What is Anxiety?

 

Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety symptoms every year. Anxiety has caused people to experience issues on the job, struggles in relationships, impaired social functioning, and difficulties engaging in hobbies and activities. In severe cases Anxiety can result in extreme isolation and fear of leaving the home.

Anxiety is rooted in fear and we respond by seeking control resulting in excessive worry and irritability.

 

There are various types of Anxiety including:

1. Panic attacks

…. which feel like heart attacks.  Symptoms may include:

heart palpitations
shortness of breath
unusual sweating
shaking/trembling
chest pain
nauseousness
dizziness
numbness or tingling sensations

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have gone to the hospital thinking you are having a heart attack and are told you had a panic attack, it is recommended to seek therapy for anxiety treatment.

Sometimes there are obvious triggers to panic attacks such as seeing something that triggers anxiety, or worrying about something often that triggers anxiety.  Other times people report that it “comes out of the blue.”  Regardless of knowing the trigger or not, therapy is the best form of anxiety treatment.

2. Social Anxiety/Social Phobia

Clients come into my office often reporting that they have “social anxiety” meaning that they experience anxiety symptoms (such as ones listed above) moreso or only in social situations rather than all of the time.

I have treated many clients who have this complaint who are able to come out of treatment and feel more comfortable around others, perform better on the job, make and keep friendships and ultimately feel happier.

3. Specific Phobia

You often hear people say things like “I’m afraid of snakes” or it could be spiders or bridges or anything and everything.  People usually struggle with phobia to some degree.  It becomes a clinical problem when it starts to interfere with your life and are engaging in avoidance behaviors and experiencing significant anxiety symptoms.  If you find yourself being held back in life by specific fears, anxiety treatment can help you to overcome those phobias and begin to live a “normal” life again.

4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

I’m Anxious about everything! GAD is marked by excessive worry – even about little things that are of no big significance but you can’t seem to stop worrying about it!  People with GAD also find themselves having a hard time sleeping, concentrating on things and feeling pretty cranky most of the time.  It is a difficult diagnosis because often people want to stop being this way, but struggle with the HOW!?

How do you treat Anxiety?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a recommended treatment modality for the various forms of anxiety. The therapy intervention focuses on changing one’s thoughts in order to change one’s mood. The theory behind CBT is that after an event occurs and before an emotional response happens, there is a thought. It is believed that it is not the actual event that leads to unpleasant emotions, but rather the thought that is triggering the unwanted feelings.

Imagine that we have about 50,000 thoughts a day. Now imagine if the majority of those thoughts were negative!!! Or maybe the thoughts are stuck things about bad events of the past, or worried about the future. That’s a lot of negativity!!! Cognitive Behavioral Therapy uses specific techniques to help you to transform your thinking and behaviors to a healthier, happier, YOU!

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