SHORT VS LONG TERM ANXIETY
It is normal to experience anxiety and stress – nervousness, apprehension, worry, and even panic – for short periods of time. They are healthy, adaptive feelings, and we humans are hard wired to experience them short-term when we need to be motivated into action that is healthy and adaptive. But if we experience them long-term, they inappropriately affect how we think and behave, and can actually contribute to physical symptoms. Long-term anxiety can undercut whatever level of confidence we have in ourselves. We can lose the ability to tell the difference between what is subjective what is objective. We can begin to fear being afraid, fear that we cannot make decisions unless we know the outcome in advance. When we doubt the ability of our mind to tell us what is true and right, our tendency is to surrender our minds to our emotions, since they seem to have authority that our intellect lacks. And we suffer anxiety because we focus on what we don’t and can’t know for sure, what we think needs to be a certain way, or what we can’t control ourselves, but often expect others to control.
ANXIETY HAS MANY FORMS
Anxiety comes in many different forms. Not all anxiety is clinical or classified as a disorder. Most of us experience it as part of everyday life. But if worrying interferes with your life and relationships, inhibits you from social activity, diminishes your willingness to begin or finish a task, or any number of other symptoms, it can develop into a serious pattern of worry that is more difficult to deal with. The list of symptoms below is not comprehensive or definitive, but you may identify with one or more of the symptoms:
• You spend more than an hour a day worrying
• Worrying interferes with your job or social life
• You wake up worrying
• You feel that your concerns should be controllable, that you should be able to deal with them, but you can’t or don’t
• Worrying causes you uncomfortable distress
• You worry for a reason and cannot control it
• You have experienced excessive worrying for longer than you think you should have.
• Physical and psychological symptoms accompany your worry, such as sleep problems, irritability, tense muscles, problems concentrating, fatigue or restlessness
*THERAPY THAT WORKS
I use evidence-based psychotherapy methods – Cognitive Therapy (CT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – to help you learn how to reduce stress – so often the primary influence in the cause and recurrence of anxiety. In addition, these forms of therapy have been empirically shown to be effective in the treatment of depression, marital and family distress, anger, panic, procrastination, and the sense of having to be perfect, to compulsively please others at our own expense, grief and loss, school and academic performance, health, career and job change, financial concerns, and retirement concerns.
If any of the symptoms in the above list fit you, or if you think you have other symptoms not listed here that seem to you like excessive worry, I can help.