What is an anxiety disorder?
Everyone worries. There are deadlines, conflicts, and obligations in daily life. While it is normal to feel anxious from time to time, when worry is persistent and interferes with your ability to function normally, you may be dealing with an anxiety disorder. Ongoing worry and stress that led to physical discomfort and keep you awake at night are cause for concern. The presence of the following common indicators or symptoms can lead to a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) diagnosis:
- Excessive worry spanning different events, subjects, and activities. This means that while awake, a person with an anxiety disorder will worry much of the time. Common worries include school or work, relationships, financial matters, family issues, and health.
- Worry feels overwhelming and difficult to control.
- Worry is accompanied by physical symptoms such as irritability, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.
There are many kinds of anxiety disorder including:
- Panic Disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Diagnosing anxiety disorders
While only a behavioral health professional can diagnose GAD, there are many self-screening tools available that can give you an idea of whether or not you should seek treatment. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you probably find it difficult to deal with normal day-to-day activities, prompting you to seek additional information. If your worry has become so excessive that it is interfering with your ability to handle your responsibilities, it is a good idea to consult a professional. A good rule of thumb is that typically, people spend under an hour per day worrying, while those suffering from GAD spend about five hours a day feeling anxious.
Want to try a self-screening tool?
How are anxiety disorders treated?
If you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, the great news is that these are relatively common issues, experienced by about 40 million Americans and relatively easy to treat.
Treatment options that work for my clients are:
- Psychotherapy with a biopsychosocial approach that considers the biological, psychological, and social factors
- Emotionally Focused Therapy
- Talk therapy
- Introduction to coping strategies and self-talk
I also recommend alternative mindfulness therapies like yoga and meditation.
Schedule a free 10-minute consultation
I am currently accepting new patients. To schedule a consultation or your first appointment, you can call my office at 504-481-899 or click here to request an appointment online.