Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders diagnosed in the United States, affecting 18% of the adult population. Anxiety is a
natural and necessary human emotion. It can motivate us to make important changes in our life or to be well prepared for an upcoming event. Anxiety puts us on “high alert” and protects us in situations that require us to be aware of our surroundings such as walking to our car on a deserted road or late at night. Anxiety becomes a problem when its symptoms become excessive or when they linger beyond an immediate situation. High anxiety affects our ability to function at work or school, and can disrupt our relationships. It can impact our lives with constant rumination, producing a fear of making change, or causing us to isolate.
Anxiety Disorder is an umbrella term covering Generalized Anxiety, Phobias, OCD, or Social Anxiety, just to name a few. Anxiety can be episodic or chronic depending on whether it is an isolated experience or if you experience continuous symptoms. Left untreated, symptoms of anxiety can seriously interrupt healthy life functioning. Symptoms may include: feeling nervous or on edge, irrational fears about certain things or life in general, an ongoing feeling of unrest, poor concentration, an exaggerated startle response, or dissociation.
Anxiety is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as: muscle tension, headaches, stomach upset, diarrhea, heart palpitations or a pounding heart, chest tightness, shortness of breath, sleep disruption, and panic attacks.
Anxiety disorders are very treatable. Our clinic uses different types of psychotherapy, relaxation exercises, mindfulness, hypnosis, biofeedback, or diet and lifestyle changes to alleviate these symptoms. Because we live in such a demanding culture, anxiety reduction skills are seen by many as life skills, bringing a calmer approach to the stressful pace many of us live.