One of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to learn about your own anxiety: your symptoms, what triggers it, and what coping mechanisms have been effective in the past. When you learn what your anxiety is tied to, it can help you be mindful of what's really happening as well as prevent and mitigate symptoms by processing and working through the issue in therapy. Other strategies that have been shown to help manage anxiety are meditation, challenging anxious thoughts, exercising, and journaling.
For over 40 million adults in America, clear thinking, focused thoughts, and positivity cannot be taken for granted. They struggle with an anxiety disorder and often…
- Feel nervous or worried, even though they may not know why.
- Have difficulty explaining to loved ones what they are feeling and the toll these emotions take on their body and mind.
- Experiencing difficult, persistent anxiety. These emotions rarely give them a break.
- Feel isolated and lonely because of their anxiety.
- Carry on a continuous dialogue within their head that highlights their fears, insecurities, and vulnerabilities.
It is clear that anxiety is different than the normal feelings of worry that all people experience. To some degree, worrying is a healthy emotion—especially when it rises and falls naturally. Anxiety, on the other hand, is far more severe than normal worry and lasts far longer than normal worry. Author Jodi Picoult describes anxiety this way, “Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.” For many, anxiety is crippling and disrupts their ability to function in their personal and professional lives. Anxiety is also a treatable illness. More and more, mental health professionals are finding effective treatments for it, and more and more, those who suffer with anxiety are experiencing the healing they deserve.
If you have experienced constant worry, unfocused thoughts, or isolation, help is available. Thriveworks Counseling in Phoenix offers treatment for anxiety, and our therapists have helped many clients ease anxiety’s symptoms.
Anxiety in Its Many Forms
“A crust eaten in peace is better than
a banquet partaken in anxiety.” —Aesop
Anxiety can show itself in different ways in different people. It is a complex illness, and it has different forms. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) outlines several forms that anxiety can take:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – The clinical term for what most people call anxiety is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Its symptoms include a severe and persistent feeling of worry that lasts for at least six months. This anxiety is felt for the majority of the day and on most days than not. Fatigue, irritability, restlessness, and more accompany that feeling of anxiety.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – At times, anxiety manifests as fear of social situations. People who have SAD often avoid social interactions, strangers in particular. SAD can cause people to feel as if others are judging them, and they often feel extreme embarrassment. It is difficult for them to accept love and kindness from others, and they are often alone and isolated.
- Panic Disorder – Anxiety can also look like panic attacks that recur. A panic attack can arise without warning. People’s limbs may numb, their hearts may race, they may have difficulty breathing, and they may feel hot flashes or chills. Often, these symptoms escalate until people think they are having a heart attack or are dying. Then, they subside. When people experience more than one panic attack, they may have Panic Disorder.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – When people experience trauma, the anxiety and stress they endure can remain with them long after the event has passed. PTSD can affect veterans, but it is also common in victims of any kind of violence as well as survivors of child abuse. PTSD often involves intrusive nightmares, memories, and/or flashbacks wherein people relive the trauma.
Your Thriveworks anxiety therapist can offer you an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan depending on your needs and goals.
The Emotional and Physical Toll of Anxiety
There are many signs and symptoms of anxiety that leave people emotionally and physically drained. A few of those signs include…
- Disrupted Appetite – Some people with anxiety experience an increase in their anxiety. Others experience a decrease. Accompanying weight fluctuations usually follow. In either case, these weight fluctuations often put people’s health at risk.
- Irregular Sleep Patterns – Similar to appetite, sleep patterns can be disrupted so that some people experience insomnia while others experience hypersomnia.
- Fatigue – Battling any disease takes energy, and anxiety is no exception. Fatigue is a common cost of anxiety, and normal functioning can take herculean effort.
- Difficulty Focusing – Most people take clear thinking for granted, but not those with anxiety. They know what it is like to have their head in a fog. It is distracting and discourage.
- Indecisiveness – It follows that if thinking is difficult, so is decision-making. Anxiety can often leave people feeling stuck because people have to make so many decision every day to simply function.
If you are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, it might be time to reach out for the help of a trusted therapist or counselor. Here at Thriveworks Counseling in Phoenix, our goal is to help you achieve a happier, healthier life.
Setting Up Therapy for Anxiety through Thriveworks Counseling in Phoenix, AZ
As you read about anxiety and the various ways it can manifest, did you recognize anything? If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, know that you are not alone. Know that help is available. The mental health professionals at Thriveworks in Phoenix are ready to meet with you. We have worked with many clients who have anxiety, helping them find the diagnosis and treatment that fits their lives.
When you call our office, know that you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. New clients often have their first appointment within 24 hours of their first call. We do not have a voicemail (a person answers our phone) or a waitlist (we want our clients to get the help they need, when they need it). We accept many different insurance plans. We also offer evening and weekend sessions. Let’s fight anxiety together, you are not alone. Call Thriveworks in Phoenix today to meet with a therapist about your anxiety.