Fort Wellness Counseling

Rane Wallace, MS, LPC, LCDC, SAP
Anxiety Blog Picture

  • In this article, I’ll discuss what anxiety is and list 4 of the most common types of anxiety disorders.
  • I’ll help you understand how a therapist can help you to improve symptoms of anxiety.
  • I’ll discuss how cognitive behavioral therapy targets anxiety.
  • After reading this article, you’ll know more about anxiety and how therapy can help.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common types of mental health disorder.  Most people feel anxious from time to time.  But for many people, anxiety becomes a constant presence that has a negative effect on their life.  It limits their ability to do their best socially, at work, and in their relationships. The good news is that anxiety can be treated effectively by attending counseling and therapy with a professionally trained therapist.  For instance, attending therapy can help you learn effective coping skills for stress management, coping skills for dealing with difficult times, and tips for how to work on problems related to FOMO.  

Research shows that anxiety can influence up to 18% of adults and 25% of adolescents in America. That is a lot of people that are having to manage it and suffer from it daily.  But what are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are mental health disorders that are characterized by the presence of persistent, intense, and disproportionate anxiety. It involves different physical and emotional symptoms, as well as changes in behaviors. People with anxiety tend to feel stress, worry excessively, feel fatigued, experience pains and aches in the body, and tend to limit where they go.

Anxiety will frequently lead to avoidance and a lack of enjoyment in many situations. For instance, social anxiety might lead the person to stay away from social situations they would like to engage with, like dates or parties. Next, I’ll talk about some of the common types of anxiety disorders. 

Common Anxiety Disorders

There are different anxiety disorders that are all associated with a high level of worry but might manifest in different ways. Here are some of the most common anxiety disorders:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The person feels a persistent sense of anxiety that is not tied to one thing.  Rather it is constantly present as a general sense that something bad will happen.  That or worrying about different things that are out of proportion to those situations. You’ve heard the saying, “making a mountain out of a mole hill.” But this goes beyond just that. 

Specific Phobias

Specific phobias are states of intense fear caused by certain situations or things. People can react with strong anxiety to needles or doctors, flying, being in crowded places, and many other things.  For instance, spiders, snakes, airplanes, small places, etc.

Social Phobia/Social Anxiety

Social anxiety refers to intense anxiety that is caused by specific or general social situations. It makes people worry about speaking in public, going out with friends, talking to strangers, and other social situations, which leads the people avoiding them even if they would like to socialize more.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is associated with panic attacks.  Panic attacks are sudden experiences of intense anxiety with a pounding heart rate, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. In panic disorder, these attacks become frequent. Some people confuse a panic attack from and a stressful situation.  Trust me, you’ll know the difference if you have experienced these!

There are other mental health disorders associated with anxiety, and people might experience more than one at the same time. The negative symptoms of anxiety are clear. People feel overwhelmed by negative emotions and tend to avoid situations that generate anxiety, even if it leads to them losing opportunities, hurting their relationships, or becoming isolated at home. Over time, avoidance leads to more anxiety.  Even though in the short-term it might feel like a good solution.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety

What can be done about anxiety? Here is where a therapist can help. Anxiety disorders can be effectively treated through therapy, especially cognitive and behavioral approaches.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), for instance, and all the derived therapeutic approaches are evidence-based and target specific thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors related to anxiety. CBT and similar therapies are evidence-based, which means that they use proven methods and have a solid base of research that shows that it works for anxiety specifically.

With CBT, the therapist in this case will help the client recognize the thought patterns that lead to and contribute to anxiety symptoms. Other factors that contribute to this problem will also be examined to start a change. Therapists help patients in therapy to identify what is hurting them.  From there, you can slowly shift and find alternative thinking and behavioral patterns to reduce the anxiety.

Therapy targets the cognitive elements of anxiety. This involves identifying the way thoughts contribute to emotions. For instance, people might worry about the worst-case scenario in all situations.  Therapy can help address this. Instead of worrying and expecting things to turn out for the worst, the person can think of alternative scenarios and experience less fear. Therapy might work with underlying beliefs, like the idea that the world is an intrinsically dangerous place or that other people are not to be trusted.

Regarding the behavioral element, the therapist will help the person approach rather than avoid the situations that make them anxious. This will help reduce fear through gradual exposures and allow the person to go through the experiences that they might have avoided before.  Slowly but surely, therapy can help you gain more control of your life. 

Psychotherapy is a process that is collaborative and personalized. It does not involve forcing the individual into situations before they are ready. It also considers other skills and practice outside of the therapy room. CBT therapists often ask clients to work on their skills in their daily life to master them and employ them on a regular basis.

Treatment Options for Anxiety

Anxiety is a common issue, and as a result, there are tested approaches that offer good results and can reduce anxiety. Research shows that therapy can be as good as treating anxiety with medication and can be combined with medication as well. In fact, coping skills are going to be a more viable long-term solution.  Just think, “less pills and more skills.”

When should you attend therapy with a therapist? Many people find that anxiety is very disruptive to their daily lives. It keeps them from achieving their goals and having experiences that they want to have and limits their growth. Anxiety is exhausting and can contribute to many other issues, such as worsening physical and emotional health. The first reason to seek support is because anxiety has a real and measurable impact on how well we are and on our daily lives.  

Some people can deal with their anxiety on their own.  However, it is usually much easier to work through this issue with support and help from a trained professional. Therapists are trained to work with these issues and often have the right expertise to provide tailored solutions. Anxiety is as much of a problem as having a broken bone or an illness, and therapists have the knowledge to help work through the issue. Therapy can make the process of improvement easier, faster, and more effective.  You can learn more about some of the benefits of therapy.

Counseling Can Help Anxiety

Anxiety is a problem that impacts so many different people. But it does not need to remain a chronic problem for anyone.  There are available solutions.  At Fort Wellness Counseling in Fort Worth, we provide individualized treatment and therapy services where you can gain the skills necessary to maintain change and achieve the results you are looking for. 

Know that you want to attend therapy with a therapist, but don’t want to do it at Fort Wellness Counseling?  No problem! Check out this informative article on how to find a great therapist in Fort Worth.  If you are ready to start therapy, you can schedule easily using our online scheduling system.  You can also contact us if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you!

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