What is anxiety and why do we feel it?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. It can be felt most of the time or often about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. The good news is anxiety is very treatable.
We all feel anxiety sometimes. Why? Generally, it’s because we feel a lack of control over a situation. Or, possibly, a traumatic event from our past is still affecting us. Big decisions, major life changes, and having to present ourselves in new ways can also cause anxiety.
The most common symptoms of anxiety are:
• Irritability / feeling easily agitated
• Excessive worrying
• Difficulty concentrating
• Feeling “out of sorts” or on-edge
• Having an unrealistic view of your problems
• Loss of appetite
• Relationship problems
When to seek help for anxiety
Learning to manage anxiety on your own can be challenging. Sometimes we need extra help. This is especially true when symptoms are causing a lot of distress or getting in the way of living life, such as stopping you from going to work or school, from running daily errands, or from spending time with others. If you’re experiencing any of these issues with regularity, it’s a great idea to get professional help.
Some people may experience anxiety so severe that it results in a “panic attack,” defined as a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear.
The most common symptoms of panic attacks are:
• Very rapid, pounding heartbeat
• Feeling like you’re being smothered and can’t breathe
• Chest pain
• Light-headedness or dizziness
• Feeling out of control, like you’re going crazy, or even dying
• Chills and sweating
• Feeling sick and nauseous or having difficulty swallowing
A panic attack is one of the worst experiences a person can have. What’s worse is there’s always the nagging fear, “When will it happen to me again?” Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to “panic disorder” and other problems. They may even cause you to withdraw from normal activities. But panic attacks can be cured and the sooner you seek help, the better. With treatment, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic and regain control of your life.
Remember: a panic attack can’t harm you, can’t cause you to do anything you don’t want to do, and will always go away.
Treating panic attacks
It’s perfectly normal to experience panic attack symptoms a few times in your life. If, however, you have panic attacks regularly, it’s time to seek help.
Panic attacks are actually very easy to treat. You should feel relief after only a few therapy sessions. It’s critical to work with a therapist that has formal training and direct experience in treating panic attacks. Not all therapists do, so be sure to ask. I was trained in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks by world renowned psychologists.
Please call me to schedule an appointment to treat your anxiety or panic attacks: 914-450-2413.