What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the feeling of fear, dread, and restlessness. An anxious feeling is normal when beginning a new venture or facing a challenge, and feeling nervous or even a little scared are common reactions to typical life stressors. The anxious feeling can even feel like a needed push in order to get something done, but for people with anxiety disorders, the anxious fear is not temporary and can be overwhelming. If you find that worry and anxiety have become constant uncontrollable feelings that are interfering with your life, it may be time to get help.
Are there different types of anxiety disorders?
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, including:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) - People with GAD worry about issues such as health, money, work/career, and family, but their worries are excessive, and they have them almost every day for at least 6 months.
Panic disorder - People with panic disorder have panic attacks brought on by anxiety. These are sudden, repeated episodes of intense fear when there is no real danger. These attacks come on quickly and can last several minutes.
Phobias - People with phobias have an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Their fear may be about flying, spiders, being in crowded places, or attending social functions.
What are common symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety can present itself as physical, emotional, or cognitive symptoms that can impact an individual in a variety of ways.
Some physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety can include:
Trembling or shaking
Elevated heart rate
Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
How can therapy help with Anxiety?
While every individual experiences anxiety at times, elevated levels of anxiety left untreated can lead to anxiety disorders that have the potential to significantly impact a person’s quality of life and relationships. Anxiety often increases negative thinking, defeatist or pessimistic attitudes, and in some cases can cause health issues including disordered eating, headaches, and hypertension; all of which can result in social isolation and depression. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for anxiety to run in unison with depression.
Some benefits to anxiety counseling can include:
Finding the root cause of anxiety
Coping skills to manage anxiety
Improved communication skills
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is the most commonly used therapy for anxiety. Research has proven CBT to be an effective treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety and more. CBT addresses negative thought patterns and distortions in the way we look at situations and ourselves and involves two main components:
Cognitive therapy - examining how negative thoughts contribute to anxiety.
Behavior therapy - examining how we behave and react in situations that can be triggering for anxiety
The premise of CBT is that our thoughts affect the way we feel - it’s not the situation someone is in that determines how they feel, but their perception of the situation. For people with anxiety disorders, negative ways of thinking increase emotions of fear and anxiety. The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety is to identify and correct these negative thoughts and beliefs.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can include:
Learning to recognize when someone feels anxious and what that feels like in the mind and body
Learning coping skills and techniques to neutralize feelings of anxiety and panic
Confronting fears either in real life or in practice
Anxiety is one of the main reasons that people seek counseling, and at Heritage Counseling & Consulting, our anxiety counseling treats more than just the surface symptoms. We’ll help you gain insight into where the anxiety stems from, identify possible triggers that cause your worries and fears to increase, and guide you in developing an individualized strategy to cope and manage anxiety when it happens. Anxiety, stress, and worry are typically very responsive to treatment. Whether your anxiety is constant, a newer unwelcome feeling, or isolated to certain situations, there are tools to help you manage your anxiety. During our anxiety counseling sessions at Heritage, our clinicians will work with you in order to develop an actionable plan and helpful tools to overcome anxiety. If you or someone you know is overcome with feelings of anxiety, panic attacks or phobias, please reach out to Heritage Counseling and Consulting for anxiety counseling.
Counseling for anxiety can help you get to the root cause of what is causing your anxious thoughts and feelings. Then, a clinician can work with you to develop a customized strategy in order for you to have the right tools to manage anxious situations when they happen. The strategy to cope with anxiety is completely individualized to the client and the clinician will continue to provide support and recommendations in order to get your anxiety under control.
If your anxiety is keeping you from doing normal tasks such as running errands, sleeping, going to work, or being in social situations, you may want to seek counseling.
Many people respond well to treatment for anxiety without medication. Oftentimes, people find that their anxiety can be managed with counseling, strategic coping tools, and lifestyle changes.