Anxiety. Worry. Nervousness. Concern. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 28.8% of Americans experience anxiety annually, in some form (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, etc.). Surprisingly, the average age of onset for anxiety is eleven. It is hard to believe that children as young as eleven (and younger) are experiencing the uncomfortable and troubling symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common and pervasive mental health disorders affecting people today.
What is anxiety? “Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat,” (American Psychological Association, 2013). While worry, concern, and other anxious symptoms can be expected in stressful situations, some people experience these symptoms in excess. These symptoms can inhibit daily functioning, or cause seemingly simple tasks to feel overwhelming.
While these statistics are daunting, there is treatment for anxiety symptoms and disorders. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a widely accepted form of treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Many people possess self-defeating thoughts and beliefs that promote feelings of anxiety. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy helps individuals identify and alter those maladaptive thought patterns in order to reduce feelings of anxiety. Clients can learn relaxation, meditation, stress management, and thought-stopping techniques in therapy that can be implemented into daily life.
In addition to counseling, it is also important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing physical symptoms (shaking, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, etc.) in order to rule out and treat possible medical conditions. If you would like assistance in processing through your feelings of anxiety, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment with one of our mental health counselors.