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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anxiety


I don’t know about you, but lately to me, it seems as if we are living in an increasingly anxious society. More and more people report having symptoms of anxiety as a quote unquote, “normal” part of their day. Check out the top 5 symptoms of anxiety, shortness of breath, heart pounding, chest tightening, numbness in extremities, and a sense of unease or apprehension. How many folks have, or maybe you have yourself, experienced one or more of these symptoms in specific situations.


The truth is there are specific situations that lend themselves to some type of anxiety producing symptom. Test anxiety, the anticipation of meeting new in-laws or confronting a partner with a relationship testing issue, all these situations can heighten our sense of apprehension producing anxiety symptoms in their wake. The difference between situational anxiety and chronic anxiety is just that. Many times anxiety is confined to a specific situation or set of events. If this is the case, it may seem expedient to simply avoid the situations which produce the symptoms. Avoidance, however, produces a new set of dilemmas which subsequently increases anxiety.

When symptoms themselves become less confined to specific incidences, there is reason to believe that anxiety has become more generalized, therefore manifesting in more frequent and perhaps less specific situations. Symptoms may become more chronic and there may seem to less of an instigating event or situation that brings them on. Anxiety manifests in the emotions, thought process, and body to present in such a way as to disrupt normal routine. In extreme instances, anxiety may interfere with life functioning to the point that the person suffering symptoms may become avoidant of certain situations, places, people, or events in order to attempt to control their symptoms. The reality is that symptoms are rarely controlled by avoidance.


In the treatment of anxiety, it is important to check with your primary care physician to rule out or treat any biomedical concerns underlying the condition. It is then important to consult a psychiatrist who may be able to recommend a regimen of medication. Finally, it is imperative you seek out a trained and licensed professional who can support you with cognitive – behavioral interventions and stress relieving techniques.


The good news is, that with treatment, most anxiety symptoms can be reduced to manageable proportions. Please contact 386-736-9165, to be put in contact with a professional who can support you or your loved one in managing this fatiguing and life impairing disorder.
by: Janice Suskey M.Ed. Ed.S. LMHC

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