People use the word “anxiety” to describe a wide range of experiences. It is sometimes used to describe a nervous feeling before a performance ie, “I’m anxious about giving my speech.” On the other end of the spectrum it can be used to describe an experience as severe as a panic attack in which someone may feel as though something terrible is imminent ie, “I was so anxious I felt completely paralyzed and couldn’t drive” It’s a complicated term to understand when it’s so broadly applied.
At its core anxiety is a physiological reaction to a stressor. When your body perceives a potential stressor (whether real or imagined) it reacts by putting your body on alert. This can produce feelings of fear, worry, concern, apprehension, unease, agitation, and/or tension along with somatic symptoms such as sleeplessness, change in appetite or rapid heartbeat. Essentially, it’s an alarm system that serves to keep us safe. Every parent knows the feeling of seeing their child run away from them toward a parking lot and the way their whole body reacts to keep them safe. This response serves to tell us, “WARNING! DANGER!”
An anxiety disorder is when this alarm system somehow gets broken and is alerting us more often than is helpful. This can express itself in many different ways. The DSM 5 (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders 5th edition) classifies these issues as “Anxiety Disorders” because they each have their roots in a malfunctioning alarm system.
Treatment for Anxiety
Anxiety disorders can be mild or severe and often require medical and/or mental health interventions to fully resolve. Treatment for anxiety disorders includes a variety of talk therapy strategies depending on the type of anxiety a person is experiencing.
Anxiety is one of the most common reasons for seeking counseling and therapy can be an incredibly helpful tool to both understand and address the anxiety that has become a problem. At RLC, our vision is to inspire and empower change in our clients. We focus on guiding our clients to rally their strengths, discover new strengths and ideas so that you can first overcome and second reach your goals. If we can help, then please contact us, click here, so you can either give us a call or send us an email.