Does it feel like your mind is stuck in quicksand, pulling you into a void of constant worry, self-questioning, and emotional and physical discomfort?
As a person living in this world, you have a lot to navigate: work, ensuring safety and protection of loved ones, finances; the list is exhausting. Your mind and body responds to it in ways that feel like constant friction between “needing to” and “I am just so tired.” It’s likely hard to relax and recover.
You may be curious if your symptoms are situational stress or something concerning.
Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental health issues for both teens and adults. Approximately 31% of adults and 32% of teens ages 13 to 18 years old experience anxiety in their lifetime.*
What Is An Anxiety Disorder?
Experiencing feelings of anxiety from time to time is a normal part of everyday life. However, if you’re frequently having persistent, intense, and/or excessive worry and fear, it’s possible you may have an Anxiety Disorder.
These feelings may interfere with your daily living, be difficult to control, and are disproportionate to actual danger. Some signs & symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling a sense of panic or impending doom
- Being overly nervous or tense
- Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Inability to concentrate
What Are The Types Of Anxiety Disorders?
There are multiple types of Anxiety Disorders, and it is possible to experience more than one type at a time. Additionally, an Anxiety Disorder might arise from a medical condition that requires treatment. Common types of Anxiety Disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This type of Anxiety Disorder is marked by excessive and persistent worry about events or situations, even if they are relatively normal and routine ones. The worry is out of proportion to the actual activity and can be very difficult to control.
Panic Disorders: This type involves repeated episodes of anxiety and fear that often seem to come out of nowhere and reach a peak within minutes. This is what is known as a panic attack. They often lead to a fear of them reoccurring and/or avoiding situations where they occurred in the first place.
Phobias: Phobias are marked by high anxiety when exposed to a specific object or situation, plus a strong desire to avoid it. They may provoke panic attacks in some people.
Separation Anxiety: This type of Anxiety Disorder occurs in childhood and is characterized by excessive anxiety related to separation from those in a caregiving role.
Social Anxiety Disorder: This type involves high levels of anxiety, fear and/or avoidance of social situations because of negative feelings like embarrassment or concern about being judged by others. Performance anxiety is also a type of social anxiety disorder, such as fear of public speaking.
Health or Illness Anxiety Disorder: Excessive worry and preoccupation that you may become critically ill. You may experience chronic illness and struggle to focus on anything else.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Intrusive, recurrent, unwanted thoughts, sensations, and ideas (obsessions) that result in an incredibly strong drive to engage in an action repetitively (compulsions).
Who Is At Risk For Anxiety Disorders?
Unfortunately, it is not fully known what causes Anxiety Disorders. However, researchers are finding that both genetic and environmental factors may play a role, and there may be different risk factors for the different types of Anxiety Disorders. Common risk factors include:
- Exposure to traumatic events or negative environmental experiences
- Parenting, including Postpartum Anxiety
- Isolated upbringing
- Negative social experiences
- Chronic work related stress
- Racial and identity stress
- Family history and genetics
- Drug and alcohol use
- Health and physical conditions
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?
Most people think Anxiety Disorders only affect someone’s mental health. The truth is, whenever we are experiencing anxiety, it affects our whole bodies. Common signs and symptoms of Anxiety Disorders include, but are not limited to:
- Physical: sweating; trembling; rapid heart rate; gastrointestinal problems
- Mental: feeling nervous, tense, or “on edge; not being able to shake a feeling of impending danger or panic
- Behavioral symptoms: difficulty sleeping; trouble concentrating; feeling weak or tired; strong urges to avoid situations that have invoked anxiety in the past
In the US, only 43% of adults engage in therapy for anxiety. Anxiety therapy is a highly effective treatment with long-term effects.
Did you know that you have a choice of therapy approach to treat your anxiety?
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?
Psychotherapy has been shown to effectively treat different kinds of Anxiety Disorders. Working with a trusted therapist can help you target your anxiety symptoms and actively reduce them. Some common psychotherapeutic treatments for anxiety include:
ACT, or Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, can help improve your mental flexibility so you can disconnect from your anxious thoughts and understand those thoughts are not the absolute truth.
CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, helps teach you specific skills to help with your anxiety symptoms and help you return to activities you may have avoided because of anxiety.
ERP, or Exposure and Response Prevention for symptoms of anxiety that result in avoidant behaviors.
Somatic therapy may help you release harmful and pent-up emotions in your body through various mind-body techniques. This is particularly helpful when you’ve noticed that your anxiety has created stress in your physical body.
What Are The Benefits of Therapy for Anxiety?
- Feel confident in handling difficult thoughts and feelings
- Practice techniques to handle your anxiety instead of letting it control you
- Identify and troubleshoot to break through old habits
- Increase your sense of confidence and competence
- Improve your focus and attention
- Leverage your stress response to pivot toward meaningful action
- Pursue passions, goals, situations, and/or relationships you’ve always wanted, but avoided due to anxiety
Can Online / Virtual Therapy Help Anxiety?
You may think that you “just have to deal” with your anxiety, especially in this high-demand world. However, anxiety negatively impacts the way that you feel about yourself, your relationships, and your quality of life. Our team of skilled therapists at ChangeWell is here to help you do what works to overcome your anxiety. We use evidence-based treatment methods that include all the therapy acronyms (ACT, DBT, CBT, ERP, ABFT, EFT) and Trauma-Informed Practices in culturally sensitive ways to cater therapy to you and your relational system.
ChangeWell Psych offers Therapy for Anxiety in our office in North Carolina and online in all PSYPACT states including, but not limited to North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia.
Book a Free Consultation Today