Is anxiety part of the human condition?

Statistics range from estimates that 1.5% to 18.1% of people ages 18 to 54 suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety can be anything from “white noise” in the background of your mind to panic attacks, and everything in between. Think of it as being on a continuum.

Anxiety in the life cycle

Anxiety is common throughout the life cycle. Does this sound like you?

  • You’re a young adult trying to make your own life, worried that you’re not living up to your potential.
  • You wonder if you’re ever going to meet “the one.”
  • You’re planning an event and are lying awake worrying about the details.
  • You’re starting a family and worrying about your child’s happiness, health, homework.
  • You avoid networking because you get too nervous.
  • You refuse career opportunities that involve public speaking or presentations because of your anxiety.
  • You’re going to a party and feel anxious about socializing.
  • You walk into a restaurant and feel that everyone’s looking at you.
  • You dream that you’re back in school and are having a final in a class you forgot about, or that you’re going on a business trip and forgot to pack.
  • Do you feel pressure to succeed on a grand scale, to prove yourself, to live up to your potential?  Do you negatively compare yourself to others and then put more pressure on yourself to “catch up” or surpass the people to whom you’ve compared yourself?

Or have you done well, and feel enormous anxiety to live up to or exceed your most recent success?

How much is enough?

One of the first questions you may be asked in a social situation is “What do you do?” followed by a question about whether or not you’re in a relationship or have children. If you’re someone who feels you haven’t done enough in those areas and are dependent on others’ approval, you may feel anxious when asked these questions, as if the conversation is a test of your value as a person.

Many people who struggle with anxiety had parents who also struggled with anxiety. This begs the question: Is anxiety learned through parents’ modeling of it, or is it inherited? That’s something to explore in treatment!

Can you ever stop worrying? Do you feel that if you can just know that everything will be okay you can stop worrying?

How do you know if you need treatment for anxiety?

If it’s interfering with the quality of your life, why wouldn’t you?!

If you’re having panic attacks, you should get treatment for anxiety.

If your anxiety is not as extreme, but you find yourself worrying about everything from the state of the world to whether the child you haven’t had yet will get into a top school, you can benefit from treatment for anxiety.

I’m not saying that working to improve the world, through donating time and money to causes that make things better, is a problem  I’m saying that worrying—instead of taking action in ways that can help—is a problem.

If your friend hasn’t called in a couple of days and you assume he or she no longer wants to be friends or that he or she must be ill, you can benefit from treatment for anxiety.

If your default position is to assume the worst, you’re not fully enjoying your life because you’re not using your mind properly.

Your mind is a tool for your satisfaction, not for your displeasure.

If you’re not fully enjoying life because of your anxiety, you’d benefit from treatment.

How we can help

Therapy with a skilled and warm therapist can help with anxiety, because there’s no judgment here, just a calm acceptance of you as you are, as we delve into understanding the roots of your anxiety.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

You’ll learn about the roots of your anxiety and how to calm it in the moment. We’ll help you learn to recognize the “early warning signs” of your anxiety, so you don’t have to run it all the way through to the end, and learn to work your way around your anxiety, thinking your way to a calm, realistic, adult state of mind.

This approach is specific to you and builds on the exploration of how you got to this point in your life. The kind of treatment I do involves dealing with your history as it affects your current life, so we will deal with things in your past, as well as things in your life today.

Compassion and theoretical understanding

Theory without compassion is cold and raises a patient’s anxiety. That’s the “Ummm” and no feedback or interaction that you see on TV or on film.

Compassion without theory is like a body without a skeleton: it has nothing to stand on!

A therapist’s approach marries theory and compassion.

Studying anxiety and treating patients with anxiety disorders allows us to bring a wealth of understanding and experience to treating you. These are among the people we have helped:

  • performers with stage fright
  • writers who have writer’s block
  • professionals whose careers are blocked because of their anxiety in meetings, presentations, and public speaking
  • college students who are so anxious in class that they can’t retain information
  • parents who are anxious about their children’s well-being
  • people who are afraid to fly or to have an MRI
  • people who are anxious about dating
  • people who lie awake worrying at night
  • people who catastrophize when things don’t go according to plan.
  • Why suffer when you can feel better?

But you may still have questions about anxiety treatment...

Is it expensive?

Anxiety is expensive! It steals the joy from your life; your ability to model calm problem-solving thinking and optimism for your children, if you have them; your enjoyment of relating to others in your relationships and friendships (you can’t relate if you’re anxious about what others think of you); your effectiveness in your career; your physical health.

Treatment for anxiety is an investment in your self—for yourself! It also benefits your family, your friends, and your work. How can you afford not to get anxiety treatment?

Does it take a long time?

It’s not a quick process to get to the bottom of anxiety and deal with its presence throughout your life, but the more you dig in and commit to your treatment, the better you’ll feel.

You may see improvements relatively soon—again, everyone’s different—but to really understand your anxiety and apply the things you learn throughout your life takes time. After all, you didn’t just suddenly become anxious after being calm your whole life, right?

Do I have to take medication?

Everyone’s different.

Some people benefit from talk therapy alone and never need medication.

Others benefit from talk therapy plus medication for a period of time. Studies (such as one by Steven Hollon, Ph.D., professor, psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn; Scott Krakow, D.O., assistant unit chief, psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, New York City; Aug. 20, 2014 JAMA Psychiatry, online) show that for people who need medication, the combination of medication plus talk therapy is more effective than medication alone.  We’ll work together to determine the best course of action for you.

A satisfying life isn’t ruled by anxiety!

You can feel better; relate to people (instead of being consumed by anxiety about what they think of you); and enjoy your accomplishments, activities, and career when you’re not leading with your anxiety.

If you’re a parent who’s in treatment for anxiety, you can give your child one of the best possible gifts in life: the model of dealing with life in a calm, problem-solving, optimistic fashion.

If anxiety is preventing you from fully enjoying your life, we can help. Treatment with an experienced therapist can help relieve your symptoms of anxiety and help you develop an optimistic approach to life that will feel good!

If you’d like to schedule an appointment please contact us below.