It is easy to take positive, clear thinking for granted. But the 44 million adults who struggle with an anxiety disorder know how hard it can be to stay positive, focused, or even simply rest. It is common for people with anxiety to experience things like…
- Feeling worried and nervous every moment of every day.
- Friends and family members who do not understand what it is like to feel that way.
- Confusion about why they are even worried. Maybe they can name why they feel nervous. Maybe they cannot.
- Avoiding social situations—isolating themselves.
- An internal dialogue that focuses upon their fears and insecurities.
Anxiety is not a worried feeling that comes and goes. It is a mental health disorder that disrupts people’s lives. Jodi Picoult puts it this way: “Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” Many people struggle in their personal and professional lives because of the anxiety they are experiencing. The good news is effective treatment options are available.
If you are struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. Anxiety help is available at Thriveworks Counseling in Newton, MA. Our therapists, psychologists, and counselors understand the roadblocks that anxiety puts in people’s lives. We also know how to help you overcome those roadblocks. To get started, just give Thriveworks a call.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is excessive or uncontrollable worry, characterized by symptoms that make day to day functioning difficult. “Symptoms of anxiety include racing thoughts, excessive worry, feeling constantly tired or on edge, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and difficulty sleeping. There may also be physical symptoms, like muscle aches or nausea,” explains Jessica Caira, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at our Newton office.
Now, people often think of and speak of anxiety as a one-size-fits-all diagnosis, but anxiety can manifest in a number of different ways. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, (DSM-5) acknowledges several types of anxiety disorders. Here are a few:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – involves extreme feelings of anxiety and worry that last for at least six months. People will experience these feelings for the majority of the day and on more days than not. They may also feel irritable, restless, tense, and fatigued. GAD is the clinical name for what most people simply call anxiety.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – For many people, the anxiety they feel is focused upon social situations. They often feel embarrassed and judged by others, even when they are interacting with loving and caring people. SAD may cause people to isolate themselves and avoid people they do not know.
- Panic Disorder – Panic attacks are also a form of anxiety. People usually feel as if they are having a heart attack or that they may die during a panic attack. Their heart may race; their limbs may feel numb; they may have difficulty breathing. These symptoms can arise without warning, and they often subside after a few minutes. When people have more than one panic attack, they may have a panic disorder.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – When people have been through a traumatic event, the stress from that time can linger and stay with them. They may experience nightmares, intrusive memories, and flashbacks. They may continue to feel the worry and anxiety of the event, even when the event has passed.
The Toll of Anxiety
Anxiety is an illness that takes an emotional and physical toll. Just as physical diseases like heart disease or diabetes take an emotional toll, anxiety can also take a physical toll. For example, common side effects of anxiety include…
- Disrupted Appetite – Anxiety disorders can change the way that people eat. Some experience an increased appetite. They may want to eat constantly without feeling satisfied. Others have trouble eating anything, being unable to stand the sight of food. Accompanying weight loss and gain is also normal.
- Irregular Sleep Patterns – Many people understand that anxiety keeps people up at night. It can easily induce insomnia—the inability to fall asleep, experience restful sleep, or stay asleep throughout the night. What is less well-known is that some people experience the opposite: they want to sleep all the time.
- Fatigue – Battling an anxiety disorder can drain an individual’s energy. A common side effect of anxiety is fatigue. Going through a normal day can leave people exhausted and depleted.
- Difficulty Focusing – When the negative thoughts of anxiety overtake an individual’s mind, they can have difficulty focusing and accomplishing even simple tasks. Anxiety can capture people’s minds, distracting and discouraging them.
- Indecisiveness – When focusing is a challenge, it follows that decision making is too. People with anxiety often feel stuck in everyday decisions. Normal thinking processes like prioritizing needs, resolving differences, or coming to a firm conclusion can feel impossible to someone with anxiety.
Scheduling a Therapy Session for Anxiety at Thriveworks Counseling in Newton
As you read through the different types of anxiety, did you recognize anything? As you read through the harmful symptoms and effects of anxiety, did anything sound familiar? If it did, know that you are not alone. There is treatment available for anxiety, including anxiety therapy. “Therapy can help you learn ways to set yourself up for success in managing your anxiety,” says Caira. “We teach coping skills to manage the physiological effects of anxiety and will help you learn strategies to manage the negative thought patterns that may be interfering with your quality of life.” Thriveworks has helped many people who have anxiety, and they can help you too!
When you contact our office, know that you could be meeting with your therapist the following day! As long as that works for you, of course. A real person will answer the phone—not a voicemail, not an automated response, and that person will help you set up an appointment that best aligns with your schedule. You can rest assured that we offer evening and weekend sessions, as we know that the normal weekday, daytime appointments aren’t always realistic! Additionally, we accept many forms of insurance.
Do you need an ally in your fight against anxiety? Call Thriveworks in Newton at (617) 992-2827. We have skilled, experienced, caring counselors and psychologists ready to get started.