Anxiety is a significant issue in our society today. Fear and anxiety can be difficult emotions to manage. Rushing from one event to the next, meeting deadlines, and juggling constant interruptions throughout our day can lead to an overwhelming sense of stress, fear and worry. You may be one of the many who has suffered from anxiety since childhood. You may be anxious about life in general with no particular reason. Or, you may find yourself avoiding social situations or social interactions to avoid feeling tense, shaky, or fatigued.
Some anxiety is actually quite normal and healthy. For instance, mild anxiety about an upcoming test may motivate us to study. However, extreme anxiety after becoming very familiar with the test material to the extent of losing sleep, may indicate a problem. Some elevated apprehension or fear of entering a dark alley alone may keep you safe by changing your mind about entering the dark alley. However, extreme fear of leaving one’s home may indicate something more drastic. Trauma from childhood or recent events may certainly cause present day symptoms of irrational fears and worries.
Some of the symptoms of general anxiety include,
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty sleeping
- fatigue and/or exhaustion
- muscle tension
- repeated stomachaches or diarrhea
- sweating palms
Symptoms of panic disorder may include,
- shaking and/or sweating
- rapid heartbeat
- numbness/tingling of different parts of the body
- sudden, repeated attacks of intense fear
- feeling like you are out of control
- intense worry about when the next attack will happen
Symptoms of social anxiety may include
- feeling highly anxious in the company of others and difficulty expressing yourself with them.
- self-consciousness in the presence of others
- significant concern about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected
- fear of being judged by others
- worrying for days or weeks before an event where others will be in attendance
- avoiding places where there are other people
- having a hard time making and keeping friends
- blushing, sweating, trembling, feeling nauseous or sick around others
Treatments for all types of anxiety disorders have progressed over the past 10-15 years and are very effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. Evidenced-based treatment strategies include mindfulness practice and other strategies found in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, relaxation and meditation techniques, response-prevention strategies, and Brief/Solution-based Therapy. A skilled therapist can help you to decide which techniques would work best to manage your anxiety. If you are seeking to reduce your anxiety, stress, worry, or fears, contact me for an appointment at [email protected] or 706-425-8900 ext. 717.