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ANXIETY

Learn how to face the turbulence of the unknown

Anxiety is a natural part of life. But sometimes anxiety can take over and begin to dominate your life and your ability to function. It may show up as a constantly hovering dis-ease, discomfort and self-consciousness around others, or as intense bursts that result in panic attacks.

GENERALIZED ANXIETY

Generalized anxiety refers to excessive worry or apprehensive expectation about any number of events or activities, such as work, school, or relationships. It's difficult to control the worry and it happens more often than not.

You may be experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge

  • Being easily fatigued

  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank

  • Irritability

  • Muscle tension

  • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless sleep)

SOCIAL ANXIETY

Social anxiety refers to noticeable fear about social situations where you anticipate possible scrutiny by others. Examples include having a conversation, meeting unfamiliar people, being observed, or performing in front of others.

Here are some features of social anxiety:

  • The social situations almost always provoke fear or anxiety

  • The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the social situation

  • The social situations are avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety

  • The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

PANIC ATTACKS

A panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. During this time, four or more of the following symptoms occur:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate

  • Sweating/chills/heat sensations

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering

  • Feeling of choking

  • Chest pain or discomfort

  • Nausea or abdominal distress

  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint

  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)

  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”

  • Fear of dying

  • Numbness or tingling sensations

You likely have a marked fear or anxiety about two (or more) of the following five situations: 

  • Using public transportation

  • Being in open spaces

  • Being in enclosed spaces

  • Standing in line or being in a crowd

  • Being outside the home alone

These agoraphobic situations are avoided or endured with significant anxiety about having a panic attack or panic-like symptoms, or require the presence of a companion. They almost always provoke fear or anxiety that is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the situations.

See the services page for a detailed description of my evidence-based approach to therapy.