Q: Help, I am in my 30s and I'm out and proud and all that, but I am anxious every day about my future, the economy, my love life, the state of gay rights, etc., I just can't seem to relax and I don't want to resort to any more medication, I've tried them in the past. I'm a big believer in therapy, but I can't see my therapist every day! What should I do?
A: Does your therapist know that you are anxious every day about life, the universe, and everything? If so, is he or she just reassuring you, dealing with one issue at a time, or looking at this general pattern of anxiety? I hope it's the last one. The first two will make you feel better in the moment; the last one will reduce anxiety in the long run.
Your worries come from a more generalized pattern of beliefs that the world is a threatening place and you are not personally equipped to handle it. You apply those beliefs to each individual situation and the outcome is always the same--you get anxious. Because you don't believe you have the ability to affect your situation, you look for outside means to solve your worries, such as seeking reassurance, controlling other people, or flat out avoiding things that make you anxious.
Assuming you also had a medical check-up to rule out any physical problems that could be fueling your anxiety, then the focus of treatment generally addresses your thought patterns that lead to anxiety, your behavioral avoidance of threatening things, and your physiological arousal in response, such as the tension and stress that makes it difficult to relax.