You worry about many different things, or perhaps one situation in particular. You fear the worst will happen. You try to control the worry through avoiding, distracting, or engaging in behaviors that give you short-term relief. However, your anxiety only seems to be getting worse over time. It is getting more and more difficult to control the worry.
Maybe the anxiety is so bad, you have panic attacks. You have an impending sense of doom. Your heart is beating out of your chest. You're hyperventilating. You feel dizzy and nauseous. Your muscles get tense. Once you calm down, you worry about having another attack. You avoid situations where you might have another attack.
Worrying is part of human nature. As humans, we are hard-wired to scan our environments for potential threats. While some worry is good and adaptive, anxiety disorders can manifest. Approximately 9% of U.S. adults are diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). A person with GAD worries about all sorts of things (e.g., relationships, work, finances, etc.) and finds the worry excessive and difficult to control. Others may experience anxiety as a specific phobia, such as fear of flying. Individuals can also have social anxiety where they fear judgment and rejection from others. Still others may have excessive worry about different physical symptoms and the potential for illness. In some cases, the anxiety can come in the form of a panic attack. These are short periods characterized by an overwhelming fear of dying and physiological sensations, such as increased heart rate, shakiness, difficulty breathing, and nausea.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness, and other evidence-based treatments can offer valuable skills to help you manage your anxiety. I'll gently challenge you to sit with your anxiety and face the situations that trigger it in a systematic way. You'll also gain tools to help you better manage and regulate your anxiety. Together, we'll identify the source of your anxiety to help you resolve it.