Anxiety disorders are the most common group of mental disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, around 40 million adults in the United States over the age of 18 experience some type of anxiety disorder.
Although many psychological conditions may involve anxiety, some of the most common may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and/or social anxiety disorder.
One of the things that these disorders share is the repeated, disruptive experience of anxiety and/or panic attacks.
While anxiety may be persistent or lingering on a daily basis, panic attacks have a defined onset and peak. Some of the symptoms of generalized anxiety include:
• A sense of uncontrollable worry
• Feelings of restlessness
• Difficulty concentrating
• Insomnia or excess tiredness
Panic attacks usually present in a defined episode that may vary in length but peaks within minutes. These attacks may be expected or unexpected; When they occur regularly, they can be a hallmark of panic disorder. Some of the things you may experience during a panic attack are:
• Heart palpitations
• Sense of impending doom or danger
• Feeling out of control
• Sweating, trembling
• Feeling short of breath or as if one is choking
Both anxiety & panic attacks can result in the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms if left untreated.
The effects of anxiety disorders can permeate daily activities, relationships and your career or education. Specific phobias can hinder your ability to participate in certain situations, and social anxiety can prevent you from cultivating healthy relationships. Disorders such as agoraphobia may even keep you from leaving the house.
Fortunately, there are ways to develop healthy strategies to combat distress from anxiety disorders.
Talk therapy can be one of the best ways to gain a sense of tranquility amidst the effects of anxiety. Talking with a counselor can be an opportunity to express your concerns, process them and learn healthy coping mechanisms.
Nancy Hilsenrath offers professional guidance while determining which type of therapy is the best fit for you. For convenience, Nancy offers both virtual counseling and in-person sessions while adhering to all social distancing guidelines.