When Does Anxiety Warrant Help From A Mental Health Professional?

Anxiety Treatment at The Center for Cognitive Therapy and Assessment

When Does Anxiety Warrant Help From A Mental Health Professional?

Anxiety can alter every aspect of your life, including how you feel about yourself, your relationships, and your daily experiences. The good news is that engaging in therapy can provide you with the support to start working through these challenges. Here’s

Everybody feels anxious from time to time. It is a natural human experience: the anxiety response is part of our fight-or-flight instinct designed to help us evade potentially dangerous threats.

Anxiety disorders are different. Your experience of anxiety may be different from someone else’s experience. Perhaps anxiety has felt like a lifelong challenge, or it is something that has become more noticeable due to an increase of various stressors. If you have an anxiety disorder, you experience anxious feelings on a regular basis, far out of proportion to any threat or even in the absence of a threat. In fact, those feelings are so prevalent and so strong, they can quickly take a toll on your quality of life and on your physical health, too.

At The Center for Cognitive Therapy and Assessment, our team located in Falls Church, Alexandria, and McLean, Virginia, helps you learn to identify, understand, and manage your symptoms of anxiety using an array of therapy tools best suited to fit your needs. In this post, learn when to seek therapy for anxiety.

Anxiety 101

If you suffer from anxiety, you might feel isolated or alone but anxiety disorders are actually very common. About a third of American women and men suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point during their lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

While many of us think about anxiety as a single medical condition, there are many different types of anxiety disorders.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a broad form of anxiety that involves recurrent feelings of fear and worry about daily life activities and events, while other anxiety disorders — like separation anxiety, social anxiety, or phobias — are associated with more specific triggers.

Most people with anxiety disorders have at least some of these symptoms:

  • Intrusive anxious thoughts or worries
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Irritability and low mood
  • Feelings of impending danger or fear
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sweating, rapid breathing, or rapid heartbeat

The severity and number of symptoms can vary from one person to another, and even change over time.

When to seek treatment

Even “mild” anxiety symptoms can take a major toll on your health and your quality of life. Many people find their anxiety makes it hard to focus at work or at school, interferes with their relationships, or even prevents them from getting a healthy amount of sleep.

If your anxiety symptoms are interfering with any aspect of your life, it’s time to seek therapeutic treatment.

Different types of therapies have been found to support the treatment of anxiety, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and psychodynamic therapy can be very effective in helping people manage anxiety disorders, relying on a patient-centered approach that focuses on the relationship between your thoughts and your behaviors.

Our team begins therapy by developing an understanding of your anxiety symptoms and triggers, as well as reviewing your medical history, your lifestyle, and other factors. Working together, we determine what types of therapy would be most effective to support you. Then, we help you identify the underlying negative thought patterns that trigger your anxiety symptoms.

During therapy, we help you replace negative thought patterns with positive reactions and rational thinking. Exploring your past experiences and relationships allows us to better understand your current difficulties. We also focus on developing improved coping skills to help defuse anxiety. Ongoing reflection on the therapy and progress of individualized goals are evaluated so that together, we can understand how the growth in therapy is reflected in other areas of your life.

Don’t let anxiety control you

Anxiety disorders are medical concerns that benefit from prompt medical treatment. To learn how we can help you manage your anxiety and improve your quality of life, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at The Center for Cognitive Therapy and Assessment today.

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