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Anxiety Counseling and Treatment

Anxiety Counseling and Treatment

We have all, at some point in our lives, been anxious - scared, apprehensive, fearful. Anxiety is a state that involves the unpleasant feeling of worry or apprehension in someone. It is a response of one's body towards stress. Though anxiety is a normal human reaction, excess of it can lead to the development of various anxiety disorders.

While anxiety is different from panic attacks, it still can cause concerns including other physical as well as mental health symptoms.

Physical symptoms in which anxiety manifests itself include a racing heart, increased production of sweat, tightness of chest, shortness of breath, nervousness, and muscle twitching among many others.

Whether you are facing anxiety attacks, are concerned about being anxious and the resulting effects on your daily life, online counseling or mental health services may offer support for your specific needs.

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Major Causes of Anxiety

To pinpoint a single cause or a few causes for the occurrence of anxiety is nearly impossible. It is not a result of personal flaws or character weaknesses as many in society make it out to be. In fact, researchers still are not entirely sure about the exact cause of it, but they suspect it to be a combination of a number of things.

Chemical imbalance: Having a prolonged exposure to stress can interfere with the chemical balance in the brain that controls one's mood, resulting in the development of anxiety and related anxiety disorders.

Environmental factors: Having gone through traumatic experiences creates some triggers for anxiety that might set off the unpleasant, anxious feelings in such a person. This likelihood increases if the person has a genetic predisposition to anxiety.

Heredity: Some people are genetically predisposed to experiencing anxiety and anxiety disorders. Therefore, genes may also be a huge factor contributing to the development of anxiety in a person.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders come in various forms and can develop in anyone. Some of them are as follows:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This kind of anxiety disorder is characterized by chronic anxiety which may or may not be triggered by a specific stimulus, hence termed generalized. Symptoms of anxiety in a person afflicted with GAD may appear out of nowhere, even when there is nothing to provoke it.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): In this disorder, a person has recurrent, unnecessary, obsessive thoughts about something, and to get rid of them, they feel the need to indulge in certain compulsions/compulsive behaviors. These behaviors may include repetitive hand washing, counting, checking, cleaning, etc. The performance of these compulsive behaviors only provides them short-term relief and their non-performance increases anxiety.

Panic Disorder: In this disorder, a person experiences recurrent episodes of intense fear which are either completely unexpected or may be triggered by a stimulus. It is also accompanied by the physical symptoms of anxiety like a racing heart, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, etc.

Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia: it is an anxiety disorder defined by a lot of apprehensions and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia might be limited to only one kind of situation like speaking in public, eating in public, or sometimes in its more extreme forms, it may involve a person being even scared to be around people.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This is an anxiety disorder that develops when a person has been exposed to a traumatic event like natural disasters, assault etc. Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, memory loss, anger, irritability, intrusive memories among many others.

Healing From Anxious Thoughts

Anxious thoughts are never easy to deal with, but there are a few ways that make it all more manageable. Journaling to release one's emotions is a great way to deal with anxious thoughts- try jotting down all that you feel, what your thoughts tell you and rating your anxiety on a scale of 1-10 to keep track of it and your progress.

Another great method to heal from anxious thoughts is to seek expert advice from a therapist, try mindfulness meditation, which means to focus on one's emotions and feelings, and accept all the thoughts that run through one's head.

Practicing structured problem solving may also help with one's anxiety. People who struggle with anxiety are worriers and fret about an issue more than solving it. It might be of tremendous use to them if they learn how to break a problem into various components and then decide upon a course of action to solve it.

Sometimes, sharing your specific situation with others who also face anxious thoughts may be of help. You can try the online forums or group therapy-based Sharing Circle or group support rooms at 7 Cups for live support.

Your Body Keeps the Score: The Physical Symptoms

A person struggling with anxiety will mostly display some of its physical symptoms as it is a natural anatomical response of our body. These symptoms may be more noticeable during stressful situations. Some common symptoms that manifest themselves in anxious people include: headaches, nausea, rapid heart rate, chest pain, a pounding heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, excessive sweating, tremors or twitching among many others.

Do you relate to experiencing some of these frequently? You might want to check in with your anxiety levels!

Dealing with Anxiety and Feelings of Fear Through Psychotherapy

Considering psychotherapy and seeking an expert psychotherapist or counselor's opinion is undoubtedly one of the best ways to deal with anxiety and feelings of fear. Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a way to help people deal with not only their emotional and psychological difficulties but also mental illnesses. Consequently, it can play a huge, effective role in managing one's anxiety using different approaches and techniques.

One form of psychotherapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which has proven to be helpful in the treatment of anxiety. CBT helps people alter their negative styles of thinking and behaving that are often associated with emotional difficulties and mental illnesses. It focuses on recognizing thought patterns and behaviors that lead to unpleasant and problematic feelings, and helps to limit distorted thinking by looking at issues more realistically.

7 Cups is an online therapy service that provides emotional support to people facing anxiety as well as several other concerns. With the 7 Cups service, you can reach out by sending messages to an online therapist or mental health expert through the platform at any day of the work-week throughout the month, without any fixed appointments, for only a $125 subscription. The platform is available through the website as well as the mobile app, making it a convenient choice for your online therapy preferences. The psychologists and professional counselors are able to support people in the United States as well as globally.

Clients often find the online therapy option to be accessible as well as cost-effective. Online mental health professionals may be able to help you take a step towards therapeutic support if you are unable to attend in-person therapy options or do not find such therapy sessions such as phone calls or video conferencing to be comfortable. 7 Cups is an easy-to use online platform that can help support your needs especially if you have a busy schedule.

Featured Contributors

Scott Fantucchio, LMHC

Scott is a licensed mental health counselor with over 10 years of experience in the mental health field.

Jamie Rautenberg, LCSW

Jamie is a licensed clinical social worker and holistic life coach with 10 years of experience blending her background in the arts with her education to best meet her clients needs.

Lisa Meighan, MBPsS

Lisa is a licensed mental health counselor with an eclectic style of therapy to fit every client

Haley Neidich, MSW, LCSW

Haley Neidich is a licensed psychotherapist and the Senior Director of Clinical Development for