If you’re experiencing anxiety, you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the US. In fact, 40 million adults will experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Anxiety comes in many forms and can be persistent if not treated appropriately. According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is defined as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”
People with anxiety may experience emotional, psychological and physical symptoms. Often times, an individual’s professional and personal life can be interrupted by anxiety’s impact. Anxiety disorders and their symptoms vary, but a few symptoms are commonly associated with anxiety overall and those include: panic, fear, uneasiness, sleep problems, not being able to stay calm and still, cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dry mouth, nausea, tense muscles and dizziness, according to WebMD.
Feeling anxious is a part of the human experience, but prolonged anxiety may be caused by an underlying anxiety disorder. Some of these disorders may include but are not limited to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social phobia (social anxiety disorder.) Generalized anxiety is characterized by a persistent worry and anxiety about many things in one’s life, warranted or not. Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by an incessant need to repeat behaviors or compulsions. Panic disorder is similar to generalized anxiety disorder with regards to the anxiety’s persistence, but it also includes feeling fear, panic and/or panic attacks. Post-traumatic stress is a disorder triggered after a traumatic event such as a car accident, natural disaster or sexual assault. It can include flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, and anger.
Social phobia or social anxiety is characterized by an intense fear of being judged by others.
Anxiety disorders can be caused by a confluence of factors including genetics, environment and brain chemistry. Based on family history, some individuals may have a higher propensity for anxiety than others. Other external factors like work and relationships when combined with substance use or drugs can increase feelings of anxiety. However, disorders are different from anxious feelings which is why it’s important to seek support from mental health professionals.
When you visit a Resilience Lab, we will work together to determine the level of discomfort anxiety is causing in your life whether you’re experiencing a period of anxiousness or an anxiety disorder. We’ll focus on your mental, physical and emotional wellness because healthy living shouldn’t be isolated. At the center of our work is the relationship you and your therapist will build. During your first meeting your therapist will offer you the opportunity to explain your feelings and the support you are seeking. If you’re not sure where to begin, that’s perfectly fine. You and your therapist will explore what’s to come together as a team. We believe therapy should be a pressure-free environment where your comfort and trust in us is the priority. We’ll start the conversation where you’re ready and move at a pace informed and led by you.