Treatment for Anxiety
Experiencing occasional anxiety or feelings of worry is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Oftentimes, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that quickly peak and sometimes lead to the development of a panic attack. These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, and are out of proportion to the actual danger of the situation.
Anxiety symptoms may begin in childhood or teen years and can continue through adulthood. Examples of anxiety disorders include social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias, and general anxiety disorder. It is possible for an individual to have more than one anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S., or 18% of the population, have an anxiety disorder. Most individuals develop symptoms of an anxiety disorder before the age of 21. Women are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men (ADAA.org).
Anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions, and each has unique symptoms. However, all anxiety disorders have one thing in common: persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that are not threatening. People can experience one or more of the following symptoms:
• Feelings of apprehension or dread
• Feeling tense and jumpy
• Restlessness or irritability
• Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
• Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
• Upset stomach
• Sweating, tremors and twitches
• Headaches, fatigue and insomnia
• Upset stomach, frequent urination or diarrhea
First Steps specializes in the psychotherapy treatment of anxiety disorders. The most beneficial forms of anxiety disorder treatment consists of a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Psychotherapy includes cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, self-compassion strategies, and solution-focused techniques.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they text to 741741.