Pasadena Anxiety Counseling

Anxiety Treatment in Pasadena, CA—Therapy and Counseling

Anxiety is concept that gets a lot of attention, but it can be difficult to define because it can look different within different people. For example, anxiety can look like…

After working so hard to earn her college degree, Amelia is starting her first full-time job, but it is not going how she had hoped. She is having difficulty sleeping. She is tired and wants to sleep, but every night, she lies in bed with her mind racing. Amelia knows she can do this job, but she is so tired that she is making simple mistakes. What if she gets fired? What if she never sleeps normally again? These questions constantly nag at her.

Bill’s kids are home from college. They are old enough to care for themselves, but they will always be his kids. Tonight, they went to a concert together, and Bill is mindlessly flipping through the channels. They are responsible kids, but Bill does not trust everyone else who might be out on New Year’s Eve. His mind keeps going to the worst-case scenario. The TV is not working as a distraction anymore. Suddenly, Bill’s chest tightens. He is having trouble breathing, and his arms are tingling. Is he dying? Then, within a few minutes, the symptoms are gone. He is exhausted but ok.

A sweet 7-year-old has been bringing his lunchbox home full. Jake will not touch his food at school. His parents and teachers are nervous and trying to figure out what is going on. He takes a few bites at dinner, but he is not eating enough. He has also lost interest in school. Some days, he sits at his desk refusing to do anything.

It is normal to worry. Healthy worry alerts people to a potential danger. It arises and then naturally subsides. Anxiety, in contrast, is a very different experience. Anxiety is more severe. Anxiety persists after any potential threat has resolved. Anxiety can last for months and even years. It is a common mental health disorder, but it is also a treatable mental health disorder.

The counselors and therapists at Thriveworks Pasadena understand how anxiety functions, how it can manifest in different ways, and how treatments may be beneficial. We have helped many clients find the diagnosis and treatment they need for anxiety.

Recognizing Anxiety

Anxiety can take many forms. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder are just a few examples of different kinds of anxiety disorders. What most people simply call anxiety, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) labels General Anxiety Disorder or GAD (DSM-5 300.02 [F41.1]). It also outlines criteria for recognizing GAD as follows:

  • Feeling intense anxiety and worry for most of the day and on more days than not for a minimum of six months.
  • These emotions will be continuous across different contexts like work, home, school, and more.
  • Experiencing difficulty regulating the worry and anxiety.
  • Also experiencing at least three of these symptoms (children only need to exhibit one symptom):
    • Sleep disruptions (either hypersomnia or insomnia)
    • Irritability
    • Difficulty staying on task or concentrating
    • Restlessness
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle tension
  • These symptoms will be severe enough to disrupt a person’s life.
  • To be diagnosed as GAD, the symptoms cannot be the result of a medicine, drug, or other health problem.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be diagnosed at any age. The underlying feelings will be the same, but the object of the anxiety often changes with age. Teens may worry about school, friends, romantic relationships, and family. Adults often worry about their careers, finances, and family.

Emotional and Physical Effects of Anxiety

“If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days.” —Kris Carr

Long-term care for anxiety often requires the supervision of a mental health care professional. For the short-term, some of these tips may help people gain more control over anxiety’s effects.

  • Practice mindfulness. Obvious every emotion you may be feeling. Note what sensations your body experiences. Be present in the moment. Before moving or choosing or acting, notice.
  • Breathe deeply. Breathe in to a count of four. Hold that breath for four as well. Breathe out to a count of four. Repeat several times.
  • Picture safety. Image a place where you feel at home and safe. Think of a person who cares for you and loves you. Hold that image in your mind as long as you can.
  • Ask yourself, what is next? When anxiety strikes, life can feel overwhelming, but there is always a next step. Taking one small step can be a big accomplishment and may relieve a significant amount of anxiety.

Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Pasadena for Anxiety

As you read through the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, did you recognize anything? If so, you may be one of the 40 million people in the US who is fighting an anxiety disorder. You are not alone, and help is available. If you are ready to meet with a mental health professional about your anxiety, the counselors at Thriveworks Pasadena are ready to meet with you. When you call our office, you may be able to meet with a therapist the following day. We accept many forms of insurance. We also offer evening and weekend sessions. Call today.

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