September 13, 2023

Anxiety Disorders: Do I Have One?

Explore anxiety disorders, their symptoms, and evidence-based treatments like EMDR that can help alleviate anxiety disorders.

By Annie Wright|Anxiety, EMDR
Woman lying on bed, face hidden by bottle.

Anxiety is a prevalent human emotion universally experienced. 

It encompasses feelings of unease or worry about upcoming events, job interviews, or encountering new individuals. 

However, when anxiety overwhelms and significantly hinders daily functioning, it may indicate an anxiety disorder. 

In this blog post, we shall delve into different anxiety disorders, recognizing crucial indicators to be mindful of and exploring evidence-based treatment approaches like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

What are Some Common Anxiety Disorders?

Below is a comprehensive compilation of prevalent anxiety disorders. It is important to understand that this list is not exhaustive but represents the most commonly observed disorders.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) presents as pervasive worry and fear across various domains such as work, health, family, and finances. Individuals with GAD encounter challenges in effectively managing their anxiety and may experience physical symptoms like muscle tension, restlessness, and sleep disturbances. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), GAD affects approximately 6.8 million American adults each year [1].
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as social phobia, is characterized by a profound sense of fear and discomfort in social environments. Individuals with SAD commonly experience concern about being evaluated or embarrassed, leading to a tendency to avoid social interactions altogether. With approximately 15 million affected adults in the United States, this condition is considered one of the most prevalent anxiety disorders [2].
  • Panic Disorder: Panic Disorder is characterized by recurring and unexpected panic attacks, characterized by abrupt surges of intense fear or discomfort. These attacks may present with physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, and an overwhelming feeling of impending doom. Around 6 million adults in the United States are estimated to experience panic disorder annually [3].

What are the Signs of Anxiety Disorders?

Here are several common indicators of anxiety disorders

However, it is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, as other potential symptoms could exist.

  • Persistent Worry and Fear: Experiencing occasional anxiety is a commonplace occurrence, yet persistently feeling consumed by worry and fear, without an identifiable cause, may suggest the presence of an anxiety disorder.
  • Physical Symptoms: Anxiety disorders can give rise to physical manifestations such as tachycardia, dyspnea, vertigo, profuse perspiration, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Avoidance Behavior: Avoidance of certain situations or places out of fear or anxiety can indicate an underlying anxiety disorder, which warrants professional attention.
  • Impact on Daily Life: Anxiety disorders exert a significant influence on daily activities, work, school, and relationships, ultimately compromising one’s quality of life.

Are Anxiety Disorders Treatable, And What Evidence-Based Modalities Can Treat Them?

Fortunately, anxiety disorders can be successfully treated using a variety of evidence-based approaches, enabling individuals to regain control over their lives.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a prevalent therapeutic approach that effectively addresses anxiety disorders. By identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with anxiety, CBT empowers individuals to develop coping strategies and techniques to manage anxiety with optimal efficacy.
  • Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy offers significant benefits for individuals struggling with specific phobias or social anxiety disorders. Through systematic and deliberate exposure to feared situations, these individuals gain invaluable insights that often reveal the unfounded nature of their fears. Moreover, they learn effective strategies to manage their anxiety without experiencing any adverse consequences.
  • Medication: In specific cases, healthcare professionals may prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders effectively. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have demonstrated significant efficacy, especially when used with therapy.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is an exceptional therapeutic approach that targets post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and offers broader applications. By utilizing bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, this technique facilitates the systematic processing of traumatic memories to effectively reduce emotional distress. Remarkably, EMDR has exhibited significant efficacy in treating various anxiety disorders.

If you are experiencing persistent and overwhelming anxiety, it is crucial to seek assistance from a qualified therapist specializing in anxiety. 

Anxiety disorders are common but treatable, greatly benefiting from evidence-based therapies like CBT and EMDR

Remember, seeking professional guidance is the first step towards regaining control over your life and finding relief from anxiety.

If you have been asking, “Do I have an anxiety disorder?” and if you resonated with any part of this post and you’re currently looking for a therapist to support you in treating your anxiety disorder, we would love to support you.

At Evergreen Counseling, we understand the importance of finding a therapist who resonates with you.

We invite you to take the next step toward your well-being by booking a complimentary 20-minute consultation call with us

Explore this website, contact us here or call us at 510-373-2723 to schedule your consultation.

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