Anxiety hurts. It’s symptoms are wide and varied and include; a sense of overwhelm, obsessive thinking, worry, excessive sweating, heart pounding, digestive problems, feelings of doom, a sense of going “crazy”, panic, phobia, unreasonable fears, shortness of breath, a sense of “unreality”, to name just a few. Life takes on a different color. It becomes darker, more foreboding. Activities that were once joyful and exciting have become difficult and frightening. You feel alone and afraid of sharing these troubling feelings with loved ones and colleagues. Yet you worry that your emotions are transparent and others will reject you because of them. You find that your choices in life have become more limited and you may be organizing your life to avoid certain situations which evoke panic and anxiety.
You are not alone. Anxiety Disorder strikes one in twenty people in America today and often requires both medical and psychological treatment. Many of the symptoms that present with Anxiety Disorder should be checked out by a medical doctor. Once certain ailments are ruled out, however, effective treatment requires the specialty of cognitive and behavioral intervention coupled with psychotherapeutic support. This requires a time expense and expertise that medical practitioners cannot be expected to provide. Studies have shown that of all patients who walk into their Primary Care Physicians office, 25% have a behavioral health disorder, yet many go untreated. Statistic show that with proper psychological treatment an 80% long term recovery can be expected.
Anxiety Disorders, especially those that involve compulsions and panic, certainly have a biological component. Given equal stressors, not all people respond with anxiety symptoms. This has to do with our particular biochemistry. Yet, it cannot be denied that anxiety has a strong emotional/behavioral component as well. Often anxiety is related to childhood trauma or difficulty or stems from a lifelong pattern of needing to please and be liked. Finding one’s authentic self is always a key to recovery, as is learning how to set appropriate boundaries. This requires deep exploration of who you really are and what is true for you. One’s pattern of thinking also needs to be examined and mastery of thought is helpful in attaining psychological wellness. Treatment may also involve meditation and relaxation techniques, lifestyle reevaluation, journaling or bibliotherapy.
In some cases, medication is helpful.
You don’t have to live with panic and anxiety. Recovery is possible. For help and support for an anxiety diagnosis, please feel free to contact me by calling 415-516-7528