Anxiety & Panic Attacks
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner fear or turmoil, somatic (physical) complaints and persistent worry. It includes the unpleasant feelings of dread over something unlikely to happen, such as the feeling of "going crazy" or imminent death. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat; whereas anxiety is the expectation of future threat. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized & unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is perceived as dangerous. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, insomnia and problems in concentration. Anxiety can be appropriate, but when it is too much and continues too long, the individual may suffer from an anxiety disorder, which is a medical condition that requires treatment.
Anxiety Disorders are exaggerations of our normal and adaptive reaction to stressful events. There are many types of anxiety disorders, including: panic disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) , posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) & generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
When you experience the familiar physical & psychological signs of fear & anxiety such as sweating, racing heart, shortness of breath, trembling, worry, or stress, these are cues that something is happening that could be a threat & that you need to deal with it. This “flight or fight” reaction activates the physical & psychological resources necessary to deal with the potential danger. Although this system works well most of the time, sometimes it can go into overdrive & do more harm than good. When this happens, it might indicate you have an anxiety disorder. These disorders often run in families as they have a highly genetic component. If not treated, this can lead to substance abuse, depression & many other forms of mental/medical complications. Cognitive therapy (along with medication, IF NEEDED) is highly effective in treating anxiety. Often other modalities including: Yoga, walking, acupuncture & deep tissue massage, can help keep symptoms in check. The BEST overall treatment is often a holistic one, which incorporates mind/body/spirit.
What would you be doing if fear/anxiety was no longer a major factor in your life? If you think you suffer from anxiety you should schedule an appointment for a confidential evaluation & start treatment as soon as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you…
All the best, John Newmark, M.S., LMHC