Anxiety

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety can often be an isolating experience leaving you embarrassed and causing you to avoid activities you would otherwise enjoy. Individuals with anxiety disorders tend to need to be in control and feel uncomfortable when they can’t predict or control a situation. These situations are difficult to avoid, and it’s impossible to control every aspect of our lives. Anxiety can also cause irrational thoughts or beliefs. Intellectually, you may be aware that they are irrational, but the thoughts still FEEL real. 

Although you may feel like your anxiety hits you all at once, it’s a reaction developed over time in the brain. The brain learns what to be afraid of as a way of self-preservation. The brain’s ultimate goal is to keep us alive to the extent that it will shut down other organs to survive. If you experience repeated events where you are afraid of a specific event, feeling, or person, this triggers anxiety or fear. Then, the neurons in your brain fire together. Over time, “what fires together, wires together.” 

Becoming more aware of your anxiety, labeling it, and learning where it came from and what purpose it serves can help you regain control of your life and enjoy the simple pleasures without constant worry.

Common Causes of Anxiety

  • Trauma and posttraumatic stress
  • Chronic stress build-up
  • Stress due to illness or medical conditions
  • Genetics and being wired as highly sensitive
  • Environmental factors
  • Lack of social support
  • Lack of financial resources
  • Mistreatment from others

Common Signs of Anxiety

  • Muscle tension
  • Indigestion
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inability to stay still or calm
  • Sweaty palms
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tightness in your chest 

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety is one of the most commonly experienced and diagnosed mental health issues. Adjustment disorders happen in response to a life stressor or change that evokes symptoms of anxiety and can last up to six months. While not as severe or chronic as Generalized Anxiety, Adjustment Disorders can feel just as disruptive and uncomfortable. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: People tend to deal with daily anxiety that negatively impacts their lives and relationships. They may worry a lot about insignificant things or have a bigger reaction to a situation than is appropriate. The severity differs with each person.  

Panic Disorder involves the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder but also includes panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without reason or warning. Some report this can feel like a heart attack. 

Social anxiety is characterized by discomfort or fear when a person is in a social interaction that involves a concern of being judged or evaluated by others. People with this disorder will avoid crowded places and situations where there is an expectation to talk to new people.

Phobias are one of the common forms of anxiety disorders. A phobia is characterized by an intense and unreasonable fear of a specific object or situation. This means having an extreme anxiety response towards something that is not causing immediate danger.

FAQ

Do I have to take medication?

Medication is not for everyone, but it can help those who need immediate relief while working on a long-term solution. If you aren’t comfortable taking medication, therapy can still be incredibly effective. 

I'm afraid my therapist will think I'm crazy if I talk about my thoughts...

Our therapists have been hand chosen by the clinical director, who believes in a very open-minded, laid-back atmosphere. In the therapy room, we are not here to judge you but help you figure out where you learned to think this way and help you change.

My anxiety has controlled so much of my life, what makes you think you can help?

We have spent many years learning about mental disorders and seeking training in the most innovative and successful ways to treat anxiety disorders. We have years of experience treating anxiety successfully and understand the biology behind anxiety. We have specific skills and techniques we can teach you to reduce anxiety.  

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