Anxiety

Some level of anxiety and stress is a normal part of everyday life.

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When Anxiety Holds You Back

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time; in fact, some levels of stress can even help produce positive adaptive behaviors. Stress is an inherent response that was necessary for the survival of our ancient ancestors. When anxiety interferes with your daily life by impairing your social, occupational, and daily function, it may be time to seek help from a licensed professional counselor.

What is Anxiety?

In common parlance, anxiety simply involves feelings of stress or worry. No matter who you are, you have undoubtedly been stressed or worried at some point in your life. Whether it was the stress involved in completing a work or school project, or worrying about the safety of a loved one, we have all been stricken by bouts of anxiety. Due to this, almost everyone has an intuitive understanding of how short-term anxiety feels.

In a clinical sense, anxiety refers to when feelings of worry and dread that last for long periods of time and impact daily life in a more substantial manner. In the case of clinical anxiety or anxiety disorders, worry is more persistent and people typically worry about more facets of life than those who are not grappling with this difficulty. In many cases, worry and tension can arise spontaneously. This is one of the most notable differences between anxiety and normal levels of stress, which almost always stems from some type of discernable provocation (such as a work project).

Prevalence of Anxiety

According to research from the ‘National Institute of Health’, close to one in three American adults experiences an anxiety disorder at some point. This makes anxiety one of the most pervasive mental health difficulties faced by people in the United States. Risk factors include upbringing, a stressful environment, and family history of anxiety or mental illness. Unfortunately, anxiety often coincides with depression, which means that many individuals struggle with both of these issues simultaneously.

Thankfully, mental health counselors have numerous methods at their disposal to treat both anxiety and depression. One of the most effective methods is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is used by the team of licensed professionals at Citron Hennessey Therapy. Read on to discover more types of anxiety and learn about when to seek treatment.

Common Forms of Anxiety

There are a number of different anxiety disorders that psychologists and mental health professionals have identified over the years. Some of the most common forms of anxiety are listed below:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least six months, about a number of things.” In the case of GAD, worries can center around work, health, family, interactions with others, money, and more. Due to the widespread nature of this excessive worry, people with GAD often experience anxiety when they are simply trying to get through the day.

Because it causes worry to pervade almost all facets of life, GAD can lead to some symptoms and side-effects you may not commonly associate with anxiety. A few of these symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability

When combined with genetic or environmental factors, the stress of daily life can compound and lead to an anxiety disorder such as GAD, which can affect the entire body.

Panic Disorder

Anxiety can also cause panic attacks. Panic attacks are brief periods of extreme fear, and they can be mistaken for heart attacks due to the nature of the symptoms they cause (such as heart palpitations, sweating, and trembling). Those who frequently suffer from panic attacks are usually diagnosed with panic disorder, which is another common why anxiety rears its head. When someone experiences a panic attack, they often feel ready to do whatever they can to avoid that feeling again, which is how mental health counselors could assist them.

Phobias

Whether you suffer from one or not, you have probably heard of the most common phobias. People who experience phobias have intense feelings of fear or dread about specific objects or circumstances such as spiders, blood, or heights. Phobias are a form of anxiety that can often be overcome or managed with the help of a mental health professional.

Social Anxiety

As the name implies, social anxiety involves excessive fear or worry regarding social situations. There are a wide range of social situations that can cause fear and worry, some of which include:

  • Speaking in front of others
  • Interacting with strangers
  • Starting conversations
  • Going to work
  • Dating

At Citron Hennessey, we take pride in staying at the forefront of research on social anxiety so that we can help you develop the tools you need to overcome this condition.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Another common form of anxiety is post-traumatic stress disorder. You might be under the impression that this is a condition limited to veterans or people who have seen combat, but the truth is that a variety of situations can lead to PTSD. Symptoms can include flashbacks, irritability, and fear.

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