Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 40 million American adults have experienced a type of anxiety disorder at some point. That is one in six people! Nearly 50 million prescriptions for Xanax (anti-anxiety drug) in a year. Why are we so anxious?

Anxiety is defined as feelings of worry or fear that do not easily go away and may get worse over time. The worries/fears tend to impact daily functioning, relationships, and overall life experience. There are several types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating/focusing
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue

Panic disorder symptoms:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sudden, intense fear
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Thinking you are dying

Social anxiety disorder:

  • Fear of being in public
  • Insecurities around interaction with others
  • Afraid of how others judge you
  • Avoidance of social events

Treatment of Anxiety

There are many treatment options for anxiety disorders. Talk therapy or medication (or both) have been found to be effective in treating anxiety. In my practice, I utilize a holistic and integrative approach to working with anxiety, drawing from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), narrative therapy, solutions-focused therapy, ecopsychology, and mindfulness techniques.