We have all experienced feeling anxious. Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of apprehension or fear, with or without a known cause.It is actually a normal human response to a lot of situations. It is the feeling you may experience when you are about to take an exam, walk in to an important meeting or do an interview, even going on a first date.
Remember the feelings? The feeling of anxiety you may feel in any of these situations is normal and actually quit productive. It is the heightened anxious feeling past that normal threshold that could stop you in your tracks and throw you out of balance to a point of no return.
So what is the difference between normal anxiety and the type that throws you off balance and hinders your normal functioning and negatively impacts your life? Here are some of the differences between normal anxiety and one that is considered a clinical concern needing immediate attention:
Normal Worry does not interfere with your job or social life. It is clearly caused by an identifiable trigger and the level is reasonably proportioned to the trigger. You feel that your worries, as uncomfortable as they maybe, are manageable. Your worrying only lasts for a while and you are able to control it.
When it comes to clinical anxiety you do experience some physical or psychological symptoms like sleep problems, irritability, tense muscles, problems concentrating, fatigue or restlessness. The discomfort of the anxiety interferes with your work or social activities. You feel that your worrying is out of your control. Worrying may begin for no reason, increases erratically and responds to no rational reasoning. Your anxiety is focused on general themes and topics like job performance, money, personal safety, relationships, or the safety of others. And last but not least,your anxiety keeps continuing for weeks or even months. In fact, most people seeking treatment have suffered for over six months or longer.
In most cases, it is the unreasonable constant questions that start with“what if ….”. Questions like “What if I lose my job? What if my partner leaves me?What if I get sick? What if my loved one gets sick? What if? What if? You get the idea….
Anxiety disorder is a common condition. Statistically one in 4 adults will experience it in their lifetime. Like any other condition, if you treat it early, you will have much better success in responding to treatment. Besides medications psychotherapy has been very successful in treating the condition.With anxiety conditions, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven very effective. Some people also choose to compliment regular individual or group therapy with neurofeedback, which is a type of biofeedback that teaches self-regulation of brain function. As an eclectic clinician, we use many techniques from other modalities that are research based and proven effective.
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