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Anxiety Counselor: What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Almost everyone experiences anxiety from time to time; but as an experienced anxiety counselor, I know that there is a difference between the kind of transitory anxiety people feel when they’re facing some type of stress like a job interview or a first date and the kind that makes everyday life difficult.  If you suspect you or someone you love has a serious anxiety problem, you should know more about anxiety disorders so that you can decide whether or not to seek the help of an anxiety counselor.

The Symptoms Of A Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety becomes a problem when it occurs frequently, feels intense, lasts hours or even days and interferes with daily life.  The most common symptoms of severe anxiety are:

  ▪ Feeling nervous

  ▪ Feeling powerless

  ▪ A sense of impending doom, danger or panic

  ▪ An increased heart rate

  ▪ Rapid breathing or hyperventilation

  ▪ Sweating

  ▪ Trembling

  ▪ Feeling weak or tired

Anxiety Disorders Are The Most Common Mental Health Problem In The U.S.

Research has shown that almost 1 in 4 Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.  These disorders, that include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder, social phobias, specific phobias and panic disorder, are the number one mental health problem in women and the number two mental health problem in men.  Unfortunately, many people suffer with these disorders for long periods of time without diagnosis or treatment out of fear of the common misconception that these disorders are a sign of weakness or instability.

The Risk Factors For Developing An Anxiety Disorder

Though the causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood, the belief is that they are a combination of biological and environmental factors, much like other health problems.  Some of the risk factors for developing an anxiety disorder include:

  ▪ A traumatic experience as a child or as an adult

  ▪ Stress due to a physical illness

  ▪ General stress buildup

  ▪ Personality type

  ▪ Being related to someone with an anxiety disorder

  ▪ Substance abuse

Treatment For Anxiety Disorders

The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly-treatable.  Medications are available to ease symptoms and can be taken in conjunction with some type of psychological treatment, like relaxation training, biofeedback and stress management.  One of the most effective treatments for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy, which allows a patient to talk through issues that may be contributing to their anxiety.  While there is no real cure for anxiety disorders, with the right treatment, most people are able to keep their symptoms under control.     

If you feel you are suffering with long-term or debilitating anxiety and you want help, call an anxiety counselor at Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500.  You can also visit to get more information about Insight Child & Family Counseling.  

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