Possible issues with anxiety? Ask yourself these questions…

Have you ever walked into a room full of people and thought you were going to pass out from fear?

Thought it would be easier to set your face on fire than to say hi to someone you found interesting?

Found yourself standing in front of the herpetarium at the zoo sweating and shaking, while your kids are screaming to go inside and see the snakes?

Do you often…

Feel edgy or uncomfortable for no obvious reason?

Experience insomnia, muscle aches, and medically inexplicable gastric complaints?

Roll a worrying thought around your head for hours, unable to let it go?

Find yourself frozen with indecision, your stomach tied in knots?

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?

Experiencing a case of nerves before a big exam or work presentation is a pretty common dilemma—and believe-it-or-not—it can actually be performance-enhancing. There’s an undeniable advantage to be had in being particularly alert.

But when sensations of dread become all-consuming—your heart is perpetually racing and your palms are sweating, you feel physically ill or immobilized, and you can’t function effectively at work, school, or in social situations—you may be demonstrating the classic signs of an anxiety disorder. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder may include:

  • Worry: Unshakable, unfocused, or intrusive sensations of worry or dread
  • Restlessness: Feeling edgy or restless, or as though your skin were “crawling” from nervousness
  • Poor Concentration: Difficulty concentrating, reaching decisions, or switching your mind to “off” before bed
  • Insomnia (you can’t sleep) or excessive fatigue (…but all you want to do is sleep!)
  • Irritability: Mild annoyances, which would normally only grate on your nerves, cause you to snap at loved ones, acquaintances, or even strangers (like that sweet girl in the checkout aisle, or that elderly man on the bus, or… or…)
  • Physical sensations associated with panic: You have moments where your anxiety overwhelms you. You break into a sweat. Your heart rate soars. Your anxiety forces you to crawl into the fetal position, trembling. You feel lightheaded, on the verge of hyperventilating, or as though you’re having an anaphylactic attack and your throat is swelling shut.
  • Medical complaints: Belly aches, headaches, cardiac symptoms–without an identifiable cause, (many individuals with anxiety are “too” in tune with their bodies, and anxiety can amplify a mild physical sensation into a very real and unbearable discomfort)
  • Muscular Tension: Stress hormone release causes the muscles to tighten in preparation for flight or fight
  • The development of compulsive behaviors: Counting; obsessively checking to make sure that doors are locked; washing and rewashing your hands; etc., which can have an instantaneous, but short-lived, self-soothing effect.

*Left untreated, anxiety can lead to substance abuse and many other poor forms of coping.

How Can Anxiety Therapy & Counseling Help My Anxiety Disorder?

Our counselors are trained to help you identify and unravel the cause of your anxiety and equip you with the tools you need for self-relaxation. However, because we realize that anxiety can also occur at the endocrine (hormonal), neurotransmitter (brain), and adrenal levels, we collaborate with several area physicians who prescribe medication in appropriate cases.

Your course of treatment may involve:

  • Psychotherapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: which enables you to pinpoint how sources of unconstructive thinking are contributing to your anxiety & assists you in improving how you typically respond to stress (Stress Management)
  • Relaxation Techniques: including controlled breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery (in which your therapist conducts you through a series of peaceful images to help you unwind and pause your mind)
  • Mindfulness & Meditation: To help you achieve awareness of the present and connect yourself with—and gain control over—your body)
  • Medication: The use of antidepressants (SSRIs or SNRIs), tranquilizers (benzodiazepines), beta-blockers, or Buspar, in combination with any of the therapies outlined above
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