very treatable with the right education, support, and skills. 

Are you constantly fearing fear? Always afraid of your next panic attack? Avoiding people, places, specific situations, or things out of the fear of the physical reaction they will cause?  Afraid of the feelings, thoughts and sensations that come along with panic? What if this never ends? What if I lose control? What if I die? What if I never get back to feeling normal?  - You're not crazy. You can get better. You can start living a more fearless life with the right help.

Joel Schmidt (Licensed Mental Health Counselor and owner of Float on Counseling) treats anxiety disorders uses evidence-based gold-standard approaches for treating anxiety.  He shares openly about his own experiences with anxiety, understands the struggle, and can help you manage your anxiety in the same way he learned to manage his own.  

Reach out for a free consultation by emailing him directly at  You can also send us a message, call/text 813-515-9602, or hit the "Request Appointment" button below.  

Read more about anxiety on our "All things Anxiety" resource page and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 


all things anxiety

Your All-Things-Anxiety Resource

Struggling with anxiety? This page is an "all-things-anxiety" resource. We'll discuss types of anxiety, causes of anxiety, treatments for anxiety, and provide a few quick and helpful strategies and resources for anxiety.

What Anxiety is

To start with - EVERYBODY deals with anxiety. Anxiety is your body's natural response to stress.  Anxiety is typically future-oriented and is associated with feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness, or dread. Although we typically frame "anxiety" as a bad thing, anxiety served us from an evolutionary perspective by its ability to warn us of potential dangers and to help us prepare for situations that require action. In threatening situations, our all-on fight-flight-freeze response kicks in to help us survive whatever dangerous situation we might be in. At its best - and when it's truly needed - anxiety is your very own built-in "Super Hero". At times, though, your "Super Hero" is just a little bit overprotective and kicks in full blast when it's not totally necessary.

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panic attacks, anxiety, therapy

How to Deal with and Prevent Panic Attacks

You're going about your day when suddenly - and for no apparent reason - a sense of overwhelming fear kicks in.  Your heart rate spikes, breathing becomes difficult, you feel like you might faint, you're sort of detached from yourself, and there's a sense that you've lost control.  "What's wrong with me?", you might be thinking.  "Am I having a heart attack? Am I going to die?"  Your fears about what's happening only make things worse.  You decide to check yourself in to the ER, only to be told that there's nothing wrong with your health - and that you might only be experiencing anxiety.

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