We all feel nervous, anxious and worried at different times in our lives. Feelings of anxiousness are normal. If anxiousness is a main factor affecting your behaviors, if you find yourself avoiding events or nervous thoughts seem to plague your mind, you may be suffering with anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety can vary from each person to each person and will even differ from day to day. The extent of your anxiety can help us determine what the best course of treatment is for you. To further explore the intensity of your anxiety, start by answering the following questions:
- How often do you feel anxiety, nervousness, worry or fear?
- Do you experience physical reactions like a racing heart or tingling in your fingers and toes?
- Do you worry you are going crazy?
- Do you worry about being alone or looking foolish in front of other people?
- Do you live with a fear of impending doom?
- Are you concerned you will faint or pass out from anxious feelings?
- Do you have sudden unexpected panic spells?
Anxiety is excessive fear and anticipation of a future threat. Anxiety can cause muscle tension, worry about a future threat, and lead to avoiding every day activities.There are several different types of anxiety disorders, but all anxiety disorders include fear, anxiety, avoidance behavior, and anxious thoughts. To be diagnosed as a disorder, these thoughts and behaviors must be getting in the way of daily functioning and happiness or cause clinically significant distress.
- Phobia – remarkable amount of fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (i.e. animals, heights, flying…).
- Social Anxiety – remarkable amount of fear or anxiety about one or more social situations when an individual is exposed to possible judgment of others (i.e. having a conversation, meeting new people, eating in front of others…)
- Panic Disorder – recurrent and unexpected panic attacks (an abrupt onset of intense fear or discomfort).
- Agoraphobia – fear or anxiety about not being able to escape a situation or that help might not be available (i.e. being in open spaces, being in enclosed places, being outside of the home alone…)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – excessive anxiety and worry about a number of different events or activities, occurring more days than not for at least 6 months.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – presence of obsessions and compulsions that are time consuming or cause clinically significant distress. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are intrusive or unwanted. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that an individual feels driven to perform to relieve his/her obsessions.
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – after close exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence and presence of recurrent, involuntary, and distressing memories, thoughts, behaviors, and avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s).
If you are struggling with anxiety, let me help you find calm and peace in your life and find coping strategies. Let’s talk. As you begin to cope with anxiety, I have many resources to guide you. Together we can help you learn how to better cope with your anxiety. You don’t have to be alone in your journey.
1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Anxiety Disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).
• I Don’t Want to Talk About It – Terrence Real
• The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook – Edmund Bourne
• Feeling Good – David Burns
• Feel the Fear and … Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers