Will anxiety therapy work for me?
If you’ve experienced the symptoms of anxiety, or have been diagnosed with anxiety, then you may be wondering if anxiety therapy is right for you.
It is important to first mention that feeling anxious, worrisome, or unsettled from time to time is completely normal. Many people experience the symptoms of anxiety, including but not limited to feeling uneasy, shortness of breath, or tight muscles, before doing something new, when speaking in front of a crowd, or before getting on the field to compete in a big game. But, if you have an anxiety disorder, then your anxiety symptoms often do not subside even after the temporary stressor is removed. Those who benefit most from anxiety therapy experience fear, worry, or restlessness that interrupts or impacts their day-to-day life and activities.
How do you know whether or not anxiety therapy will work for you? Because anxiety comes in many forms, including social anxiety, phobia, and panic attacks, it may be a good idea to speak with a professional counselor if you answer yes to one or more of the following questions.
- Do you experience an excessive amount of worry on a regular basis?
As mentioned previously, many people experience anxiety or worry at different points in their lives. However, those with an anxiety disorder have little success controlling or alleviating these anxious feelings and thoughts on their own. This is where therapy can be really beneficial. If you feel anxious or unsettled to an extent that it often disrupts or impacts your daily life, you may want to talk with your doctor about anxiety therapy.
As Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson said, “The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction”.
- Do you often feel restless, on edge, or wound up? Is it difficult for you to get comfortable, sit still, or relax your body?
You may also want to contact a professional counselor or your doctor if you said yes to often feeling restless, on edge, or wound up. You may also want to seek more information if you experience a pounding or racing heart, shortness of breath, or other physical symptoms, as anxiety can manifest in the body.
- Do you become easily fatigued or often find yourself lacking the energy needed to get through the day?
Do you have impaired memory and concentration? Are you often feeling drowsy or weak? Do you have a difficult time keeping up with daily activities? If you answer yes to these questions, or if you find yourself less excited to do the things that you used to enjoy, then you may benefit from therapy.
- Do your muscles feel as if they’ve been clenched for far too long?
Again, many who suffer from anxiety feel the symptoms of their anxiety in their body. If your body is showing signs of stress or anxiety, then it may be a good idea to contact a professional counselor as you may be a good fit for therapy.
- Do you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep?
Maybe you find yourself up at night worrying about nothing at all or about one thing in particular. Or maybe, you often feel as if your mind is racing and wired, regardless of the time of day. Difficulty falling or staying asleep may point to an anxiety disorder that would benefit from treatment.
- Do you often feel irritable, jumpy, or tense?
Typically, those suffering from anxiety feel irritable, jumpy, and/or tense even when enjoying the company of loved ones or when participating in activities that were once enjoyable.
If you experience one or more of these anxiety symptoms regularly, or if your symptoms are impacting your ability to complete daily tasks and activities, then it might be time to contact a professional counselor about anxiety therapy. Psychologists professional counselors are trained to diagnose anxiety and provide proper treatment. Psychologists and professional counselors can also teach you effective ways to manage your anxiety symptoms through types of therapies such as individual therapy, group therapy, or family therapy, and through therapy approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy. It is important that both you and your counselor work together to find the treatment plan that works best for you.
- Anxiety Disorders. (March 2016). In National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml.
- Anxiety Disorders. In National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Anxiety-Disorders.
- Anxiety Fatigue and How it Affects Modern Living. In Calm Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety-symptoms/fatigue.