Anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental health disturbances in the United States. Experiencing anxiety is a normal reaction to stress or a difficult situation. Although, this natural reaction can be unpleasant, it actually helps us focus, stay alert, and helps us tackle anticipated problems in life. Common signs of anxiety include an elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, stomach pains, or problems with sleep. Treatment for anxiety might be needed when symptoms of anxiety become chronic or interfere with your everyday life.
Understanding the different types of anxiety is the first step in determining if you would benefit from counseling. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly 18% of the adult population will be affected by an anxiety disorder in any given year. Although this may sound alarming, it is important to understand that anxiety disorder cover a wide range of disorders including:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Excessive worrying of everyday problems for at least 6 months
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- The use of rituals or compulsive behavior to control anxiety (Ex: Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good As It Gets)
- Panic Disorder
- Episodes of intense fear or terror
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety following a terrifying event involving a terrifying event that involved physical harm or the threat of harm (Combat situation, rape, assault, etc…)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Intense feelings of self-consciousness and feelings of overwhelming anxiety in normal social situations
- Specific Phobias
- Feelings of intense fear or a certain things or activity that poses little to no threat to the person
First, some quick facts by the National Institute of Mental Health to help us understand who is at risk for developing an anxiety disorder:
- Sex: Women are 60% more likely than men to experience an anxiety disorder over their lifetime.
- Race: Non-Hispanic blacks are 20% less likely, and Hispanics are 30% less likely than non-Hispanic whites to experience an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.
- Age Factor:
- 30% of 18 to 29 years old
- 35% of 30 to 44 years old
- 31% of 45 to 59 years old
- 15% of over 60 years old
Counseling for Anxiety
Anxiety disorder are highly treatable, however, only 1 in 3 people seek treatment. It is imperative to seek appropriate treatment if anxiety is interfering with your everyday life. Left untreated, anxiety disorders can worsen over time and increase the likelihood of developing other mental health disorders such as depression and substance abuse issues. According to the American Psychological Association, a licensed mental health professional is adequately trained to diagnose and treat anxiety disorders using a variety of proven psychotherapies.
If you or a loved one is suffering from excessive anxiety please contact me via my website or give me a call at 954-675-1936 for a free phone consultation. Remember, counseling is effective for alleviating symptoms and ignoring any health issues is never a good idea.