All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 27 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Chris Papastamos, M.A. CPC, CBIS - Counselor

Chris Papastamos

Chris specializes in counseling for:

Chris experienced the following symptoms:

 

Biography:

Chris's struggle with anxiety began at a very young age. At home, he experienced an abusive environment. Early in school he witnessed violence and was bullied. He began developing feelings of fear, worry, and insecurity. Messages about how he never measured up and wouldn't amount to anything came from both family and teachers. Throughout elementary and high-school, Chris not only struggled with fitting in but also with concentrating during his classes. This led to him struggling academically. Chris became obsessed with thoughts of failing, letting others down, and not amounting to anything in life.

In order to fit in, he began to give in to peer pressure, leading to Chris abusing alcohol and developing other addictions. His symptoms began to worsen. He began experiencing more severe and frequent panic attacks. Chris began also experiencing numbness in his face and neck, and tremors in his hands. All this lead to several visits to emergency; each time thinking he was having heart attacks or strokes. He began struggling with insomnia in his mid-teens.

As Chris entered college, he continued to struggle in his academics and relationships. Any time he found employment, he was obsessed with thoughts and fears that he would be fired. At this time, Chris's anxiety worsened. He began developing rashes. He began acting out in anger and rage, and being abusive towards others. He began experiencing night mares and night terrors. He began to struggle getting out of bed in the morning, and facing the day. Each day for Chris felt overwhelming. Chris's academics suffered and he ended up failing numerous classes. During this time, Chris had ended an engagement with his then-fiancée. Chris's outlook on the future was grim. He was afraid he'd be alone, not amount to anything, not have any significant relationship, or have a family of his own. One of his biggest fears was being homeless and alone. Chris struggled greatly with suicidal thoughts.

Chris decided to seek counselling. Unfortunately, the initial counselors weren't that helpful as they didn't help him with his symptoms and the underlying cause of his anxiety and depression. It wasn't until he met with a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Depression, when he finally began to find meaningful help. It was through this counselling that Chris began to learn what anxiety and depression were. He began to understand how his thoughts and behaviours contributed to him experiencing anxiety and depression. He was introduced to strategies that allowed him to contain his symptoms. Over time, with persistence Chris began to change his perceptions, his beliefs, and his behaviours. He also learned what his triggers were, and how to respond to them. Chris also started creating healthy relationships.

Chris met his wife Joanna during his last year of college. They ended up marrying in 1996. They moved from London, Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba where Chris completed his Masters in Counselling. Chris has counselled countless individuals, couples, and families suffering with anxiety and depression, among other issues. Chris is also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist with the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists. Chris and Joanna currently live back in London, Ontario and have two children. Chris no longer struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, or Depression, and is committed to helping others experience full recovery as well.

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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 2015.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including anxiety therapist Chris Papastamos.