Anxiety

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What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can manifests itself in many ways and can range in severity from a constant feeling of worry, to sudden, intense panic attacks. Some general symptoms of anxiety include feeling excessive worry or stress, and experiencing physical symptoms related to these concerns, which may include:

  • Muscle tension
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Difficulty sleeping

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is characterized by a feeling of intense fear along with physical symptoms such as a pounding heart, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and an overall feeling that you are going to lose control, “go crazy,” or even die. A panic attack usually lasts about 10 minutes, but vary with different people. They can occur either unexpectedly, or in response to a situation.

Can panic attacks be treated in psychotherapy?

Yes, cognitive therapy has proven to be very effective in helping clients teach themselves to prevent and reduce panic attacks. Cognitive therapy has shown to be superior to medication treatment in the long-term.

I’m only afraid of certain things. Should I be in therapy?

Some people experience intense fears towards certain objects or situations, whether it’d be spiders, or something more relevant to everyday living, like social situations. If you feel that whatever you are afraid of is interfering with your life, therapy can help you overcome these fears.

I think I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Do I need medication?

Like other types of anxiety disorders, OCD is based on fears that a person may have that causes them to act out compulsive behaviors. Anti-anxiety medications are useful and at times necessary in treating OCD, but cognitive therapy is often recommended to figure out the reasons for these behaviors and overcoming them.

I’m a survivor of abuse and can’t put the experience behind me. Is there hope?

Traumatic events tend to be life-changing in that people who have them describe themselves as “before the event,” and “after.” Things will never be the same, but that does not mean that life must go on in fear. Additionally, keeping feelings bottled up inside can lead to further unhappiness. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder isn’t just something that is diagnosed to war veterans. Women, children, and men who have been physically or sexually abused often experience the same symptoms of trauma which are just as valid, and far more common. There are several resources both in the community, and online where survivors of abuse can connect with one another to know that they are not alone.

Links:

The Anxiety/Panic Internet Resource

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Alliance

OCD Online

The Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Association