Anxiety is the anticipation of a future event or occurrence. We have all experienced moments of anxiety, whether it be before a job interview, presenting in front of a large group, or before making an important phone call. These feelings of apprehension typically fade and disappear after the event. However, sometimes anxiety does not have a clear source, lasts for several hours after an event, or becomes overwhelming and debilitating.
Some symptoms of anxiety are nausea, dizziness, constant worrying, stomach/bowel issues, increased heart rate, tense muscles, sleep problems and disorders, fatigue, and headaches. Not every individual will experience anxiety the same way and may have only a few of these symptoms and/or additional symptoms.
Panic attacks are a symptom of anxiety. Panic attacks have four of more of the following: increased heart rate, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, choking sensation, chest pain, nausea, dizziness or feeling light-headed, chills or hot flashes, numbness or tingling, feeling separated from self or reality, fear of “going crazy”, and fear of dying or fear of a heart attack.
Even if you have experienced anxiety or panic attacks, you may not have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are characterized as symptoms that persist for longer than 6 months, excessive anxiety for the situation, and the symptoms are not explained by medication/substance use or a medical condition (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). However, if these symptoms are causing you distress, don’t hesitate to seek out help. Often individuals do not receive treatment until it becomes unbearable, making the recovery process longer and more difficult.
The good news is that there is hope. Research indicates that therapy is effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. Even after therapy is terminated, individuals continue to improve as they utilize what they have learned. Begin your journey to become complete today. We are conveniently located in Utah County.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
American Psychological Association. (2013). Recognition of psychotherapy effectiveness. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. doi:10.1037/a0033179.
McEvoy, Nathan, & Norton. (2009). Efficacy of transdiagnostic treatments: A review of published outcome studies and future research directions. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. doi: 10.1891/0889-83188.8.131.52.