Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues facing our modern world today. In the United States alone, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults each year. While anxiety is incredibly common, its symptoms can truly detract from an individual's quality of life. Because of its commonality, many people assume that anxiety symptoms are normal, but that simply isn’t true! It is possible to live a healthy, high-functioning life without the presence of excessive anxiety.
Anxiety is defined as the reaction of the mind and body to stressful, dangerous, or unknown life circumstances. Anxiety is the general feeling of overwhelming fear in response to a threat. However, with anxiety, this threat may or may not be real. Oftentimes anxiety is a condition where the mind creates illusory threats that trigger a nervous system response in the body that then produces the anxiety symptoms. The brain does not know if the threat is real or false, and thus the body responds as if the threat is actually happening. While fear and anxiety are evolutionary emotions that help to keep us safe, they are not meant to impair our wellbeing in work, school, and relationships. Those who face anxiety find that their condition interferes with their daily life.
Anxiety disorders describe an individual facing excessive fear and anxiety related to some kind of perceived threat, impending or not. This sort of fear triggers physiological symptoms that interfere with the health and wellbeing of the individual. Anxiety is the broad umbrella term under which are several anxiety-related disorders. Anxiety can be experienced in various ways.
Panic Disorder is another form of anxiety, which expresses as a series of panic attacks, often initially seeming out of the blue. Panic attacks are generally experienced as a sudden intensity of fear alongside unpleasant physical reactions. Those who suffer from panic attacks often experience heart palpitations, hyperventilation, dizziness, shaking, and loss of control. Panic attacks are one of the most common forms that anxiety appears in. Individuals who experience panic attacks become anxious about their next panic attacks, in a vicious cycle which compounds overall anxiety.
The various forms of anxiety are treatable and manageable with individual therapy. Anxiety disorders are often created by several simultaneous causes, and therefore everyone’s treatment looks a bit different. Main treatment for anxiety disorders includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). We can also treat anxiety conditions with psychiatric options, should you and your therapist decide. Many patients find the support of integrated and collaborative psychiatric care to significantly aid their healing journey. Our practitioners at Colorado CBT are extensively experienced in supporting patients suffering with all forms of anxiety. We are a leading Denver clinic helping adults heal a life of anxiety. Make an appointment with Colorado CBT to discuss anxiety and the benefits of therapy.