April 8, 2023

Do I have severe anxiety?

Anxiety is a part of the human experience, it’s a natural response to stress and uncertainty. But when anxiety begins to take over daily life, […]

By Annie Wright|Anxiety
Severe Anxiety.

Anxiety is a part of the human experience, it’s a natural response to stress and uncertainty. But when anxiety begins to take over daily life, it can become debilitating and overwhelming. It’s important to recognize the signs that your anxiety has become too much to handle on your own, when it has become severe anxiety. Symptoms such as panic attacks, avoidance behaviors, or persistent worry can indicate that it’s time to seek professional support. Psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), have been shown to be effective in treating anxiety. These therapies can help individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and develop coping strategies to manage severe anxiety. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and support is available to help you on your journey toward mental wellness.

Is severe anxiety really what’s going on for me?

If you’re feeling inexplicably uneasy, experiencing persistent worry, or noticing physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweaty palms, and shaking, you may be dealing with severe anxiety. It’s important to acknowledge that anxiety disorders are very real illnesses, and can significantly impact your ability to perform day-to-day tasks. But don’t fret – help is out there! Identifying the specific type of anxiety you’re experiencing is a significant step in seeking support. Some common types include social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). With the right guidance and resources, you can effectively manage your anxiety and live a fulfilling life.

How do I know if it is getting bad enough to seek out support?

It can be challenging to know when anxiety is getting bad enough to seek out support. However, there are a few signs to watch out for.

  1. The anxiety is causing physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or dizziness.
  1. The anxiety is affecting your daily life, such as work or school performance, relationships, and social activities.
  1. You find yourself worrying excessively, even when there is no apparent reason to be worried.
  1. The anxiety is causing you to avoid situations that trigger your anxiety.
  1. The anxiety is affecting your sleep and causing insomnia or nightmares.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to seek support. Anxiety can become more severe over time and can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health if left untreated.

Examples of what severe anxiety might feel like

Everyone experiences anxiety differently, but here are some examples of what extreme anxiety might feel like:

  1. Panic attacks: Panic attacks can be debilitating and cause an overwhelming feeling of fear or dread. They can be characterized by physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and shortness of breath.
  1. Social anxiety: Social anxiety can cause intense fear or discomfort in social situations. It can be characterized by physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and blushing.
  1. Generalized anxiety disorder: Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry about everyday events and situations. It can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue.
  1. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: OCD is characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. It can cause significant distress and interfere with daily life.

Effective psychotherapies to treat anxiety

Anxiety can be a difficult challenge to face alone, and that’s where psychotherapy comes in. Also known as talk therapy, it’s a proven and effective treatment option for those struggling with anxiety. By working with a therapist, individuals are given a safe space to explore their negative thought patterns and behaviors and learn how to change them. This can often lead to a profound shift in one’s relationship with anxiety, allowing them to develop new coping strategies and a newfound sense of resilience. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, know that you’re not alone and that there is help available through psychotherapy.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety. It has been found to be effective in treating social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and OCD.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another type of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety. EMDR is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on resolving traumatic experiences that contribute to anxiety. It has been found to be effective in treating PTSD, panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.

In addition to psychotherapy, medication can be used to treat anxiety. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. However, medication alone may not be as effective as psychotherapy and is often used in conjunction with therapy.

Research has shown that psychotherapy is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that cognitive-behavioral therapy was as effective as medication in treating social anxiety disorder. Another study published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders found that EMDR was effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD.

Psychotherapy is an incredibly valuable tool for individuals looking to improve their mental health and wellbeing. However, it’s important to remember that therapy is not a quick fix solution. The effectiveness of therapy is heavily reliant on the individual’s willingness to fully participate in the process and make changes in their thoughts and behaviors. While progress may not be immediately visible, it’s crucial to stick with therapy even when it feels challenging. Remember, the journey to improved mental health is not always easy, but with dedication and perseverance, positive changes can and will happen.

Get professional support.

If you are experiencing anxiety that is interfering with your daily life, it’s time to seek support. Evergreen Counseling offers evidence-based therapy to help individuals overcome anxiety disorders. Our therapists are trained in CBT and EMDR and can work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Don’t let anxiety control your life any longer. 

Contact Evergreen Counseling today to begin your journey to healing and recovery.

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