Anxiety & Anxiety Disorders

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety describes the reactions within our minds and bodies to situations that are stressful, dangerous, or create a sense of uncertainty. Nearly everyone experiences occasional feelings of anxiety – nervousness, worry, or fear. These feelings are typically triggered by a specific event or situation and pass once the event is over. Anxiety disorders describe feelings of anxiety that occur so frequently and with such intensity that people aren’t able to enjoy and participate in daily life as they once were. Anxiety disorders are both very common and highly treatable.

Signs of Anxiety

  • Excessive worrying or fear

  • Decline in work performance

  • Restlessness, inability to focus

  • Avoidance of tasks or situations of importance

  • Irritability and lashing out

  • Teens: moody, increasingly confrontational, socially isolating

  • Children: increase in tantrums and/or defiant behavior

Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Sweating

  • Dizziness

  • Changes in appetite

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Muscle tension

  • Upset stomach or other GI problems

The signs and symptoms of anxiety will vary from person to person. At times, symptoms will be severe and impact people’s lives in significant and negative ways. But symptoms can also be mild for long stretches. Similarly, the signs of anxiety can be readily apparent in some situations and quite difficult to recognize in others. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of anxiety and think it’s negatively impacting your life, your relationships, or creating changes in your behavior or thoughts that you’re unhappy with, speak with a licensed professional that specializes in anxiety and anxiety disorders.

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Treatment of Anxiety

What are Treatment Options for Anxiety?

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What are Medications Options for Anxiety?

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What is CBT for Anxiety?

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Anxiety disorders are quite common. In fact, every year nearly 1 in 5 adults in the US will struggle with anxiety. Fortunately, the effects of anxiety disorders can be significantly reduced, and even eliminated, with treatment. Finding a licensed mental health professional that has experience treating anxiety disorder, that you trust and feel comfortable talking to is a great first step toward reducing anxiety’s impact on your life.

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Types of Anxiety Disorders

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

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What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

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What are Specific Phobias?

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What is Panic Disorder?

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Panic Attacks vs Anxiety Attacks

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What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

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What is Acute Stress Disorder?

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Stress vs Anxiety

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What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?

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There are many types of anxiety disorders, each with its own distinct pattern of onset, symptoms, and duration. It’s possible (and relatively common) to be living with two or more anxiety disorders at once. It’s also possible to be living with an anxiety disorder while also suffering from other co-occurring disorders, like depression. If you’re feeling unhappy with your behavior, your thoughts, or your relationships – for any reason at all – speaking with a licensed therapist is an appropriate first step.

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Anxiety Statistics

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Updated by the Choosing Therapy Team on 9.30.20.