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Anxiety

Feeling fearful or nervous is a common experience. It can actually be a healthy and helpful response to a dangerous environment or situation, be it physical, emotional, or social. The nerves or fear that we experience when we hit black ice reminds us that we need to slow down while driving during the winter. Fear has a function.

 

Clinical anxiety, however, results from a perceived danger or worry about (often) unrealistic concerns in the future. Clinical anxiety is marked by symptoms that cause distress to the point of impairment in personal, social or work place settings. It is estimated that almost 20% of Americans have or will experience an anxiety disorder in a year and over 30% will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Below are common disorders of anxiety, all of which can be treated through counseling. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

  • Restlessness or feeling "keyed-up" or on edge

  • Easily fatigued

  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank

  • Irritability

  • Muscle tension/tightness in chest

  • Difficulty controlling the worry

  • Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Panic Disorder

 

  • Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear (that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking; and feeling of impending doom.)

  • Feelings of being out of control during a panic attack

  • Intense worries about when the next attack will happen

  • Fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past

Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Feeling highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them

  • Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or fearful of offending others

  • Intense fear of other people's judgement

  • Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be

  • Avoiding places where there are other people

  • Difficulty making friends and keeping friends

  • Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people

  • Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach when other people are around

References 

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013.

"Any Anxiety Disorder." National Institute of Mental Health. Accessed February 26, 2018. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/any-anxiety-

disorder.shtml