What is Anxiety?
If you are suffering from anxiety, you may not have to ask, "What is Anxiety?" Anxiety has many forms and many related disorders, e.g., Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It may feel like intense fear, terror, panic, or dread. It can make your pulse race, your heart hurt, your chest tight, and even make it difficult to breathe. Some times you may sweat and feel tingling in your body. You may have racing thoughts and really troubling thoughts and worries that won't seem to go away, no matter what you try.
All of this can lead to many kinds of avoidance. Staying in home, your room, or even only your bed. Compulsive behavior and perfectionism which may look like action can also really be about escaping from thoughts and feelings that are so painful. Avoiding places and certain people, or any kind of responsibilities are also avoidance strategies you may have tried.
Unfortunately, while these avoidance strategies may feel like the only options you have in the moment and may temporarily bring relief, they typically only make things worse over time. Suddenly your life may feel as though it is shrinking and the future may seem hopeless.
The good news is that we can help. New York Behavioral Health professionals use best practices. Since we use scientifically supported treatments for anxiety, there is good reason to believe your (or your loved one's) anxiety symptoms can begin to improve very soon.
How Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can help with Anxiety
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been shown to effectively treat anxiety. Warm, caring, psychologists, counselors, and therapists can offer CBT in a comfortable setting at New York Behavioral Health. We are conveniently located on Lexington Avenue at 42nd Street. Our compassionate staff therapists and psychologists have been extensively trained in scientifically supported techniques to efficiently reduce your suffering and begin to get you living the life you want, as soon as possible. We know it is not easy to get started, but we can help to begin to reduce your suffering.
For information about anxiety treatment to reduce your pain and suffering, please email or call New York Behavioral Health, and a staff member will be there to answer your questions. Your privacy and comfort are a priority, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about anxiety symptoms or CBT treatment of anxiety.
If you are interested in more technical details about anxiety, please continue to read below, but at any point feel free to call us if we can be of help.
Anxiety is a state of mind and body related to apprehension, fear, and terror. Typical symptoms involve intense worry or obsessions, pounding heart, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pains, dread, chills, impending doom, compulsions, procrastination, or avoidance of people, places, or specific situations or objects.
Anxiety can be broken into different domains. There is a cognitive component that may include thoughts like, “What if this catastrophe happens?” “Uncertainty is unbearable.” “I really have to know.” “I can’t take this any longer.” “I couldn’t stand it if that were to occur?” There is a physiological or somatic component, which involves physical or bodily reactions and experiences, such as “butterflies in the stomach,” nausea, shakiness, heart palpitations, hyperventilation, urgency, perspiration, muscle tension, etc. There may be “urges” to act (a.k.a. action tendencies) or actual behaviors, e.g., escape, avoidance, or “freezing” behaviors.
The American Psychiatric Association includes Anxiety Disorders as a class of syndromes that are diagnosable by mental health professionals. According to the DSM-IV-TR, there are 12 anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, Specific Phobia, and Social Phobia are the primary forms.
There is a great deal of evidence that anxiety disorders have a genetic component. The evidence suggests a predisposition which is typically expressed as a function of exposure to certain situations and consequences, i.e., anxiety can be learned. But some of us are more likely to learn these anxious lessons than others.
Anxiety disorders, unlike many mental illnesses, are effectively treated by various cognitive-behavior therapies (CBT). Effective techniques include exposure plus response prevention (flooding), systematic desensitization, problem solving, and cognitive restructuring. However, if left untreated or if inappropriate treatments are provided or if the techniques are used improperly symptoms can remain or even be made worse by the intervention. Therefore it is important to find a clinician expert in the application of the appropriate treatments.